Citation
Every girl's stories

Material Information

Title:
Every girl's stories
Creator:
Aguilar, Grace, 1816-1847 ( Author )
Greenaway, Kate, 1846-1901 ( Illustrator )
Richard Clay and Sons ( Printer )
Butt, Geraldine ( Author )
Butt, Jane ( Author )
Countess D'Aulnoy ( Author )
Edgeworth, Maria ( Author )
"Esme" ( Author )
Mademoiselle de la Force ( Author )
Goatley, E. ( Author )
Haweis, H. R. ( Author )
The Right Hon. E. II. Knatchbull-Hugessen ( Author )
Luxton, Mrs. ( Author )
Mackarness, Henry, Mrs. ( Author )
Miltford, Mary Russell ( Author )
Myers, L.
George Routledge and Sons. ( Contributor )
Place of Publication:
London ; Manchester ; New York
Publisher:
George Routledge and Sons, Limited
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
501, 2 p., 25 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 21 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children's stories.
Greenaway collection.
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction
Baldwin -- 1896.
Genre:
Children's stories ( aat )
Publishers' advertisements ( local )

Notes

General Note:
With unsigned, full page, color frontispiece by Kate Greenaway.
General Note:
Publisher's advertisements follow text.

Record Information

Source Institution:
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:
002225917 ( ALEPH )
34462157 ( OCLC )
ALG6199 ( NOTIS )

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Hopkinton, N. H.
Free Public Library

RULES AND REGULATIONS
No book or other property belonging to the
Library shall be taken from the Library room
without the consent of the Librarian.

Any person entitled to Library privileges,
who shall take any book from the Library room
without allowing the usual record to be made
of the loan of such book, shall be fined one
dollar.

No person shall loan any book belonging to
$

Fore

the Library to anyone outside of his own house-
hold, under penalty of forfeiture of Library
card.

Books must not be kept out more than three
weeks, under penalty of two cents per day for
the additional time; and if not returned at the
end of five weeks, the person holding them
shall pay all expenses incurred in sending for
the same.

Borrowers owing a fine shall forfeit all privi-
leges of the Library until such fine is paid,
Anyone losing or injuring a book shall re-

place it with one of equal value, or pay the Li-
brarian for the same, as he shall determine.

COS LEEOOCSE
EVANS PRINTING Co.—45201





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Frontispiece.



EVRY CUES
> Ole Ss

BY

GRACE AGUILAR, GERALDINE BUTT, JANE BUTT,
THE COUNTESS D’AULNOY, MARIA EDGEWORTH,
“ESML,” MADEMOISELLE DE LA FORCE,

E. GOATLEY, MRS. H. R. HAWEIS,

THE RIGHT HON. E. H. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN,
MRS. LUXTON, MRS. HENRY MACKARNESS,
MARY RUSSELL MITFORD, L. MYERS

WITH 24 PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

LONDON
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, Limitrp
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILI.
MANCHESTER AND NEW YORK
1896



Ricuarp Cray & Sons, Limitep,
Lonpon & Bunaay.



CONTENTS

AGUILAR, GRACE.

PACE

Lapy Gresuam’s Fite . ; ; , 5 ; 7
BUTT, GERALDINE.

How Morty Mapr Pract . ; f : : : . 115
Joun’s REVENGE . ‘ r ; : ; ; 3 . 138
Our Basy , : e ‘5 : a E : : . 146
Tur Carre or A Ropin 5 ; 3 ‘ E : rel
Tue Story THAT Marcotrr Top : . , 5 . 109

WILLOUGHBY . P a , ‘ ' A a 5 . 198

BUTT, JANE.
My HerEro 5 a 5 : ; F ; fi , . 150

DAULNOY, COUNTESS.
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET . ' , , ; , . 166

EDGEWORTH, MARIA.

Our or Drsr Out or DANGER. , ; . , 192

Tur Kwapsack : ' : ; ‘ P ' x . 230
“RSME,”

Teena) are CoN Tec Te ae ee en ae 20

FORCE, Mapemorsrnnr Dr La.
Farrer THAN A FAIRY. j ; , : , 7 . 477

GOATLEY, FE.
Tue Story or RAcHEL ; ' , , r . . 286



vi CONTENTS

HAWKEIS, Mrs. H. R.

THE Story or CHANTICLEER AND PERTILOTE

KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN, Ricizr Hoy. EF. Te

Lrecenp or St. Dprerret,
Syzrr’s Visto :
Tur Movusé TRAVELLER

LUXTON, Mrs.
How Barrara cot wer own Way
Tur Broken Sonprrr
Wryyy’s Brrripay

MACKARNESS, Mrs. HENRY,
Forarr Mr Nor
NELLY

MITFORD, MARY RUSSELL.
Dora CrEswenr.
Parry’s New Har.
THE Cutna Jvc

MYERS, L.
THE Farry ‘Wrst’

42
84

21

321
385
308

420
394

453
448
438



FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

Miss Nuvinnu AND Lucy Ropurts : ; ; ; ‘ ;
“(Q MIMA, YoU MUSTN'T? KILL THE Mousk, Pook LITTLE FELLOW ”
Tans Feature ARMY NOVERED ROUND THE ‘TRAVELLERS :
A Fountain WAS PLAYING IN THE CENTRE OF THE GARDEN.

MARcELLE HAD TAKEN A FacGor FROM THE Fire, AND CAST IT

AT HIM . 5 ; f : : ° : ; ; ;
RALPH LAYS HER GENTLY DOWN ON THE STRAW : : :
Ferepinc THE Ropins . . 3 x . ‘ . : :
WinLovcusy AND REUBEN UNDER THE PLAYGROUND TREE :
KATHARINE AND Many , : : E : : : :
Our Basy . y : i : : ite ; , i ;
DoLLY WAS PLAYING SOFTLY ON THE VIOLIN : : : :

Tus Proxcy took THe BRIDLE AND LED THN SPIRITED ANIMAL

“Cursep, Cursep WoMAN, YOU HAVE BROUGHT ME ‘TO THE
GALLows” —. : : : 3 3 : : ; :

“Wy pay! WHat WAvE we HERE? A Pursu, A Pursu”

ConkAD AND THE GNOME. 6 : 5 , , ; ;
ConrRAD ON THE Macic Horsi. , 5 : : i .

Tune GueTep ARTISTE WAS LED FORWARD BY THE HAPPY GERVASE
Hert sum Wad A Cock, CALLED CHANTICLEER . , : 5
SHH WOULD PULL OFF 1bR SHOES AND PappLE IN THE STREAM

Miss Barpara Loveror 1x THE StaBLy with Trorry Vuck .

NeELLY WAS BUSY WitH Broom AND PaIL . m - , :

SHE FETCHED THE WATER HERSELF IN THE CHINA JUG. ;

“Dame Catarina! I’m uure, Datsy’s Har is My Rusrinc-
PLACE”? , : : ; : : : z A ’

Vairunk THAN A Farry . 7 3 5 / , A , F

PAGE

290
294
317
331
396
445

463
477



EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

LADY GRESHAM’S FETE
A TALE OF THE DAY
By Grack AGUILAR

Ir was near the end of May, beautiful May, that month
of strange contrarieties in our lovely land. In the haunts
of Nature, robed with such gorgeous beauty, bringing such
a lavish garniture of tree and shrub and flowers; such
fresh and dewy mornings; such glorious sunsets; and
those soft sweet hours of twilight, so fraught with spiritual
musings ; and those lovely nights, when the mind loses
itself in the infinitude of thought, in the vain yearning to
grasp something beyond our present being, in itself -evi-
dence of Immortality ! In the city, in the proud metropolis,
seat of empire and wealth, fashion and beauty, luxury and
pleasure, crime and famine, misery and desolation, clothed
as May still is with her natural beauty, we know her not,
save as the “Season!” and in that word what a_ host
of thoughts spring up—enjoyment, luxury, fétes, balls,
dinners! These were once, and but a few years back, its
sole association ; but now a mighty spirit is abroad, and

over the festal halls a dim cloud is hovering, breathing of
B



2 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

oppression born in that very thoughtless joyance. Through
the gay music, the silvery laugh, the murmur of glad
voices—aye, through every tone that tells of luxurious
a thrilling cry is sounding! the voice of



pleasure only
suffering thousands, claiming brotherhood with Joy;
demanding a portion of that which a beneficent Father
ordained for ALL—rest, recreation, homes.

In the drawing-room of one of the smaller mansions of
the aristocratic west, a young lady was sitting near an
open window, inhaling the delicious scent of the beautiful
flowers, which filled the balcony in such profusion that,
shaded.in the background as they were by the magnificent
trees of the park, they looked as if the goddess May had
brought a gafden from her most sylvan haunts, to mark
her presence even there.

Lucy Neville, the sole inmate of this pleasant room, was
neither very young nor very beautiful, yet she had charms
enough to occasion some degree of wonderment that she
should have passed through four London seasons and
attained the venerable age of three-and-twenty, and was
Lucy Neville still. She had the advantage of mingling
with some of the most highly-gifted and most learned
patriots of the age; for her brother, Lord Valery, of
whose house she was sole mistress, was one of the most
influential men of his day. She went into society also
continually ; and, altogether, it was a constant marvel to
all those who had nothing to do but to ‘talk of their neigh-
bours, why she had never married. Lucy Neville might
not have had regular beauty, but she had something better
—she had mInp, and a heart so full of good and kindly
feeling that she was an exception to the general idea, that
we must know sorrow ourselves before we can feel for
others. She was, indeed, only just putting off mourning
for a young and darling brother ; but she had begun to
think years before that, and the six months of quietude



LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 3

had only deepened, not created, the principles on which she
acted.

“ Visitors so late! why, it is just six o’clock!” passed
through her mind, as a loud impetuous ring announced a
carriage ; and a party of young ladies, of ultra-fashionable
exterior, hurried into the drawing-room, all talking at once,
and of something so very delightful, that Miss Neville had
great difficulty in comprehending their meaning.

“Now, Lucy, don’t look so bewildered. You are quick
enough at comprehension sometimes, and I really want you
to understand me with a word now, for I am in a terrible
hurry. I ought to have come to you by eleven this
morning, but really this short invitation has given me so
many things to think about, I could not.”

“But what am I to understand, Charlotte?” replied
Miss Neville, laughing so good-humouredly, that it was
difficult to discover why those of her own age and standing
so often kept aloof from her, as having so little in common.
“ Laura—Mary—have pity on my obtuseness.”

“Why, Lady Gresham’s long-talked-of féte is fixed at
last ; and of course you will go. Your invitation was en-
closed in mamma’s last night. Absolutely her ladyship
condescends to entreat her to introduce you. I cannot
imagine the reason of this sudden empressement—she could
have visited you long ago, had she wished it.”

“She did wish it individually, I believe ; but an unfor-
tunate misunderstanding between her brother and mine
prevented it. Edward has long wished the estrangement
to cease, so I shall be very happy to meet her half-way,
and accept the invitation. When is it?”

“Next Monday.”

“Monday! Why, to-day is Friday! You must mean
Monday week.”

“Indeed I do not. How she will manage I cannot tell,
except that when people have more wealth than they know,



4 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

what to do with, they can do what they please. Her villa
at Richmond, too, is just the place for a /éte champétre ;
and the novel shortness of the invitation, and being the
day before a drawing-room, will crowd her rooms, depend
upon it. It is something unusually exciting, the very
bustle of the thing.”

“ But I thought it was not to be until oe

“Until Herbert Gresham returned. Nor will it. He
arrives to-morrow night, or some time on Sunday, quite



suddenly, not having been expected for several weeks yet.
What with his foreign honours, his promised baronetcy,
and last, not least, his distinguished appearance, he will
be sought and féted by all the money-loving mammas and.
husband-seeking daughters for the remainder of the
season.”

“The worst of its being a féte champétre is, that we must
have complete new dresses,” rejoined Laura, “And how
to coax papa for the necessary help, I know not; my last
quarter was all gone before I received it, and my debts
actually frighten me. But what is to be done? go I must.”

“And then the shortness of the notice!” continued
Mary ; “really Lady Gresham might have given us more
time. Who can decide what to wear, or even what colour,
in three days?”

“Come, Lucy, decide! But of course you will go!” ex-
claimed Charlotte, impatiently. ‘It will be your first ap-
pearance in public this season, and so you can have nothing
to think about in the way of expense. Nothing but the
trouble of seeing about a new dress.”

“Which will prevent my going; much as I might wish
it,” replied Miss Neville, very quietly, though the faint
tinge rising to her cheek, and the quiver of the lip, might
have betrayed some degree of internal emotion.

“Prevent your going! What can you possibly mean ?”’
exclaimed her guests together.



LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 5

“That as it is now six o’clock on Friday, and you tell
me Lady Gresham’s féte is three o’clock on Monday, I
have not sufficient time to procure all I want (for having
been so long in mourning, I have literally nothing that
will do), without breaking a resolution, and sacrificing a
principle, which I do not feel at all inclined to do.”

“ Sacrificing a principle! Lucy, you are perfectly ridi-
culous! What has principle to do with a /éte champétre ?
Your head is turned with the stupid cant of oppressing, and
the people, as if we had not annoyances, and vexations, and
pressure too, when we want more money than we happen
to have! And as for time, what is to prevent your sending
to Mrs. Smith to-night, (by the bye, how can you employ
an English artiste ?) and get all you want by ten o’clock on
Monday morning? Why, I cannot even give an order till
after the post comes in to-morrow. I must wait to know
what was worn at the Duchesse de Nemours’ /te champétre
the other day. One feels just out of the ark, in England.”

« And Lam sure I cannot decide what to wear till then,”
languidly remarked Mary.

“ And as for me, I am in a worse predicament than
either of you,” laughed Laura, but her laugh was not a gay
one. “Raise the wind I must, but it requires time to
think how.”

We. have no space to follow this conversation further.
Persuasions, reproaches, and taunts assailed Miss Neville on
all sides, but she did not waver. Charlotte left her in
high dudgeon ; Mary marvelled at her unfortunate delusion,
quite convinced that she was on the verge of insanity ; and
Laura wishing that she could be but as firm. Not that
she comprehended or allowed the necessity of the principle
on which she acted, but only as it would save her the
disagreeable task of thinking how to get the necessary
costume when both modiste and jeweller had refused to
trust her any more.



6 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

For nearly half-an-hour Lucy remained sitting where her
visitors had left her, her hands pressed on her eyes, and
her whole posture denoting a painful intensity of thought.
Herbert Gresham returning! His mother’s unexpected
and pressing invitation! Could it be that the bar between
the families was indeed so entirely removed, that she might
hope as she had never dared hope before? Sir Sydney’s
hatred to her brother, from some political opposition, had
been such, it was whispered at the time, that he had
obtained his nephew some honourable appointment abroad,
only because he feared that he not only loved Lucy, but
leaned towards Lord Valery’s political opinions. Four
years had passed since then, and Herbert Gresham was no
longer a cipher in another’s hands. He had formed his
own principles, marked out his own course; and Lucy
heard his name so often and so admiringly from her brother’s
lips, that the dream of her first season could not pass away,
strive against it as she might, for she knew not whether
she claimed more than a passing thought from him who
held her being so enchained. And now he was returning ;
and to the féte to welcome him she was invited, with such
an evident desire for her presence, that her heart bounded
beneath the thronging fancies that would come, seeming to
whisper it was at his instigation. And why could she not
‘go? Wasis not, indeed, a quixotic and uncalled-for sacrifice ?
‘How could the resolution of one feeble individual aid in
removing the heavy pressure of over-work from the thou-
sands of her fellow-creatures? There was time, full time,
for all she required, if she saw about it at once. It was but
adding an atom to the weight of oppression, which, whether
added or withheld, could be of no moment; and surely,
surely, for such a temptation there was enough excuse.
How would Herbert construe her absence, if, indeed, it was



at his wish the invitation came? Why might she not
“Lucy, seven o’clock and not ready for dinner! Why,



LADY GRESHAM’S FETE v

what are you so engrossed about?” exclaimed her brother,
half-jestingly, half-anxiously, the latter feeling prevailing,
as she hastily looked up. A few, a very few words, and he
understood it all.

« And yet I know, even under such circumstances, you
will not fail,” he said; and how powerful is the voice of
affectionate confidence in the dangerous moment of hesita-
tion between right and wrong! ‘ You may, indeed, be
but one where there needs the aid of hundreds; but if all
hold back because they are but one, how shall we gain the
necessary muster? To check this thoughtless waste of
human life, this (in many) unconscious crushing of all
that makes existence, is woMAN’s work. Man may legislate,
may theorize, but he looks to his female relatives for its
practical fulfilment. \ Dearest, do you choose the right, and
trust me, useless as the sacrifice now seems, you will yet
thank God that it was made.”

Lady Gresham’s féte was brilliant, recherché—crowded as
anticipated. The weather was lovely, the gardens magnifi-
cent, the arrangements in the best taste that an ultra-
fashionist of some thirty years’ experience could devise.
Youth, beauty, rank, wealth, all were there, and the female
portion set off to the best advantage by an elegance of
costume and an extreme carefulness of attire, without which
all knew an entrance into Lady Gresham’s select coterie
could never be obtained. A despot in the empire of dress
and appearance, she little knew, and still less cared, for all
the petty miseries (alas, that such a word should be spoken
in the same breath with dress!) which her invitations
usually excited. The resolve to outvie—the utter careless-
ness of expenditure while the excitement lasted—the
depression, almost despair, at the accumulated debts which
followed—the rivalry of a first fashion—the petty man-
wuvres not to give a hint of the intended costume, and the



8 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

equally petty manceuvres to discover it—the mortification
when, after all the lavish expense; all the mysteries, others
appeared more fashionable, more recherché—the disgust
with which, in consequence, the previously considered
perfect dress was henceforth regarded—these, and a
hundred other similar emotions had been, during the
“season,” called forth again and again; and in beings
destined for immortality! was it marvel they had no
thought for other than themselves ?

That this féte was in commemoration of Herbert Gres-
ham’s return, and that he was present, the hero of the day,
not a little increased its excitement and importance. But
he moved amongst his mother’s guests with native and
winning courtesy indeed, but as if his mind were engrossed
with other and deeper things. In the four years of his
absence many changes, powerful in themselves, but still
only invisibly working, had taken place in the political
aspect of his country. By means of private correspondence
with the most influential men of the day, and through the
public journals, he had felt the deepest interest in these
changes ; and from the very fact of his looking on from a
distance, and not mingling with the contending waves of
party, he had formed clearer views concerning them than
many on the spot. He had returned, determined to devote
the whole energies of his powerful mind to removing
invisible oppression, so lessening labow: that minp might
resume her supremacy, and create for every position its
own immortal joys. He was no leveller of ranks; no
believer in that vain dream, equality. He had travelled
and thought much, and felt to his heart’s core the superi-
ority of England as a nation, both for constitution and
morality ; but this conviction, instead of blinding him to
her faults, quickened his perceptions, not only regarding
the evils, but their causes, and increased the intensity of
his desire to remove them.



LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 9

It was not, however, only the habitude of thought which,
on this occasion, had given him a look of abstraction. He
was disappointed. His mother had told him that, in com-
pliance with his desire, all foolish coolness between his
family and that of Lord Valery should cease—she had con-
descended to make advances to Miss Neville, which were
coldly rejected. She did not tell him that these advances
had been merely an invitation to her féte (of whose sudden
arrangement Herbert was himself unconscious), and did
not know herself, and certainly would never have imagined
the real reason of Lucy’s refusal. Before the day closed,
however, her son was destined to be enlightened.

He was standing near a group of very gay young ladies
and gentlemen, conversing at first on grave topics with a
friend, when his quick ear was irresistibly attracted by
the mention of Miss Neville’s name, coupled with much
satirical laughter.

“She will become a second Mrs. Fry, depend upon it,”
was the observation of one. “I should not be at all sur-
prised that at last we shall find her making pilgrimages
through the streets of London, to see if all the shops are
closed at a certain hour, and the released apprentices
properly employed.» She should set up an evening school
for drapers’ assistants and milliners’ apprentices. Why
don’t you propose it to her, Miss Balfour?”

Charlotte, whose superb Parisian costume gave her the
triumph of being almost universally envied, laughed, and
declared it was too much trouble.

“You stand in rather too much awe of both her and
Lord Valery,” was her brother’s rejoinder. “It is a pity,
though, that Miss Neville has imbibed such owtré notions,
otherwise she would be a nice girl enough.”

“And did she really refuse to come only because the
notice was too short for her to get a proper costume with-
as the cant of the day has it—



out injuring or oppressing



10 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

the poor milliners? How perfectly ridiculous! I am sure
the artistes who come for our orders are in the finest
condition both as to health and wealth.”

“And the shopmen—they are sleek, gay, care-nothing-
looking fellows. As for their needing greater rest, more
recreation, opportunities to cultivate the mind, one hag
only to look at them to feel the pure romance of the thing.
‘What are some people born for but to work ?”

« And just imagine how dull London would be if all the
shops were closed by seven or eight o’clock! I should lose
half my enjoyment in walking to my club.”

“T should like to know what good Miss Neville and her
party of philanthropists think they will accomplish by
giving so much liberty and leisure. We shall have to
build double the number of taverns, for such will be their
only resort. What can such people know of intellectual
amusement !”

“And if they did, what do they want with it? We
should have a cessation of all labour, and then what is to
become of us, or the country either ?”’

“Tt is pure folly. Some people must have a hobby to
make a noise about; and so now nothing is heard but
oppression, internal slavery, broken-hearted milliners’ ap-
prentices, and maimed drapers’ assistants! Really, for so
much eloquence, it is a pity they do not choose a higher
subject !”

“And I wish the present subject may never drop till the
work is done,” interposed Herbert Gresham, joining the
conversation with a suddenness, and speaking with such
startling eloquence, that it caused a general retreat of
individual opinion. He would have been amused had he
felt less interested, to see the effect on both sexes of his
unexpected interference. He spoke very briefly, for he
was too disgusted with the littleness, the selfishness, of all
the had heard to attempt anything like argument. And







Il.

P:

nd Lucy Roberts.

Miss Neville ar

WSs \











LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 11

the effort to excuse former sentiments—to dare say he was
right, but they had not reflected much about it—thought it
a pity to alter things which had been going on so long—
could not understand, even granting there was a good deal
of misery, how could it be helped, but if Herbert Gresham
thought it might be, no doubt there was more in it than
they believed, and very many other similar speeches, only
excited his contempt.

We must change the scene, for our space will not allow
us more than a slight sketch: a momentary glance, as it
were, on things passing daily, hourly around, and yet seen,
known of, by how few! Four or five days after Lady
Gresham’s féte, Miss Neville might have been seen entering
one of those small, close, back streets, found even in the
aristocratic west, and whose dilapidated dwellings present
almost as great a contrast with the proud mansions which
surround and conceal them as the inhabitants themselves.

It was a poor old needlewoman whom Lucy was visiting,
and, surprised at finding her usual sitting-room empty, and
fearing she was ill—for there was no sign of work about,
and Mrs, Miller was infirm and ailing—she gently entered
her sleeping apartment. The rough bed was occupied in-
deed, but not by its usual inmate, who was sitting by its side,
tears rolling down her withered cheeks, and her attention
so fixed that she did not perceive Miss Neville’s entrance.
She was watching the painful, restless movements of a girl,
who, in a high state of delirium and fever, was lying on
the pallet ; she was very young, and had been beautiful,
but suffering had scarcely left any trace but its own.
Earnestly and pityingly, Lucy entered into the sad, but
only too common tale her inquiries elicited ; but the old
woman’s narration being garrulous and unfinished, we will
give it in our own words.

Fanny Roberts and Harry Merton, born and nurtured in



12 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

the same village, had been playmates, school-fellows, friends,
and at last lovers—not only faithful and affectionate, but
prudent and thoughtful. The parents of both were poor,
even in their humble village, but the wishes and interests
of their children were their first object, and to see them
somewhat higher in the world than themselves their sole
ambition. To set up an establishment in the neighbouring
town, combining linen-draper, dressmaker, and milliner, had
been their day-dream from the time they had conned their
school lessons and taken long walks together, instead of
joining their playmates on the green; and to fulfil this
earnest wish, their parents, by many sacrifices, which,
measured by their love, seemed absolutely nothing,
gathered together sufficient to send them to London, and
apprentice them there. Harry was then nineteen and
Fanny two years younger. Hope was bright for both.
Their only drawback seemed the impossibility of meeting
more than once a week ; and six days of entire separation
was a weary interval to those accustomed to exchange
affection’s kindly words and looks each day. Only too
soon, however, did the oppressive reality of the present
absorb the rosy hues of the future. On the daily routine
of unmitigated work, the exhausting labour, the deadened
energies, the absorption of every faculty in the depressing
weariness, we need not touch. It was no distaste for work,
for both had set to their respective duties with hearts
burning to conquer every difficulty—to do even more than
was required of them, the sooner to gain the longed-for
goal; and had it not been for the fearful burden of over-
work, the absence of sufficient rest, of all wholesome recre-
ation, how brightly and nobly might these young loving
beings have walked the path of life, by mutual exertion
creating a HOME, and all the joys which, in England, that
one word speaks! Alas! ere eighteen months elapsed,
every thought of buoyancy and joy seemed strangely to



LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 13

have deserted Fanny. She could not tell why, for outward
things seemed exactly the same as they had been at first.
Harry was still faithful, still fond. Her heart intuitively
felt that he was altered. Why, she would often ask
herself, could she no longer feel happy? Why should
every thought of her own dear home cause such a sickly
longing for fresh air and green fields, that the hysteric sob
would often rise choking in her throat? and, more than
once, nothing but a timely burst of incomprehensible tears
had saved her from fainting as she sat. She could not
satisfy herself ; but in reality it was the silent workings of
insidious disease, seeming mental, because impossible to be
traced as physical, save by the constant sensation of
weariness, which she attributed merely to sitting so long in
close and crowded rooms; but though happiness seemed
gone, she retained the power of endurance : woman can and
will endure, but, in nine cases out of ten, men cannot. In
the one, suffering often purifies; in the other, it but too
often deteriorates.

Harry Merton had entered on his work joyfully and
buoyantly, determined to make the best of everything, and
be good friends with everybody. Naturally lively, with
the power of very quick acquirement, and a restless
activity of mind as well as body, a very few months’ trial
convinced him that if he had not entirely mistaken his
vocation, he certainly must do something to make it more
endurable. He had heard of institutions for the people in
London, of amusements open even to the most economical ;
he had pictured enjoying them with his Fanny, and
gaining improvement likewise. He found it all a dream.
There were, indeed, such things, but not for him or her.
The hour of his release found not only every wholesome
amusement closed, but himself so weary, that mental
recreation was impossible, and yet with the yearning for
some pleasure, some relief from wearisome work, so natural



14 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

in youth, stronger than ever. His convivial, unsuspecting
disposition led him to join the most seemingly attractive,
but in reality the most dangerous, of his companions.
The consequences need scarcely be narrated. He became
intemperate, gay, reckless, looking back on the pure, fresh
feelings of his early youth with wonder, and retaining but
one of their memories, his love for Fanny ; but even that
was no longer the glad, hopeful feeling which it had been,
He was constantly told, and he saw, that it must be years
before they could marry. He was laughed at for imagining
that either he or she would retain their early feelings. He
heard her beauty admired, and then pitied as a most
dangerous gift, which must eventually and most fearfully
separate her from him; and the most furious but most
unfounded jealousy took possession of him, and so darkened
every hour of meeting, that poor Fanny at length antici-
pated them with more dread than pleasure. It was long,
indeed nearly three years, before things came to such a
crisis; but the gradual conviction of the deterioration of
her lover’s character was to Fanny the heaviest suffering
of all: that she still loved him, surely we need not say.
She saw the circumstances of this miserable change, not the
change itself. Her woman’s heart clung to him the more,
from the very anxiety he inspired. So intensely did she
mourn for his long, wearisome hours of joyless toil, that
she scarcely felt her own ; though, when he was released at
ten or eleven, she was often working unceasingly till two
in the morning. The choking cough, the shortened breath,
the aching spine, she scarcely felt, in the one absorbing
thought of him. .

‘Whenever she could be spared, which in the “season ”
was very seldom, it was Fanny’s custom to go to Mrs.
Miller (her only friend in London) Saturday night and
remain till Sunday evening. Two or three days before the
invitations were out for Lady Gresham’s féte, a note was

.



LADY GRESHAM’S FRTE 15

given to her from Harry, the perusal of which occasioned
deeper suffering than anything she had yet endured. Snatch-
ing half-an-hour from the scanty time allowed for sleep, the
following was her reply :—

“Harry ! Harry! this from you! when you so fondly
promised you would never doubt me more! Yes, he did
seek me that Saturday night, or rather Sunday morning,
for it was one o’clock ; and I would not have gone there, had
you not made me promise that I would not disappoint you,
and that you would take me home. Why were you not
there? Why did you leave me to the chance of such a
meeting? And then upbraid me with putting myself in that
bad man’s way! Oh, Harry! Harry! by the memories of
our early home, our early love, spare me such unjust sus-
picion! You tell me writing will not satisfy you, you
must see me, hear from my own lips my version of this
cruel and most false tale. How can I see you till Saturday
night, the earliest, if then? Sunday, if I can only crawl
to Mrs. Miller’s, indeed I will come, pain as it is now to
move. Only trust me till then, dearest, dearest Harry.
Do not add to your burden and mine by thoughts like these.
You know that I am innocent ; that I never have loved,
never can love, any one but you.”

The Sunday came, but Fanny was unable to keep her
engagement. Madame Malin was so overwhelmed with
orders for Lady Gresham’s féte, that even the Sabbath-day
was compelled to be sacrificed. The peculiar trimmings
which it was absolutely necessary for Miss Balfour to have
to complete the Parisian costume (the details of which
never arrived till eleven o’clock, Saturday, and then all the
materials had to be purchased) were Fanny’s work ; and,
from her delicate taste, she, of all the assistants, could the
least be spared. In fact, extra hands were hired ; for to
complete twenty or thirty full dresses from the noon of
Saturday to ten o’clock Monday, in addition to those



16 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

already in hand for the drawing-room the following day,
was an unusual undertaking, even for the indefatigable
Madame Malin. Hour after hour those poor girls worked,
—through Saturday night, the yearned-for Sabbath, again
late into the night, till many fainted on their seats, and
the miserable toil was continued in a recumbent posture
by those unable to sit upright. A dead weight was on
poor Fanny’s heart, a foreboding misery ; but the sufferings
of the frame were such as almost to deaden the agony of
mind. ‘The hour of release came at length, inasmuch that,
ill as she was, she craved permission to take home some of
the dresses, that she might call at Mrs. Miller’s on her
way back, and learn some news of Harry, and beseech her
old friend to seek him, and tell him the reason of her
forced absence. Exhausted and most wretched as she was,
she had to wait till the dresses were tried on—the capricious
humour of the young ladies proved, by altering, realtering,
and final arrangement as they were originally—to bear
with petty fault-finding—until her whole frame seemed
one mass of nerve; and so detained, that she only entered
the street leading to her old friend’s abode, as the carriages
whirled off their elegantly-attired inmates to Lady Gresham’s
fete.

What a tale awaited her! Harry, restless, miserable,—
almost maddened by the false reports against her,—and
from the great pressure of business in his master’s shop,
from the innumerable visits of modistes’ assistants to pro-
cure the necessary materials so needed for the costumes of
Mrs. Gresham’s féte, not released till past one o’clock
Sunday morning, had perambulated the streets all night, in
the vain hope of meeting Fanny, encountering one of his
jovial companions, who, half intoxicated, swore he had
seen her entering a coach with—Merton knew whom—and
when collared and shaken by the infuriated lover till he
recovered his more sober senses, declared he could not tell



LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 17

exactly, but he thought it was her: at all events, Harry
would know to-morrow, if she had gone as usual to Mrs.
Millev’s.

There she was not. Never before had six o’clock on
Sunday evening come without her presence; and really
anxious, Mrs. Miller (though not believing a syllable
against her) conjured the unhappy young man to call
himself at Madame Malin’s, and inquire if she were ill or
detained. He did so. The well-instructed lacquey declared
the family were all at evening service, and if the appren-
tices were not with their friends, he supposed they were
there also ; he knew nothing about thém ; but he was quite
sure his mistress never permitted them-to work on
Sundays. Harry was in no state coolly to consider his words.
He rushed back like a madman to Mrs. Miller, uttered a
few incoherent sentences, and darted away before she had
time or thought even to reply. That very evening he
enlisted, and the Monday found him marching to South-
ampton with other troops about to embark for India. A
few lines to Mrs. Miller told her this, and accompanied a
parcel directed to Fanny, in case she should ever see or
hear of her again. The poor girl had just strength to tear
it open, to discover all her letters and formerly treasured
gifts, even to some withered flowers, returned,.with a few
words of stinging reproach, bidding her farewell for ever, ©
and dropped lifeless at the old woman's feet. One or two
intervals of coherency enabled her, by a few broken
phrases, to explain the reason of her absence 3 but brain-
fever followed, and even when Miss Neville saw her, all
hope was over. Vain was the skill of the gifted and bene-
volent physician Lucy called in. Disease had been too long
and too deeply rooted for resistance to a shock which, in its
agony, would have prostrated even a healthy constitution. A
few, a very few days of intense suffering, and the crushed

heart ceased to beat, the blighted frame to feel, and misery
c



18 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

for her was over. But for poor Harry—for the parents of
both—what might comfort them? We have seen the dete-
rioration of Harry’s character. _There were many to mark
and condemn the fwults, but none to perceive their cause.
And when he absconded from his apprenticeship, it did but
bring conviction as to his determined depravity. Who
may tell the agony of those two humble English homes,
when the post brought the miserable news of death to the
one, and of sin and utter separation to the other? They
had not even the poor comfort of knowing the cause of
their son’s change; their own bold, free, happy, loving
Harry,—how could Itis parents associate him with sin 1—or
Fanny, the healthy, rosy, graceful Fanny, with suffering
and death? And what caused these fearful evils, amongst
which our tale is but one amongst ten thousand? Lucy
Neville buried her face in her hands as she sat by the lowly
pallet, where lay the faded form whence life had only half-
an-hour before departed, and thanked God that the tempt-
ation had been indeed resisted, and that she had not made
one at Lady Gresham’s féte. It had not, indeed, been the
primary, or even the secondary cause. It did but strike
the last blow and shiver to atoms the last lingering dream
of hope and joy which, despite of oppression, misery,
despair, will rest invisibly in the youthful heart, till driven
thence by death.

“Tucy!” exclaimed Lord Valery that same day, stop-
ping the carriage unexpectedly as it was about to drive off
from that part of St. James’s where it usually waited for
her (she shrunk from ’the notice which a nobleman’s
carriage, seen in such localities as Mrs. Miller’s, would

‘inevitably produce),—“ Lucy, an old friend wishes to recall
himself to your memory ; will you give him a seat in your
carriage, and take me on the box? We both pine for
fresh air, and a drive in the Park will revive us for dinner,



LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 19

which, whether he will or no, I intend this gentleman to
partake.”

The words were the lightest, but the tone which spoke
them betrayed the truth at once. It was Herbert Gresham
by his side. Herbert Gresham, whose earnest eyes were
fixed on hers, with an expression in their dark depths
needing no words to tell her that his early dream, even as
her own, was unchanged—-that the first action of his now
unshackled will was to seek her, requiring no renewal of
acquaintance, again to love and trust her. And though
the suddenness of the meeting, the rapid transition
from sorrowing sympathy to individual joy, did so flush
and pale her cheek, that her brother looked at her
with some alarm, there was neither hesitation nor idle
reserve. Her hand was extended at once, and the pressure
which clasped it was suflicient response. Whether they
continued so silent, when Herbert did spring into the
carriage, and took his seat by her sidc, indeed we know
not. Certain it is that, had it not been for Lord Valery,
the footman might have waited long enough for orders to
drive “home ;” and equally certain that no day had ever
seemed so short to Lucy,—short in its fullness of present
enjoyment ; in its retrospect, could it have been but one
brief day ?

“And that poor girl is really gone?” inquired Lord
Valery, just as Herbert Gresham was about taking his
departure, most reluctantly warned to do so by a neigh-
bouring clock striking midnight. “ Another victim to
that hateful system, desecrating our lovely and most noble
land !”

“Dear Edward, hush!” interposed Lucy, gently, as her
eye rested on her lover.

“Do not check him, dearest, though I prize that fond
thought for me. I know the whole tale—that the ftte
welcoming my return, by misdirected zeal and thoughtless



20 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

folly, has added incalculably to the general burden, and
to individuals brought death and a life-long despair. The
past, alas! we cannot remedy—the future > and his
arm was fondly thrown round Lucy, and his lip pressed
her brow—“ dearest, let us hope next season there will be
another Lady Gresham’s Féte fraught with happiness for
all.”





THE MOUSE TRAVELLER

By tne Ricut Hon. BE. H. Kxyarcurvuni-HucEssex

(Lorp BrabourNE)

Din you ever lie awake listening to a mouse? It is
not a particularly agreeable occupation, and can hardly be
called an amusement, but sometimes one has to do it.
There are two sorts of mice, I think, which inhabit houses,
or else a mouse’s disposition, like that of a human being,
changes at different times and seasons. However that
may be, the noises which mice make are very different at
different times. There is your nibbling mouse, who keeps
on biting and tearing away at some piece of paper or
plaster in the wall to which he has apparently taken a
fancy, and which seems to afford him considerable pleasure
and occupation. Sometimes he moves on quietly and
stealthily, and if your fire is still alight, and happens to
be blazing a little, you may even see his small sharp-nosed
head and bright black eyes peeping out of the little hole
from which he sallies forth into that which is the outer
world to him. Then there is your noisy, blustering,
rampaging mouse, who is for ever running up and down
behind the wainscot, making such a prodigious row, that
you declare to yourself, over and over again, that it must
be a rat, and wish him a thousand miles off from the
bottom of your heart.

This kind of mouse is a rackety, unpleasant neighbour,

21



22, EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

who makes you feel hostile to mice generally, and inspires
you with a sudden and earnest affection for cats, mouse-
traps, and toasted cheese. The other mouse excites no
such violent animosity towards himself or his race. If you
rap the wall, he frequently ceases his noise and troubles
you no more, and it is possible to become quite accustomed
to his ways, and at last even to consider him as a companion
and friend. Such a mouse it is who will be the hero of
my present tale, and a highly respectable mouse he was.
Do not think the worse of him because he lived in London.
Very good people, as well ‘as very bad ones, live there, all
the year round, generally because they have nowhere else
to live. And although we have all read of the simple,
honest, country mouse, who, after a short stay in town,
was frightened at the first danger he met, and went back
declaring that he liked his dry country crust, eaten in
safety, better than all the town delicacies which were
obtained with so much risk, yet, if the truth were known,
there are mice in London just as simple and honest as
those in the country, and just as contented with a bit of
bread and cheese as their neighbours, At any rate, the
mouse of whom I am going to tell you was as worthy a
little fellow as ever entered a wainscot. He lived in a
house which was situated in one of the most fashionable
parts of London, but I will not tell you the name of the
street, for fear the mouse newspapers might get hold of it,
and find fault with the poor little fellow for having told
me his story, since mice are not permitted to speak to
people if they can possibly avoid it, but are ordered by the
laws of mousedom to run away as fast as they can if a
man, woman, or child, comes towards them or speaks to
them. So it would clearly be wrong if I was to expose my
little friend to unpleasant consequences by telling his
name or that of the street in which he lived. It is enough
for you to know as much as I have already told you, and



THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 23

T must beg that none of you will try to find out any more.
This little mouse was of a contented disposition: he kept
quietly behind the wainscot all the day, only treating him-
self to an occasional peep into any of the rooms which
appeared to be unusually quiet. Then, as night came on,
he was in the habit of creeping out of the hole in the
corner of the room, and foraging about for provisions. A
few crumbs of bread from the dining-room floor contented
him ; a bit of hard biscuit gave him great pleasure, and a
morsel of cheese delighted him beyond all bounds. So you
see our town mouse was not so very dainty, nor was he
accustomed to live upon delicacies, and consume the fat of
the land. One day he had crept out rather earlier than
was his usual custom; and as he was watching the dining-
room table with hungry eyes, his attention was drawn to
the conversation of two gentlemen who were sitting over
their wine and cracking their jokes and their walnuts
together, They were telling each other of the curious
things which they had seen in foreign countries, of the
difference of the people who inhabited them, their various
languages, those of their habits and customs which seemed
strange to visitors from other lands, and, in short, of the
many remarkable lessons which might be learnt by people
who travelled abroad.

Then one of the gentlemen began to say how odd it was
that so many persons went abroad to see strange sights
and scenes, and never visited half the beautiful places in
their own country, or discovered the curiosities and amusing
things which were very often close to them when they were
at home.

The mouse was much struck by this remark, with which
the other gentleman appeared perfectly to agree. So when
the dessert was over, and the dining-room was left empty,
although the little mouse crept out and enjoyed himself
mightily with the scraps which he found on the floor,



24 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

somehow or other he found it impossible to get the con-
versation which he had heard out of his head.

“Here am I,” thought he to himself, ‘one of those
very stay-at-home folks of whom the gentlemen were
talking. I cannot go to those foreign countries of which
I heard them speak, but there must be many strange sights
within my reach which I have never seen, or even taken
the trouble to look after. I really feel that I am doing
myself an injustice by refusing to make use of the oppor-
tunities before me, and I must seriously consider the
matter.”

So thought and so talked the mouse for several days,
until at last he quite made up his mind to take a voyage
of discovery, and to see all that was to be seen in the
neighbourhood of the house in which his lot had been cast.

Accordingly, the very next evening he set to work ; and
creeping up the curtain, and out on to the window-sill, he
found that, by passing along the gutter at the edge of the
roof, he could easily find his way into the next house, and,
indeed, could traverse the whole street if he pleased in the
same manner.

Into the next house he crept, under the eaves ; and after
creeping and crawling as only mice and courtiers know
how to creep and crawl, he found himself in a strange
wainscot, along which he travelled until he came upon a
little hole in the corner, from which he peeped out into a
room that was quite new to him. It was evidently the
nursery, for there upon the floor sat three little girls and
a little boy playing with some dolls, whom they were
making believe to be real people, and talking to them and
answering for them as gravely and seriously as possible.

“ Now, Gertrude,” said the eldest little girl to one of
her sisters, “you and Mary shall put your dolls to bed,
and Johnny and I will make our dolls the nurses, and rub
their feet and tuck them in quite snugly.”



THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 25

“Yes, Emily dear,” said the other, “that will be very
nice ; and then one of them shall have a cold, and Mary
shall be the nursery-maid, and bring her some bran tea.”

« With lemon and lots of honey in it,” said Mary.

“Yes,” said Emily; “and then she must have her bed
warmed, you know, and I will be the mamma, and come
in the last thing to see that the little ones are all safe in
bed.”

So they began to undress the dolls, and talk to them all
the time, as if they were real children. One they called
Julia—she was a large wax doll with very red cheeks and
very black eyes; another was Lucy Jane—she was also
a wax doll, but not quite so large as Julia, and with flaxen
hair; then there was Amelia, who was still smaller, but
very smartly dressed in white with a crimson sash and
crimson bows on her shoulders; and there were several
other dolls whose names I do not happen to remember just
at this moment, but I dare say you can guess them, and
if not, invent others for them which will do quite as well.

The children went on undressing the dolls very carefully,
and making every arrangement for putting them snugly to
bed. Gertrude got a basin, and Mary fetched a jug, which
she said was for the hot water. Then Emily took a little
make-believe warming-pan, and pretended to warm the
bed, and all this time the children were as happy as possible
—no unkind word ever passed between them, but they
seemed to be all fond of each other, and to be enjoying
their play together as contentedly and merrily as little
brothers and sisters ought always to do, if they want to
be happy whilst they are children, and in after years to
have nothing but sweet, cheerful, happy thoughts to cast
back upon the days of the early childhood which they have
left behind.

The mouse thought it was very pleasant to see this
loving little family at play, and he would have liked well



26 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

enough to have joined them, or at least to have stayed
‘a little longer and listened to them as they prattled away
so merrily. But as he cast his bright black eyes round
the room, he espied a large tortoise-shell cat, fast asleep
upon the hearth-rug in front of the fire-place, and at this
terrible sight he shivered all over, crept back into the
wainscot, and continued his travels. As he passed into
the next house, loud and angry voices met his ears,

“ Give me that doll, I say! give it me quick !”

“No, I sha’n’t; it’s mine, and I won’t let you have
it!”

Such were the words which met his ears, and the little
mouse peeped through a hole in the wall with great curiosity
and amazement. Two little girls were quarrelling about a
doll, which one held in her hands, and which the other
wanted, whilst their baby brother was seated on the floor,
staring at them in silent astonishment. Their little eyes
flashed with rage, and they looked quite ugly in their
passion, as children always do look, and other people too,
when they let their evil tempers get the better of them.

The mouse only stayed here for a moment, for no sensible
creature, mouse or man, likes quarrelsome children ; and
our little friend crept slowly away, thinking to himself
how odd it was that big creatures like boys and girls, who
have so much to be thankful for and to make them happy,
should be so foolish as to fly into passions, and be cross,
and quarrel with each other for really nothing at all. “T
am glad,” thought he to himself, “that this is not the
custom with us mice; and if it is so with many children,
T really think that it is much better to be a mouse than a
child.”

Then he pursued his journey to the next house, and
crept into a room where all was very still and quiet, so
still and so quiet that he came out of the wainscot and on
to the soft carpet of the room. The blinds were drawn



THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 27

down, and there was but little light from the windows, but
the rays of the moon crept in just sufficiently to shed a soft
tender light into the room, by which the visitor could per-
ceive a child’s cot, placed near to a larger bed. There, in
the cot, lay a little child whose spirit the good God had
taken to Himself, so that it was only the body which lay
there, cold and dead. The little eyes were closed to the
sights of this world ; the small ears would no more hear
the loving voices to which they had so often listened with
childish interest and pleasure; the baby hands were cold
and stiff as wax, and there was only the casket which had
held the jewel which the Father had taken to His own
home in heaven. And as the little mouse softly advanced
over the floor, he saw a lady dressed all in white with dark
hair falling over her shoulders, and large eyes that were
red with crying, come gently into the room and sit down
upon the large bed and gaze earnestly upon the dead child. |
And her tears flowed again as she looked upon the little
face which she had loved so well, and upon which never
more for her might beam the light of life, never more be
seen the sweet smile of trusting love, never more the
tender, touching glance of confidence and safety which
twines the little ones round the hearts of those to whom
God has given them.

“Oh, my baby, my baby!” sobbed the poor mother,
“it is so hard to lose you, it is so hard to think of what
you were to me, and what I am without you ; your pretty
playful ways, your loving little heart. Oh, when shall I
forget you, and how can I bear this sorrow?” And the
poor mother wept again, and she kissed the pale, cold face,
and then again she spoke and said, “But I know that you
are happy, my angel child. The good God who gaye you
to me has taken you back to Himself according to His own
will and for His own good purpose, and He will give me
strength to bear your loss, for only He can do so.” And



28 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

still the poor mother wept, but softly and silently, and
the little mouse was sad to see her sorrow. And as slowly
and quietly he returned to the hole from which he had
come out into the room, he thought in his heart that if
even men and women had so much unhappiness to go
through, he must not complain if to him and his fellow-
mice the ways of the world were not always easy and
comfortable.

On he went, with soft and stealthy tread, into the
next house, and he peeped in upon a scene of a different
character.

There was a mother, too, but she was not in sorrow.
She was sitting up in her bed, and a sweet smile was upon
her face, as her young children sat around her, some on
the bed, and some in little chairs close to it, whilst she
gave them their early reading of the Holy Book. She
spoke to them of the great and good God who had made
and who preserved them; she told them of the Saviour,
who was once a child like themselves, upon His blessed
mother’s knee, who bade His apostles to “suffer little
children to come unto Him,” and who loves them still, and
will love them to the end of time. And the dear little
eyes looked up with quiet solemn interest into the mother’s
loving face, and the little ears drank in’ eagerly every word
she spoke, and the little hearts received the good seed
which the earthly parent sowed, in humble hope that the
Heavenly blessing would water it and keep it alive in
those hearts, to the children’s eternal happiness.

And the mouse looked and listened; and though he
could not understand all that he heard, yet he knew that
it was something which it was well for the children to
hear, and that to hear and know it was one of those
privileges which raised human beings above creatures of
his own kind. And he wondered what it could all mean,
and wished he could know and understand it all; and



THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 29

because he could not do so, he felt sad and sorrowful as he
passed along to the next house and into another room.

Here was something altogether different from anything
which he had seen before. A large table was set in the
middle of the room, on which were lots of cups and saucers,
plates of bread-and-butter, and slices—large slices, too—
of cake, and a number of children all sitting round just
ready to begin. The mouse opened his eyes wide at the
sight, and felt as if he should like to be going to begin
too, for he was rather hungry, and the food looked un-
commonly good. It was a children’s feast, that was plain
enough ; and, to tell the truth, it was a birthday feast, and
one little girl sat at the head of the table with a crown of
flowers on her head, to show that she was the queen of the
feast, for it was her birthday which the other children had
met to celebrate.

Happy faces were there to be seen, and cheerful voices
to be heard, and the mouse cast a wistful glance upon all
the good things which the little ones now began to devour.
Oh, it was a pleasant party, indeed, and the sound of the
children’s merry laughter made the mouse wish more than
ever that he was a child instead of a mouse. As this,
however, was impossible, he had nothing for it but to
make the best of matters as they were, and accordingly
determined to watch his opportunity and try to get some
small share of the feast which the young ones seemed to be
enjoying so much. There was little chance for him for
some time, for there were several maids hurrying and
bustling about, and handing the tea and cake and bread-and-
butter to the children; and even if they had not seen the
mouse, they might possibly have stamped upon him by
accident, which would have been remarkably unpleasant.
So he waited on and on, and presently the maids had
finished moving about, and the children had done eating,
and they got up from the table, after they had said their



30 EVERY GILRL’S STORIES

grace, and some one proposed that they should have a
good game of play, and so they all began to get ready for
it. Then the little mouse peeped out again, and put his
head and half his body out of the hole; and then, as he
saw that everybody was thinking of their own business
and not minding him (which was very natural, inasmuch
as none of them had seen him), he came quite out, and sat
still upon the carpet By this time the children had all
sat down in a circle, and began to play at “Hunt the
slipper,” which took all their attention away from every-
thing else; and what was more, the maids, instead of
taking away the tea-things, which they had just been about
to do, stood watching the game, and chatting and laughing
as they did so. Therefore the table was left just as it was,
and as all the people, big and little, were at the side of it
furthest from the mouse, he thought he might as well
steal out and try to get his share of the good things. 5o,
very softly and slyly he crept over the carpet till he
reached the table, and seeing a crumb of bread, commenced
his dinner with that, and ate it up ina moment. Then,
casting his eyes forward, he saw, a little in front of him,
a nice little bit of plum-cake, which one of the childyven
had dropped. He lost no time in approaching this, and
found it so sweet and good, that he began to nibble away
as happily as possible, and thought of nothing else than
the meal which he really wanted so much. Nibble, nibble,
nibble went the little mouse, enjoying himself quite as
much as the children had done, and in a very little while
he would have finished the cake as he had done the bread.
But, as ill luck would have it, before he had got above
half through it, one of the maids turned away from the
rest, and, coming back towards the table, prepared to take
away some of the tea-cups. As she came up, she happened
to cast her eyes under the table and caught sight of our
little friend at his feast. She screamed out directly,—“ A



THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 3l

mouse, a mouse—ah! ah!” and seemed as if she was
actually frightened at the sight, which was very foolish as
well as unnecessary, for the little mouse had a great deal
more reason to be frightened than she had, as she perfectly
well knew, if she had given the matter a moment’s thought.
However, she screamed out aloud, as I have already told
you, and all the children jumped up directly and came
running round, and the other maids came too, all in as
much fuss and trouble as if it had been an alligator, or a
camel-leopard, or a griffin, or a boa-constrictor, or a Red
Indian, instead of a harmless, trembling little animal that
could hurt nobody, and was frightened out of his wits at
their noise and outcry. So frightened, indeed, was the
mouse that he quite forgot the way back to the hole from
which he had come; and instead of running into it as fast
as he could—which no doubt he would have done if he had
remembered it—he darted up to the other end of the table
at the top of his speed, and scurried along the wall, vainly
searching for some hole in which to hide himself.

Meanwhile the maids and the children all kept saying
first one thing and then another, as fast and as loud as
they could speak, and such a noise as they made you never
heard. “ Where’s the cat?” said one of the maids.
“ Where’s the mouse?” said another. ‘Oh, do catch the
mouse for us!” said one child. ‘Oh, yes,” said another,
“let us catch it quick before it gets into a hole.” «Run
and shut the door.” “Look under the grate.” “ Ring for
John.” “Fetch Fido,” and all kind of remarks of a like
nature they made; and two or three of the youngest
children got together, and stood still, and opened their
eyes as wide as ever they could, and asked each other
what a mouse was like, and whether it was a beast or a
bird, and whether it could bite or not ?

The mouse, meanwhile, finding no hole or corner in
which to hide, and being in a state of alarm, to imagine



32 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

which one must fancy one’s self in a wild animals’
country, with all the wild animals running after one, and
no place of escape open; the mouse, I say, began seriously
to doubt whether he should ever come out of this business
alive. There was, however, no time for doubting, for the
maids and the children ran round, and came so close to
him, that all he could do was to run under the fender, and
crouch down, with his little heart beating as if it would
burst.

“There he goes; I saw him,” cried one of the maids,
and then the whole party gathered round the fender, and
began to consult what was best to be done. One of the
maids proposed that they should lift up the fender, and the
others should stand round with the poker, shovel, and
hearth-broom, so as all to make a dash at the enemy as
soon as he should be seen. Another wanted everybody to
be very quiet till the cat could be fetched, and another said
that they had better all go away, and leave a trap with
some toasted cheese, by which means the intruder might
certainly be caught.

The mouse heard all these proposals as he lay crouched
down close under the fender, and hardly knew which
sounded the worst for his chance of escape. At last some
one of the party, in her eagerness, pushed the fender, which
disturbed and frightened our friend so much, that he
rushed out again, and ran along the wall further on.
Close up to the wall, but not so close as to prevent the
passage of a mouse, stood a black ebony cabinet, not very
big and not very heavy, and behind this, between it and
the wall, our mouse hid himself, still trembling with
excitement. Alas! it was no safe hiding-place. Some
of the people got on each side of it, and found that they
could see the mouse quite well, and that he could not get
out, either to the right or to the left, without being in
their sight and passing under their very noses.









































































































































































“O, Mima, you mustn't kill the mouse, poor little fellow.”—P. 33.



THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 33

“Now we have got him!” they cried out, and directly
they popped down a napkin from the table at each end of
the cabinet, so that the poor mouse could not possibly get
out. Then they began to hold a consultation as to what
they should do next. One maid said that if they tilted
the cabinet back a little, they could easily kill the mouse
with a stick. Another thought they could catch him in
a napkin, and pop him at once intoa basin of water, whilst
a third was for bringing the cat up, and moving the
cabinet so far as to let her seize her victim easily. But
while they discussed the matter in a manner which made
the mouse’s blood run cold, one of the little girls came
forward with haste from among the rest, and spoke in an
earnest voice to the maids, whilst the tears stood in her
blue eyes.

“O ’Mima,” she said, “you mustn’t kill the mouse,
poor little fellow! I dare say he only wanted a teeny-
tiny share of the feast, because it was Eva’s birthday. It
would be a shame to kill him! Spare his little life, and
let me have him to take care of.”

“Ah, I dare say!” answered another of the maids.
“That’s just Miss Kate, all over. ‘Never kill the poor
thing, but let me have it to make a pet of.’ No, no, my
dear ; nobody with sense in their heads ever makes a pet
of a nasty little mouse. They’re only meant to be killed ;
or if not, what’s the use of having any cats?”

But the other maid answered and said, “And if it és
just like Miss Kate, to my mind it’s a very good thing
to be like, and I don’t see why she shouldn’t have the
mouse. For my part, I like to see young ladies kind to
dumb animals, and why not a mouse as well as a bird or
a cat, pray?”

Thus encouraged, Kate renewed her entreaties ; and as
all the children backed her up, and cried out with one

voice, “ Kate shall have the mouse! Kate shall have the
D



34 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

mouse!” the other maids had nothing for it but to give
in, and so the matter was settled.

The next thing was, how to catch the little animal, but
this was soon managed. Some one brought an old mouse-
trap, and held up the lid, then they placed it'at one end
of the cabinet, close to the wall. They moved the cabinet
a little, and pushed a stick gently from the further side
until it touched the mouse, and when he darted to the
other end, he ran straight into the trap, down they popped
the lid, and there was the little captive safe and sound.
The next few minutes were the most terrible of his life.
There was a grating over his head and on each side,
through which he could be seen; and all attempts to
escape from the prying eyes which looked in upon him
were vain. Up and down, to and fro, he ran in his fright,
and looked about for a hole where no hole was to be
found, expecting he knew not what, and being quite
bewildered.

Meanwhile all the children crowded round the trap,
which one of the maids held in her hand, and each peered
eagerly in, to see the little captive.

“ Oh, look at his dear, bright little eyes!” said one.

“ Just see how his tail keeps getting between the bars
of the trap!” cried another.

“What funny whiskers he has!” exclaimed a third, and
they all seemed delighted with their prize.

The maid held up the trap above their heads, when she
thought they had gazed sufficiently.

“Well,” she said, “here we have him safe enough ; and
now, Miss Kate, what are you going to do with- him?
Your papa and mamma will never like you to keep such
a pet as this.”

“Oh yes,’ answered the little girl, “I think they will,
because they like me to be kind to animals ; and then, I
remember that Cousin Amy had a little pet of a mouse



THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 35

once—two, I think there were—who used to roll themselves
up in cotton wool, which she put in their box, and make a
regular nest for themselves, and sleep ever so long without
waking.”

“ Ah, yes,” answered another child, “I remember that,
too; but I don’t think Amy’s mice were like this one.
They were of a lighter colour, and more sleepy-looking.”

“Ta, Miss Eva,” said one of the maids, “it is a dor-
mouse Miss Kate means. Nice little quiet pets they are,
but this is quite a different sort of a creature. A little
restless, mischievous, common mouse is no more to com-
pare with your dormouse than a crab apple with a china
orange.”

“Never mind, ’Mima,” replied Kate; “Ill risk it, any-
how, if mamma doesn’t mind my trying.” And so, after
a little more looking and wondering, the trap was put
into Kate’s hands, who carried it off in triumph to her
numma, The latter was rather astonished at the new pet
which her little girl had found, and told her that she was
afraid she would find it difficult to keep ; however, as she
had set her heart upon it, she would give her leave to try,
and accordingly off marched Miss Kate, mouse in hand.
The first thing to settle was, where the new pet should be
kept. The trap was very small and inconvenient, and
Kate was sure he would never be happy there. She
thought for a moment, and then, clapping her hands with
joy, told the nursery-maid that she should keep it in an
old band-box which Chamberlain, her mamma’s maid, had
given her. But she was told that the sharp teeth of the
mouse would very soon find their way through the band-
box, and that some stronger place must be provided if she
intended to keep the little prisoner safe. Kate was rather
disappointed at finding that her plan would not do, but at
once seb to work thinking, and racked her brains to
discover the best plan for securing her new pet. At last



36 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

she hit upon a scheme which seemed to promise well.
Her brother Ned had had given him a large box of tin
soldiers: the box was thick and strong, with a sliding lid,
on the top of which were painted the most extraordinary
pictures of wonderful battles, full of cavalry and infantry
soldiers charging, and firing, and fighting in a hand-
to-hand manner, such as the world never saw. However,
the lid fitted tight for all that, and there was plenty of
room.in the box for the mouse, which could have holes
bored in the lid to give him air, and might be as happy as
a king there if he could only make up his mind to be
contented. ‘ :

So into this box Mr. Mouse was placed, and Kate put a
quantity of bread-crumbs in with him, so that there might
be no chance of his starving. Then she went and told’ her
papa, with great glee, all that had happened, and asked
him what he thought of her plan. He listened to his
little darling’s story with interest, and told her how
pleased he was that she had been kind and merciful, and
had saved the poor mouse’s life. But he told her that he
did not think that the little animal would thrive or be
happy in that dark box, and that it was very doubtful
whether he would eat anything whilst he was there. But
whilst the father and daughter were talking over the
matter, the poor little mouse was by no means happy.

On the contrary, he was as miserable a little wretch as
had ever crept along inside a wainscot. He crawled round
and round the box without finding a hole of any sort
through which he might escape ; he peeped up through the
little air-holes which had been bored in the lid, but they
were too small for him to be able to squeeze himself
through, small as he was, and there was no other outlet
whatever. He tried to gnaw the wood, but it was too
hard—he only hurt his teeth ; and, after looking about on
every side, and finding that escape was impossible, he gave



THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 37

himself up to despair, and began to bemoan his sad fate in
melancholy tones.

“Alas! alas!” he said to himself, for there was no one
else to talk to, “why was I beguiled, by the talk of those
two gentlemen, to leave my quiet, happy home, and go out
on this unfortunate expedition? Why did I want to
travel? Why could not I be contented where I was,
instead of so foolishly going forth in search of adventures?
Oh, my home, my home! there, at least, I was always safe ;
and had I but been wise and sensible, I might have lived
on peaceably from day to day, and died comfortably behind
the wainscot when my time had come. But now, what
will become of me? I am in the power of human beings,
who are never to be trusted. This little girl who spoke so
kindly, and who was certainly the cause of my life being
saved, may at any moment become tired of me ; and, besides,
how do I know the reasons which make her keep me here?
perhaps she only keeps me—oh, horrid idea !—to give me
to some favourite cat; perhaps she has put these crumbs
in, that I may eat and grow fat, so as to be plump and
tender when my poor little body is required for some
mouse-eating monster. Oh dear, oh dear! what shall I
do? what will become of me?”

And so the poor mouse went on, until he had not the
least bit of courage left in him, from the tip of his nose to
the end of his tail, and began really to feel that it would
be a mercy if some one would put him out of his misery
at once. What made it worse, too, was that, being left
on the floor of the nursery, he heard soft footsteps approach-
ing, and presently a low purring sound, which informed
him of the presence of one of those terrible cats whom
every well-conducted mouse hates, fears, and abominates
from the bottom of his heart.

' Pussy came up to the box, smelt at it for a moment ;



38 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

and having by this process discovered that there was a
mouse within, began to push the box about and to pat the
lid, as if she thought she could get him out, in which case
she would no doubt have very soon given a good account
of him. But, fortunately for the mouse, the lid was firm
and did not move; and although the box shook, and the
voice of the eat frightened the little fellow so terribly that
he thought he should have died then and there, yet he was
really quite safe ; and after a little while the cat discovered
that this was the case, and accordingly moved off with an
angry “miaw,” and he heard no more of her. Eating,
however, after this fright was out of the question; and
when Kate came to look, she found the crumbs of bread
untouched, and the mouse crouching in a corner trembling
all over and looking utterly miserable. She spoke kindly
to him, but it was of no use; she put a little water into
the box in a doll’s teacup, but he would not touch it, and
she did not know what todo. So she got a little toasted
cheese and put it in the box, and then she closed the lid
again, and left Mr. Mouse for the night. A long, sad,
dreary night it was for him ; for while Katie was sleeping
sound as a top, and dreaming of her pony and her little
white dog, and all kinds of pleasant things, the poor new
pet never closed his eyes, but sat shivering and trembling,
thinking of his past and happy days, wishing himself home
again, and starting with fear at every sound he heard.
So he was not very comfortable or happy, as you may
suppose ; and when Kate came again early in the morn-
ing, she found him looking utterly wretched, with none
of his food touched, and his eyes peering up at her
with a sad, wistful expression which went at once to her
heart.

“ Poor little fellow!” she exclaimed, ‘so you won’t eat
and be tame! I am afraid you will die if you don’t eat.



THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 39

I wonder if I can tame you and make you take some of
your food? I wish I knew how.” And then she went and
asked the maids, but they didn’t know any more than she
did ; and then she went to her papa’s study, and asked him
his advice upon the matter.

“Well, my darling,” he said, “‘since you ask me, I will
tell you what I think at once. These wild animals can
hardly ever be made tame unless you catch them when
they are very, very young, which is difficult in the case of
a mouse. If you keep your pet in the box, I am afraid
you will find that nothing will make him eat, and in a
day or two he will starve himself to death. If you want
to be really kind to the poor little fellow, the only way is
to turn him loose in the room where you caught him, and
let him find his own way back to his home and _ his
friends !”

Kate’s blue eyes filled with tears at first, for she had
set her heart on making the little mouse quite tame, and
she didn’t like the thoughts of losing her new pet. But
she knew that her papa was sure to be right; and she
would have been very sorry if the poor little mouse had
starved itself, and died in the box, which would probably
have been the case if he had been kept there another day.
So she gave a little sigh, and then determined that she
would do what was most kind to the prisoner. She took
the box, and went with it to the room where they had had
the tea-party, with nobody with her but her little sister.
Then she said to the mouse, “ You poor little fellow, I am
determined that you shall not die if I can help it.. Lam
going to let you loose, so that you may run back to all
your mouse friends and relations, and play about and be
as happy as ever.” Then Kate put the box down upon the
floor, and took off the lid. The mouse was too frightened
and weak to move at first ; but presently he ran up the



4.0 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

side of the box, and hopped on to the carpet. Meanwhile
the children stood quite quiet, watching what would
happen. The little mouse did not at first know where he
was; but as nobody chased and confused him, he had time
to collect his scattered ideas, and presently remembered all
about it.

Casting his keen, black eyes about, he saw the corner of
the room from which he had come into it through the hole
in the wainscot, and he ran off in that direction as fast as
his legs would carry him. The little girls clapped their
hands with joy, as they saw him run off.

“There,” cried Kate, “the little thing is quite safe
and happy now!” and she ran off to tell her papa and
mamma,

You may well imagine that Mr. Mouse was right glad
to be free again, and safe and sound behind the wain-
scot. He made the best of his way back to his old home
without any delay; and squeaked with delight when
he found himself once more in the house from which he
had started.

“Well,” said he to himself, “travelling may be all very
well for those who can afford it; but for my part, I think
the danger is greater than the pleasure. Besides, we all
of us have duties to perform at home; and although it is
doubtless a good thing to gain experience by going out
into the world, still it is better and wiser not to neglect
our duties, and home is the best place after all for a well-
behaved mouse. So now that I know something of what
goes on outside in the gay world, I will rest satisfied with
the knowledge I have already gained, and remain where
I know that I am well off, as well as safe from the dangers
which TI have so fortunately escaped this time. Home for
me henceforward, and let those travel who like it.”

True to his word, the little mouse always stayed at home



THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 4.

after that famous journey. Nothing could tempt him to
leave the old house in which he had been born; and
although his travelled friends often laughed at him for
being such a “stay-at-home” fellow, he only winked his
eye knowingly at them, and kept on in the usual habits of
his every-day homely life, which he was still living and
enjoying when I last heard of him.



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL

By tue Ricut Hon. E. H. Knarcupevrin-Hucrssenx

(Lord BrapournfF)

_ Twere are few moments of life which I more thoroughly ’
enjoy than those which Iam fortunate enough to pass by
the side of a river. I do not speak now of great rivers:
I am not thinking of the Thames, the Rhine, or the
Danube ; these have their beauties, wondrous in themselves,
and mightily enhanced by the associations by which they
are accompanied, and with which they are interwoven.
But I have in my thoughts the rivers of Scotland and
Wales, winding along the valleys between mountains of
wood and heather, the rivers of the kingfisher and water-
ousel, the trout and grayling, and, last not least, the
salmon, king of river fish; the rivers, moreover, of the
fairies and water-kelpies, hallowed by local tradition, and
in the love and veneration borne towards them by those
who live near their banks, each a very Thames, or Rhine,
or Danube to the locality through which it winds its
pleasant way. I love to stand upon the pebbly bed of one
of these rivers which has been left dry enough in the
summer months to allow you to walk close down to the
water, flowing on in its narrowed channel, still broad enough
to be a respectable river, and too deep to be waded across
by any one who does not want to be wet through at least

as high as his knees—close down to the water, I say, I love
42



LEGEND OF ST, DDERFEL 43

to stand, to watch the eddying current, and to listen to the
pleasant, babbling sound. It always seems as if the Spirit
of the River was speaking to me, and telling me how, in
its rapid, continuous course, it is setting an example to
man how he can most wisely and happily regulate his life.
The water is so wise; when it comes to little banks and
uneven places in its bed, it gently flows over them without
making any bother about it, and this, says the river, is the
way in which men should treat the little unpleasantnesses
and smaller misfortunes of life, instead of allowing such
things to distract and worry them, and perhaps even to
alter their whole course of existence. Then, when huge
boulders of rock stand out into the stream, the river glides
quietly round them, accepting them as necessary evils
which must be endured, since they cannot be cured, which
is the way in which men should treat their greater
difficulties and the hardships of their lives, instead of
fuming and fretting, or sitting down in despair. These
are things that rivers never do, says the Spirit, and more-
over, as they move constantly forward, they explore with
their water every hole and corner within their reach, neg-
lecting nothing, giving a kindly wash to everything that
comes in their way, and holding a pleasant conversation
with all objects, living or inanimate, with which they come
in contact. Soa wise man, and one who desires to make
his life useful and pleasant to himself and others, will
always seek for information as he goes along through the
world, will ever have a cheery word for his fellow-travellers,
and be ready to doa kind and friendly action to any that
require it. And, if he does so, just as the river grows
broader and wider as it nears the ocean, in which it finally
loses itself, and merges its waters in the infinite space of
the sea, so the man’s life will become grander and more
noble as it approaches its close, and he will have gained the
affection and respect of all those whose respect and affection



44 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

are worth gaining, before the stream of his life, too, floats
out upon the ocean of eternity.

These are some of the thoughts that come into my mind
as I stand listening, as I imagine, to the voice of the
River-Spirit. And he tells me of other things. Wild
legends of ancient times; strange tales of love and war,
of happiness and woe, of courage and of treachery—tales
brought down from the distant mountains, where his stream
takes its rise; from the romantic sides of the heathery
heights which tower above him ; from the deep, dark woods
with which his banks are fringed, and from the gloomy
valleys cut far into the mountain sides—tales and legends



so interwoven with the supernatural and so fascinating to
the imaginative mind, that I can hardly find language to
express the ideas which, in wordless sound, the River-Spirit
seems ever to convey to me as I commune with him, silently
but earnestly, in his very own domain.

One of these—the tale of the River-Sprite—a harmless,
pleasant tale enough, I will try to tell, and if it be not all
T could wish it to be to those who read, let them blame the
mortal who repeats it, and not the Spirit who has perchance
whispered it to unworthy ears.

Everybody has heard of St. Dderfel, the famous and
blessed saint of North Wales. At least, anybody who has
not heard of him can never have visited that beautiful
country, and cannot have the face to pretend to have a
drop of Welsh blood in his veins. St. Dderfel was—and
a very powerful and withal



perhaps is, if we only knew
a most worthy saint. His wooden statue, seated upon 2
wooden horse, stood in the church of Llanderfel, and to
this day the portion of the horse which time and the
spoilers have left undestroyed, may be seen in the porch
of that venerable edifice.

St. Dderfel’s powers were thankfully recognized by the
people who-dwelt in the district round Llanderfel, and more



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 45

especially so since they were mainly exercised in curing
the diseases of animals, which the Saint did in the most
wonderful manner. Whether, during his life, he had been
a veterinary surgeon I cannot say, but the healing powers
of his statue were miraculous and undeniable, and for miles
round there was scarcely a Jones, a Roberts, or a Davies
who had not had a horse, cow, or pig cured by application
at the shrine of St. Dderfel. For years—perhaps for
centuries—the worthy Saint had gone on, quietly and
comfortably, curing people’s animals, and the fame of his
shrine spread wider and wider, and its riches likewise
accumulated by the offerings of the thankful recipients of
the favours to be obtained thereat.

At length, London itself heard the tidings of the famous
Welsh Saint, whose reputation had become too great to be
confined to his own country. But as many things which
are good and estimable in the country, become contamin-
ated when brought into contact with London fog, London
smoke, and London wickedness, I grieve to say that the
reputation of the Saint fared no better. Mutterings against
his sanctity were heard, doubts of his power openly ex-
pressed, and even whispers let fall that priestly deceit and
trickery were at the bottom of it all. For those were days
when priests were out of favour, unless indeed they were
prepared to change their old creed, to declare that the Pope
was possessed of no authority in the country, and that
Henry the Eighth was the only and rightful head of the
Church within these realms. Some of them did so, and
were rewarded for their compliance with the wishes of
the King; others refused, and were speedily thrust out,
whipped, and sometimes burned; to the great delight of all
good Protestants, who little foresaw that they themselves
would have to undergo the same pleasures when the bigot
Queen Mary had in due time succeeded to her tyrant
father’s throne.



46 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

In those days there was a regular crusade against religious
houses, images, and the shrines of saints, and not a few
relics, which had been the objects of reverence or of
superstition to many thousands of people, were burned at
Smithfield and elsewhere, whilst the offerings which pious
people had for ages past presented at the shrines, were
gathered together to fill the coffers of the King, who thus
found that his alteration in the religious establishment of
the country was not unattended with pecuniary advantages
to himself, which were exceedingly satisfactory.

So when the fame of St. Dderfel reached London,
accompanied by reports that his shrine was not without
some rich offerings, it was determined by the ruling powers
that a commission of inquiry should be sent down to look
after the matter, and, if needs be, destroy the abomination.
The persons selected for this business were worthy and
discreet men, who had no prejudice for or against anything,
so that matters might be directed according to the wishes
of the King and his trusty servant Master Cromwell, whose
face was steadily set towards the abolition of monasteries
and the spoliation of religious houses throughout the land.

The worshipful Justice Allen was one of these Com-
missioners ; Serjeant Davies, learned in the law, was the
second ; and the third was a respectable person of the
name of Philipson, who loved the King and hated the
Pope with sufficient ardour to qualify him for the office.

The news of the coming of these Commissioners filled
the inhabitants of North Wales with mingled disgust and
consternation. They, poor, simple people, were unable to
discover what harm their favourite saint had ever done;
they firmly believed that through his power their cows,
pigs, and sheep had frequently been cured of diseases
which threatened to destroy them; and when they were
told that this was either a delusion, or that, if it had really
occurred, it was the work of the priests or the devil, or both,



y

LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 47

the only conclusion to which they could come was, that
neither the priests. nor the devil deserved all that was said
against them, or were quite so bad as they were represented
to be by the public opinion of the day.

For some time they could hardly make up their minds to
believe that this needless commission (as they thought it)
was really about to visit Llanderfel, and when the matter
was placed beyond all doubt, their anger and indignation
knew no bounds. It is at this precise period that our story
begins.

It was upon a beautiful August afternoon that a pedes-
trian was making his way over the hills behind Bala. He
was a stalwart, well-built man, with an oaken staff in his
hand, and a small wallet strapped upon his shoulders. He
stepped boldly forward through the heather, gaily whistling
a tune as he proceeded to make his way towards Llanderfel,
bearing downwards from the mountain to the pleasant
valley through which the Dee winds its cheerful course.

When he reached the edge of the hill, he paused before
commencing the descent, and looked down upon the lovely
view beneath. It was wild—wilder than would be seen at
the present day, for the population was more thin there
than now, and far more of the land, even in the valley, was
innocent of plough and harrow, and knew not the lowing
of the oxen or the bleating of the herds which seek their
pasture there to-day. Yet was the view lovely indeed, and
the traveller might well be excused his pause to gaze down
upon it with gratified eyes.

Immediately beneath him the steep side of the mountain
gradually fell away into an easy decline, down which a
pedestrian might descend without difficulty, provided he
were sufficiently sound in wind and limb, and not overladen
with baggage or other encumbrance.

At a short distance down the hill the steepness altogether
disappeared, and a wide ledge of table-land afforded room’



48 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

for an old-fashioned stone house, apparently too small for a
farmhouse, and yet too large for the dwelling of a shepherd.
At a few paces from this building was a low stone wall,
from which the ground again became steeper, and far below
in the bottom the traveller could see the river, gurgling
and brawling along as if the whole place belonged to it,
and nobody and nothing else had a right to be there. For
a full minute the man looked down upon the scene at his
feet, and then he exclaimed in a cheery tone of voice :

“Qh, the Dee, the jolly old Dee! how like it is to home,
and kin, and country, to me and mine. Was there ever
such a river to wind itself round a man’s heart till he
loved it as if it was a human being? Oh, the dear old
Dee! How I love to see you again, old river! "Tis years
since I have done so, and the sight of you makes me a boy
again.”

With these words, the traveller rapidly began his descent,
forsaking the path which he had hitherto followed, and
proceeding in a straight line down the mountain side. As
he went, he hummed a merry tune, and was evidently in
exceeding good humour with himself in particular and
the world in general. Down, down he went, until he had
passed the dwelling already mentioned, crossed the wall,
descended the steeper incline beyond, and found himself, at
a distance of some hundred feet or more below, in ‘a rough
country road which led, though by a somewhat zigzag and
roundabout path, from Bala to Llanderfel.

Scarcely had he pulled up to recover his breath, which
had somewhat suffered from the rapidity of his descent,
before he descried two horsemen approaching him at a
short distance. They came from the direction of Bala,
and by their manner of looking around and occasionally
halting, appeared to be somewhat uncertain of their road.
They were both clad in long dark cloaks, and appeared to
be persons of great respectability, as far as our friend the



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 49

traveller could venture to form an opinion upon such
a subject. I do not know indeed that he would have
troubled himself to form any opinion at all about it, had
not the horsemen, as soon as they caught sight of him,
shouted aloud in order to attract his attention, and having
succeeded in doing so, ridden up and accosted him at once.

“ Friend,” said the elder of the two, a grave and sedate-
looking person, who evidently had a dignity of his own,
and knew it. ‘Friend, how far are we from Llanderfel,
and is this the right road to conduct us thereto?”

“ Now, by St. David,” replied the traveller, “it is strange
that thou shouldst ask me such a question, when thou and
thy mate are but a short two miles from the church and
shrine of the blessed St. Dderfel.”

The first speaker gravely shook his head as he made
reply.

“Speak not to me of shrines and saints,” he said, “ for
sadly does such talk savour of that popery which has so
long brooded like a foul cloud upon our dear country, but
which is now on its last legs, thanks be to the All-Wise.
It is to aid in cleansing the land from such abominations
that I and my companion do ride here to-day, and we would
fain be guided to the best hostelry which may be near this
Llanderfel.”

As the worthy man spoke, he to whom his words were
addressed regarded him with glances which plainly told
that he scarcely appreciated the subject of his discourse,
and somewhat chafed at being detained upon his journey.
He listened to the end, however, and then returned answer.

‘Tis long since I was here, sirs, and things may well
have changed since then. But the ‘Horse-shoe’ was the
sign of the inn at which man and beast were wont to find
bed and stall, meat and fodder, in old days, and belike it’s
so still.”

“And where is the ‘Horse-shoe,’ friend?” asked the
E



50 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

younger of the two horsemen, a somewhat shorter man
than his companion, and not without a pleasant expression
upon his countenance, which betokened a cheerful soul
within. :

‘Tis in the main and only street of Llanderfel,”
responded the traveller, ‘and you have but to follow your
nose in order to reach it.”

“ Art thou journeying the same way?” demanded the
elder of the two riders; “haply thou mightest conduct us
to this same hostelry ; and, moreover, tell us thy name and
station. We are men, I may say, under authority, and
may be of service hereafter to those who aid us in our
present endeavour.”

“T know not thy authority,” returned the other, “and
what thy endeavour may be I cannot tell. As for me, my
name is John Griffith, and from these parts I set forth
years back, to go upon the salt seas. I have but lately
come home, and I go now to see what old friends may be
left alive, and to visit the shrine of St. Dderfel before I go
on to Llangollen, which is my native place. An ye will
come with me I have nought to say against it, though a
seafaring man on foot is but poor company for two mounted
gentlemen.”

“Friend,” observed the elder man, in reply, “thy name
and thine errand may be well enough, so far as it is right
and proper that John Griffith should revisit the home he
left as a boy. Not so, however, thy purpose of visiting
this idle shrine. It is time to tell thee, young man, that
thou hast fallen into worshipful company. I am Mr.
Justice Allen, and here is the learned Serjeant Davies, and
we journey to Llanderfel to make speedy end of that
abomination which thou callest the shrine of St. Dderfel,
who is no more a saint than is this good horse of mine
2 cow Mg

Searcely were the words out of the speaker’s mouth





LEGEND OF ST, DDERFEL 51

when, to the terror and astonishment of all these men, a
loud, sonorous, and unmistakable “‘moo’’ proceeded from
the mouth of the animal which the worthy justice bestrode,
whilst at the same moment its ears seemed suddenly to
change their character, and from behind each of them arose
a veritable horn, the head of the animal being at the same
instant converted into that of the animal which had just
been mentioned. For an instant the whole party remained
silent with surprise, and before any of them found his
tongue the phenomenon had passed away as suddenly as it
had appeared. The horns vanished from the place in which
they had just been visible, the head resumed its former
appearance, and the horse, quietly shaking its mane as if
nothing had happened, ceased to utter any other sounds
than those which are natural to its species.

Each man looked at the other two for another instant,
and then honest John Griffith burst forth with a nautical
exclamation of surprise, which I think it better to omit.

“So much for you, Mr. Justice,” he continued. ‘No
saint, ain’t he? And your horse ain’t no cow neither ?
Well, I never! If you haven’t learnt a lesson now, I
don’t believe as ever you will.”

“What mean you, man?” somewhat haughtily replied
the person addressed. ‘Some momentary confusion has
clouded your understanding. There is no cow here and no
saint yonder, whatever you may think.”

“No saint and no cow!” shouted Griffith, “Why this
other gentleman must have seen it as well as I! Come
now, master ; tell us like a man ; wasn’t your mate’s horse
a cow just now if ever there was a cow upon earth?”

Too discreet to commit himself by any answer to such
2 question, the wary lawyer smiled, as he remarked:

“T am no judge of animals, Master Griffith, since that
is thy name; but neither the Justice nor I are to be cowed
by magic art when we are on the King’s business.”



52 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

“On the King’s business!” cried Griffith. ‘ What!
does his royal Majesty’s Grace’s mightiness go for to
concern himself with our little doings down here?”

“My man,” gravely responded the elder rider, “the
King’s Majesty is concerned for all the matters which
belong to the welfare of his subjects, however remote be
their dwellings from his city of London, however humble
their position in life. He is supreme over their spiritual
matters as well as over their temporal possessions, and he
is grieved to see darkness, ignorance, and superstition still
among them. It is in his name and by his command that
we are here to-day, of which thou wilt hear more anon.
But say, is this the Dee we are approaching, and how far
are we from Llanderfel 2”

As he spoke, the road along which they had been slowly
descending, brought the party close to a bend in the river,
which commanded a view right and left as they stood upon
a bridge which spanned a small tributary rivulet which at
that point joined the main stream. To the right, scarce
a mile from where they had halted, rose the village of
Llanderfel, towards which the wood-fringed river varied
considerably in its breadth and depth, but never varied in
the dark colour of its water, the sweet tone of its murmur-
ing over its pebbly bed, and the surpassing beauty of its
wooded banks. To the left the stream stretched away
towards Bala, behind which the eye rested upon the
heather-clad hills in the far distance; whilst, on the other
side of the river-bed, immediately opposite the travellers,
rose a large wood, which screened the mountain side as
with a huge green curtain, all the way up to Llanderfel.

“?’Tis a fair scene,’ remarked Mr. Justice Allen to his
companion, “and not only pleasant to the eye, but
wholesome for the soul to contemplate.”

?

“True,” returned his companion ; “ but man has other

component parts beside soul and eye, and for my part I



or

Q
Oo

LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL
feel an internal sensation which reminds me that the body
requires occasional nourishment. Push we on, say I, to
this same hostelry of the ‘Horse-shoe.’”

Whilst this short conversation passed, John Griffith had
remained quiet, leaning upon his staff, and apparently
thinking earnestly over the last words which had been
addressed to him by Justice Allen, to which he had as yet
made no reply. Now, however, he again joined in the
conversation.

“Yes,” said he, “this is the Dee, and yonder is Llan-
derfel ; but an ye go to say or do aught against our old
saint, I like not to be the man to guide ye thither.”

“Friend Gritlith,”’ calmly rejoined the lawyer, “ saint or
no saint, [ must have my dinner, after which such a matter
can be better discussed.”

“Maybe so,” returned Griffith; “but I marvel much
why ye should come hither with words against a saint
whose power is as little doubted in Wales as is his good-
ness. Why my own grandmother’s red cow was down,
time back, with a complaint of which she seemed likely to
die, and the cow-doctor said that so ’twould be. What
does the old lady do but trot off with a basket of eggs and
honey to the shrine at Llanderfel. Many a time, as a boy,
have I heard her tell the tale, and how she fancied the
horse on which the figure of the saint sits, bowed his head
to her as she knelt there. And who can say he did not?
Anyhow, when she got home again, there was the red cow
on her legs again, and never had another day’s illness till
her time came. And then to say St. Dderfel is no saint!
Marry, come up! say I.”

What reply his companions might have made to the last
exclamation (which I frankly own to be one which I never
understood myself), or to the statement by which John
Griffith sought to establish the reputation of his favourite
saint, can never be accurately ascertained, for at this



54 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

precise moment began a chain of curious events, which
have principally induced me to tell this story.

The road ran for a very short distance parallel with the
river; but a bridle-path apparently led from the road along
the river bank in the precise direction of Llanderfel. This
appeared not only to be a short cut to the village, but to
afford the advantage of turf for the horses’ feet, and to
command even a better view of the river scenery than
could be obtained from the high-road. The travellers
therefore were tempted to deviate from the main road, and
to follow the aforesaid path. They had not gone twenty
yards thereupon, before a strange, wild, unearthly yell
arose from the river. It was not a yell which it is easy
to describe ; it was not such a scream as a nervous young
lady may be supposed to give when a mouse unexpectedly
runs over her face just as she is going to sleep ; it was not
such a howl as a boy of tender years may raise if a sharp
and sudden pang lets him know that a wasp has crawled
up the leg of his trousers; nor was it such an enraged
bellow as proceeds from an elderly and corpulent gentleman
when you inadvertently set your foot heavily upon his
gouty toe. But it was a compound of all three; and,
moreover, it was so loud, that it seemed to occupy the
whole space and engross the full powers of hearing
possessed by the three travellers, so that, in fact, they
could hear nothing else whilst it continued.

At one and the same moment, by a natural impulse,
they all clapped their hands over their ears, and as this,
in the case of the two riders, made it necessary that they
should drop their reins, there was nothing to prevent their
horses from running away. Fortunately, however, or
unfortunately, as you may happen to think, the animals
showed no such inclination, but held down their heads and
trembled violently, as if under the influence of great alarm.
The sound rang in the ears of the three men for several



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 55

seconds, and they regarded each other with looks of the
greatest astonishment. It seemed to come either from the
river itself, or from the woods on the other side, and as
none of them had ever heard anything like it, they had
not the least idea what it meant, what they had better do,
or whether indeed it was necessary for them to do anything
at all.

John Griffith, simple and unlettered as he was, first
found his tongue, and broke the silence which had followed
this dreadful yell.

“This comes of reviling saints!’’ he exclaimed. ‘The
devils are loosed upon us, and none to help us. Holy St.
Dderfel, aid us!”

“Peace, man!” interrupted Justice Allen, who seemed
to recover some of his habitual self-possession at the sound
of the other’s voice. ‘Peace! and prate not to us further
of thy saints. It is, doubtless, because of the sad ignorance
and benighted condition of these districts that strange
noises are permitted, and, perchance, strange creatures are
allowed to appear on earth, whom, let us trust, our coming
will henceforth banish for ever. Come, forward and a

At this instant the speech of the worthy Justice was cut
short by two things which happened at one and the same
moment. A huge splash, right in his face, as if a full
bucket of water had been dashed into it by a strong arm,
with an unerring aim, choked his voice, and drenched his
head and shoulders, whilst the same awful yell arose from
the river, and rang again through the very heads of the



terror-stricken hearers. The water must have been thrown
by some agency very close to the unlucky Justice, for it
struck him in such a volume and with so great a force, as
very nearly to knock him backwards off his horse, yet
nothing was to be seen, and nobody appeared to whom this
strange attack could be attributed. An invisible hand had
dealt the blow, and the power which had directed it was as



56 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

unseen as extraordinary. But whatever may have been
his faults, want of cowrage was not one of those with
which the worshipful Justice was aftlicted. Confident in
the righteousness of his cause, and the justice and wisdom
of the errand on which he travelled, he was prepared to
defy the worst efforts of those who dared to withstand him.
He recovered himself as speedily as could be expected after
such a violent and unexpected blow, and, spluttering with
rage and indignation, called on his companions to support
him.

“What, ho!” he cried. ‘Is it thus the King’s servants
are treated in these outlandish parts? Come on, Serjeant
Davies ; come on, trusty friend, and let us remember who
and what we are. And you, man Griffith, an ye be not in
league and fellowship with the powers of evil, come to my.
side, and let us pass boldly on our way.”

So saying, he clapt spurs to his horse, and raised his
riding-whip with a threatening gesture, as if about to face
and overthrow some visible and tangible foe. At the same
time, though he did not much fancy the business, Serjeant
Davies urged his steed forward to his companion’s side,
and for very shame’s sake John Griffith felt obliged to
range himself with the others. But at this moment a wild
chorus of mocking laughter arose all around them. From
the trees, from the grass, from the hills, from the woods,
but principally from the river itself, peals upon peals of
laughter came ringing in their ears, as if their appearance
or conduct, or both, were furnishing immense amusement
to a large concourse of bystanders.

Now it is bad enough to be laughed at by your friends,
it is a great deal worse to be derided by your enemies ; but
to be made the object of jeers and contemptuous merriment
by unseen persons is positively unbearable and irritating
in the extreme. So did the three men feel it, and more
especially those two gentlemen who properly. considered



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 57

that their dignity and position entitled them to be treated
with respect.

Drawing himself up to his full height upon his horse,
and assuming as martial an appearance as he could summon
to his aid, Mr. Justice Allen urged his steed forward, and
cried out to his companions to pay no heed to the foolish
sounds about them. At these words the laughter was
redoubled; but this was not all. Neither of the two
steeds could by any means be persuaded to move an inch ;
and as honest John Griftith did not feel disposed to march
in advance of the two gentlemen, they all three stood there
in a row, presenting an appearance sutticiently absurd, and
feeling extremely uncomfortable.. Their discomfort, how-
ever, was presently increased in no small degree, for there
suddenly arose out of the river two separate and distinct
waterspouts, one of which directed its attention to the
worthy Justice, whilst the learned Serjeant experienced the
full benefit of the other. Whether in consequence of the
respect he had shown for St. Dderfel, or from his being a
native of the locality, or from what other cause, I know
not; but certain it is, that while this was going on, and
his companions were entirely drenched, John Griffith
remained as dry as a bone, and stood staring with open
eyes at the discomfiture of the others. :

Meanwhile the laughter continued, and so did the water-
spouts, for at least a couple of minutes ; at the conclusion
of which time the one ceased and the other died away,
until the three men found themselves again left in silence,
and the two gentlemen stood, or rather sat, looking at each
other with rueful countenances, and looking for all the
world as if they had just walked through a pond. Davies
was the first to speak, and shivered with wet as he did so.
His language was strong, though perhaps not stronger than
most men would have used under similar circumstances.
He wished the saint and Llanderfel itself with a person



58 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

whose name bears a strong resemblance to that of the
saint, though of a character extremely different. He
declared that he should certainly catch his death of cold,
besides being half-starved, which was already the case, and
expressed a fervent wish that he had never been induced to
set out on such a journey, or to visit a country so wild and
strange.

On the other hand, Justice Allen took a different view.
Not only was his heart more deeply set upon the enter-
prise in which they were engaged than was the case with
his companion ; but being impressed with a full sense of
the dignity and importance which attached to them both,
as bearers of the King’s authority, he felt bound to resent
and protest against anybody or anything which offered
opposition to that authority in any manner whatever. It
is but just to say, that this feeling was more powerful in
Justice Allen’s breast than any consideration of the personal
annoyance to himself which was caused by the interruption
to his journey, and it stimulated his courage in a remark-
able degree. Raising his voice once more, he boldly
shouted to his comrades :

“Come on, my friends, come on! In the name of our
royal master, King Henry the Eighth, I demand and will
make a passage. This is rank Popery, or something worse.
Forward !”

As he spoke, he struck his horse sharply with his whip,
and using the spur at the same time, prevailed upon the
animal to proceed. That on which Davies was mounted
followed the example ; and as John Griffith now felt bound
in honour to stand by his companions, the three men
advanced some dozen yards further without interruption.
Then, without any warning, there suddenly appeared around
them an innumerable quantity of water-birds, emerging
from the river, and making right at the travellers. Moor-
hens, dabchicks, ring-ousels, swifts, and various other





































































Ni
ON

al







The feathered army hovered round the trayellers.—P. 59.



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 59

winged creatures, came crowding upon them, led by a
kingfisher, who darted to and fro with a rapidity which
made his bright plumage appear like a flash of lightning
passing before their eyes. More formidable still, there
appeared several herons bringing up the rear, and appar-
ently prodding several tardy members with their long
beaks, as if to urge them forward to the attack. The
feathered army hovered round the travellers, flapped their
wet wings in their faces, uttered shrill and discordant cries
close into their ears, made unpleasant feints, as if about
to peck at their eyes, covered their horses’ heads and
necks with such a feather-bed of wings, breasts, and tails,
that they could not see a foot before them, and alto-
gether behaved in a most incomprehensible and audacious
manner.

It was evident that the winged army intended to dispute
the passage of the Royal Commissioners, who indeed began
to feel that their journey was like to be of a far more
disagreeable character than they had at all foreseen. They
struck right and left at their assailants, but with little
effect, and the more angry they grew the louder grew the
chattering and chirping, the more constant the wing-flapping
and pecking, until the horses again resolutely refused to
proceed, and there seemed no possibility of passing through
the opposing force. Not one of the latter, however, touched
John Griffith, who'hardly knew whether to be pleased or
not at being thus spared, as he was well aware that it
might not improbably expose him to the charge of being
in some way or other connected with those who were thus
impiously withstanding the servants of Royalty. So it
was, however, and, in order to clear himself from a charge
of this nature, Griffith thought it necessary to lend what
assistance he could to the two gentleman, and accordingly
raised both voice and arm in their behalf.

For fully five minutes they were kept at bay by these



60 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

strange opponents, and then in one instant the latter dis-
appeared as suddenly and unexpectedly as they had come.
In another instant, not one of them was to be seen, and
again the same chorus of wild, mocking laughter rose from
the river.

“T like it not, I like it not, Master Allen,” said Davies,
who now presented a somewhat doleful appearance, his
green hat, which had been placed jauntily upon his head,
having been utterly torn and disfigured by the beaks and
talons of his foes, whilst the blood which flowed from his
left cheek bore witness to the sharpness and severity of
the attack which had been made upon him by an elderly
moor-hen. ‘TI like it not,” he repeated for the third time, ”
which was scarcely necessary, for no one doubted his
statement for a moment. ‘ Beshrew me, but I wish we
had come by the way of Ruabon with our escort, instead
of being tempted to come the other road on account of
what we heard of the beauty of the Bala country. Con-
found the country and its beauty too, say I, if these be
its inhabitants, and such as this their abominable manner
of receiving travellers.”

“ Brother Davies,” returned Allen, as he wiped the blood
from his wrist, which was suffering from the peck of a
heron, and calmly adjusted his dress, which had been
greatly disarranged by a combined assault on the part of
a determined body of dabchicks, “Brother Davies, I like
it no better than you, but all things come to an end, and if
our great and glorious King can master the Pope and oust
his power from our land, as he hath done, be you sure it is
no river demons that can long withstand him. On, in the
King’s name !”

With these words the brave Justice urged his steed
forward once more, and the party advanced without further
interruption until they arrived at a spot where a long and
curiously contrived wooden bridge spanned the river, by no



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 61

means at its narrowest part, from one side to the other.
The bridge was ascended by steps on each side, and was
not a structure which you would have cared to cross with
« heavy weight, or one which had any great architectural
beauty to recommend it. There it was, however, to serve
its purpose, which it doubtless did to theggatisfaction of
all concerned, and almost to the foot of this bridge the
travellers advanced in security. Then a strange thing
occurred. Out of the river there sprang, with one simul-
taneous spring, a vast quantity of fish—salmon-trout,
perch, and I know not what beside—right wp into the air.
This, however, was not all. Leaving their natural element,
the whole body darted through the air, full upon the
travellers. It was one flash—one glitter of shining scales,
dripping with water, and they were at them and on them
in every direction.

Davies was nearly smothered by trout, and felt as if
perch by dozens were sliding down his back, while Mr.
Justice Allen was struck about the middle of the waistcoat
by a salmon, which must have weighed thirty pounds at
least, and felt at the same time a nip in the calf of his leg,
which must have proceeded either from the teeth of a pike
or from some other fish endowed with similar weapons of
offence.

This was too much for both men and horses. The latter
fairly turned tail, and the former being too much surprised
and startled to prevent them, set off at full speed in the
direction of the road which they had lately quitted. This
they very soon reached, their pace on the retreat having
been much faster than in the advance, and no obstacle or
hindrance whatever being offered to their progress. They
continued up the road in the direction of Bala for twenty
yards or more before their riders recovered from their
confusion and discomfiture sufficiently to pull them up.
This, however, they presently did, and for, several seconds





62 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

the two men sat staring at each other in mute astonishment.
In truth, they presented but a sorry spectacle, though, as
there were no bystanders to behold them, it mattered but
little, since, after all, it is the gaze of our fellow-creatures,
and the opinion which we think they will form upon our
appearance, which have the greatest share in causing us to
care how we look. With clothes wet through and through,
and by no means without rent or tear, with hats broken,
bent, and out of shape, with blood-stains on hands and
face, and a general look of having been recently dragged
through a pond full of fish whose scales came off easily,
our two friends certainly looked less respectable by many
degrees that when John Griffith had first encountered them
that morning.

So thought that worthy person, who, although his route
lay in the opposite direction, and nobody had interfered
with his advance, felt bound, by the laws of good-fellow-
ship, to retrace his steps and follow his flying companions,
whom he joined at their first halt. Neither of them liked
to speak first, but the same thoughts were evidently
struggling in the breasts of each. Wonder, alarm, and
indignation prevailed alternately, until at last the latter
passion obtained the mastery in the bosom of Mr. Justice
Allen, and he burst forth in terms of reproach, directed
alike against the river and the whole neighbourhood. Such
treatment had never before been heard of in England, if
this north part of Wales might so be called. That two
men, bearing the authority of the lawful sovereign of the
realm, and sent by him on a special mission for the good
of his people, should be interrupted, hindered, nay, abso-
lutely assaulted, on their journey, attacked by birds,
drenched with water, pelted with fishes, their lives and
limbs endangered, and their enterprise likely to be defeated,
and that by powers which did not dare to show themselves
boldly and openly like honourable foes !—the thing was



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 63

too shameful—too monstrous, and would certainly bring
down severe and deserved punishment upon the locality.

Whilst the irate Justice expressed his sentiments in
these words, and consoled himself with such reflections,
the learned Serjeant was occupied with other thoughts, to
which he shortly gave utterance.

“My worshipful friend,” said he, “in all that you say
there is, as usual, much forcible logic and good sense: the
King’s majesty has been insulted, and vengeance must
assuredly follow. But, meanwhile, let me respectfully ask
you whether you think it is absolutely necessary that we
should attempt to proceed further with our journey this
afternoon? We have done our duty so far, and doubtless
we will not return until we have accomplished the purpose
for which we left London ; but the delay of a few hours
will nat materially interfere with this, and whilst our
bodies are refreshed and our strength recruited, it may be
that the unseen powers who have opposed us will repent
of their folly in setting themselves up against the King’s
authority, and thus to-morrow we may be allowed to
proceed on our way without further molestation.”

These words made due impression upon the person to
whom they were addressed. Like his companion, he had
had nearly enough for one day, and they accordingly agreed
‘to find shelter at the nearest place offered, and there to
pass the night.

John Griffith would gladly have left them, in order to
proceed upon his own way, but the two gentlemen pressed
him so hard that he agreed to stay with them.

The next question was where they should pass the night,
and Griffith thought it but right to warn them, that
if they found shelter in any farmhouse or cottage in
the neighbourhood, it would be well for them to conceal
their errand if they valued their safety ; for such was the
reverence which the people felt for their favourite saint,



64 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

that the would-be spoilers of his shrine would have fared
but badly had the purpose of their coming been disclosed.

I have already mentioned the fact that, in his descent
into the valley, John Griftith had passed a house, which
was perched, as it were, upon a flat piece of ground which
interrupted the continuous steepness of the mountain side.
To this building the travellers now directed their attention,
for although it was at some height above them, yet there
was a sort of path by which it might be reached, and the
horses which the two gentlemen bestrode, being used to
mountains, were able to make their way upwards without
much difficulty. So, leaving the river and the valley, they
slowly ascended until they reached the low stone wall to
which attention has been made, a breach in which, some
yards in length, served for the gate by which might be
entered the court, so to call it, of the dwelling.

This court, indeed, was nothing more than a grass-plat,
and over the grass the travellers proceeded up to the very
door of the house itself. It was an old, tumble-down place:
the walls, indeed, were substantial enough, being built of
large rough-hewn blocks of stone, but its slated roof had
evidently not been repaired for some time, for the absence
of slates here and there disclosed huge rafters, which had
been long exposed to the wind and rain, the chimney in the
middle of the roof seemed as if it only wanted a decent
excuse to fall down altogether, and the whole place bore
about it an air of loneliness and desolation which did not
promise much to weary travellers. But a thin wreath of
smoke, which curled upward from the chimney, betokened
that the house was inhabited, and our friends were too wet
and too hungry to stand upon ceremony. So they rode up
at once and knocked loudly at the door, shouting at the
same time in order to attract the attention of the inmates.

For some moments they appeared to have failed in their
endeavours, for no one took the slightest notice of their



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 65

summons, which they therefore repeated more vehemently
than before. Presently a shufiling of feet was heard
within, and the door was opened by an old woman.

A very old woman she seemed to be, for she was bent
nearly double with age, and her nose reached forward and
came down with a hook towards her chin, which curved
upwards to meet it with a similar hook, evidently showing
that the two had been engaged for a considerable period in
the attempt to come together.

She had a queer-fashioned old cap upon her head, in the
which were confined the few scanty grey locks of hair
which Time had left her; she was clad in a dress of coarse
material, and as she leaned upon a crutch and gazed with
evident surprise upon her visitors, there was a poverty-
stricken look about her which gave but little hopes of the
hearty meal of which they were one and all prepared and
anxious to partake.

John Griffith was the first to speak.

“ Mother,” he said, “can you give these gentlemen and
me food and shelter for the night? We have come far
to-day, and there has been a wetting in the river which
causes my friends to be anxious to dry and rest themselves
before they go forward on their journey.”

The old woman listened to these words, and then replied,
in a tremulous voice, and in a language which was entirely
new to the Justice and the Lawyer, but which their com-
panion understood, for it was the language of his native
land—the Welsh of his childhood.

In the same tongue he addressed the old woman when
she had answered his first speech. She immediately
brightened up, said a few more words, and by voice and
gesture invited the men to enter.

Interpreting her speech to the others, Griffith explained
that she had said at first that her man was poor, and they

had little in the way of food to offer—it was but a short
F



66 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

way to Llanderfel, where good accommodation could be
had, and the gentlemen had better proceed there. But on
hearing her native tongue spoken by one of the strangers,
she had changed her tone, and said that the party was
welcome to such poor provision as she could afford in the
way both of food and shelter.

Having ascertained this, the travellers’ first care was to
provide a lodging for their horses, for which they had not
far to look, for at one corner of the house, built into the
side of the hill, was a stable, quite as good as the house
itself as far as warmth and comfort were concerned. Here
they placed their steeds in security, and forthwith re-enter-
ing the house, were conducted by the old crone to the room
which served both as parlour, kitchen, and general living-
room for her and her husband.

The latter, a weather-beaten old man, with a face which
was one mass of wrinkles, so that you could hardly discern
one feature from another, was seated in a crazy old chair
by the side of the fire-place, and carefully watching a huge
pot which was resting upon the fire, and from which fast-
rising bubbles told of hot food within.

This was a joyful sight to the hungry travellers, and
they signified as much forthwith, both by word and
gestures. Their delight at first appeared to be hardly
shared by the old man, who probably viewed with the
reverse of satisfaction the diminution of his own supper
by the application thereto of the appetites of these fasting
strangers. A few words, however, uttered to him in his
own tongue by John Griffith, and doubtless speaking of
payment certain to be made, reassured and comforted his
venerable soul, nor did he express himself otherwise than
cheerfully with regard to their arrival, so far as they could
judge from his voice and manner, for his words were not
only.spoken in the same strange language as that used by
his wife, but were mumbled forth from a toothless and



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 67

antiquated mouth in a manner which, had they been the
purest English ever spoken, would have gone far to render
them beyond man’s understanding.

The old crone, who had disappeared for a few seconds,
now re-entered the room with a bundle of sticks, with
which she replenished the fire, and made the pot boil the
better. She then addressed herself to John Griffith, who
forthwith informed the others of the purport of her
communication.

There were no such things as beds, it turned out, in the
house. She and her man slept on a wretched pallet at one
corner of the only other room on the ground floor, but
there were two rooms above, and if the gentlemen would
be content with bundles of clean straw, they would be very
welcome to stay the night.

There being no alternative, so far as they could see, the
travellers expressed themselves satisfied, and even grateful
for the proposed arrangement, and whilst the old woman
continued to busy herself about the preparations for the
supper, they ascended the stairs and found the rooms as
represented. One, which looked out over the valley of the
Dee below, was a large room in tolerable repair, though the
moonlight found its way in at more than one crevice at one
end. However, it was weather-tight for the most part, and
the weather was moreover fine, so the worthy Justice and
his friend resolved that they would appropriate this, whilst
Griffith prepared to occupy the other apartment, which was
smaller, and looked out into the small yard adjoining the
stable. Each of the two gentlemen carried a small closely-
packed bag strapped to his saddle, and these they now
opened, and were able with the contents to make themselves
somewhat more comfortable, and presently to appear in dry
garments, and requiring nothing but food for the inner man.

This was presently provided, for the old woman had
made such addition as she could to the supper, and a



68 EVERY GIRI’S STORIES

savoury mess of potatoes and other vegetables, stewed up
together in a manner which rendered the food uncommonly
palatable to the hungry men, served for their repast, and
had ample justice done to it.

After a day which had been rendered fatiguing, as well
by the excitement as the labour which they had undergone,
the travellers were not sorry to retire to rest, and humble
as was the couch upon which they stretched their weary
limbs, it was not long before sleep overpowered them, and
they forgot their annoyances and difficulties in dreams
which we may trust were pleasant.

Davies was the first to wake. He could never exactly
tell what it was that woke him, but something did so, and
that most effectually. He started—sat upright at once
upon his straw bed, and listened attentively. Surely a



voice had been speaking to him—whispering in his very
ear. Impossible! it was an idle dream, he would lie down
again, and compose himself to sleep. But sleep refused to
return at his command. Again he heard whispering—
again he sat upright and listened. The moonlight was
streaming in through the window of the room, and also, if
the truth be told, through the crevices in the roof. The
night was calm and still, so still that, far away down in
the valley, the pleasant murmuring of the Dee came up to
the ears of the listener in the hill-side dwelling. But, as
he listened, other murmurings came up also, more and more
distinct, until at last it shaped itself into words proceeding
from a human mouth,

‘*Say, who has dared to make complaint
Against Holy Dderfel, Cambria’s saint,
And who, more daring, here would bring
The ban of an apostate king ?

Saint Dderfel’s fame all Wales can tell,
And all her children love him well,
For blessings on their flocks and kine
Oft won by pray’r at holy shrine.



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFED, 69

Back, back, ye men of Saxon breed,
Let shameless Harry change his erced,
And let each Southron shift his hope
From pope to king, or king to pope.
But if ’gainst Cambrian saint he turn
His new-born zeal, then let him learn
That he who questions Dderfel’s might,
Must first o’ercome the River-Sprite | ”

As these words of direful import fell upon his ear,
Davies, remembering the experience of the River-Sprite,
which he and his friend had already had, felt the reverse of
comfortable, as, according to his view of the case, further
proceedings on the part of the individual in question
(whoever or whatever he might be) were undoubtedly
threatened. He lost no time, therefore, in endeavouring
to arouse his companion, which, however, was at first no
easy matter, for, overcome by the exertions of the previous
day, Mr. Justice Allen was sleeping the sleep of the just,
and snoring the snores of both just and unjust too, if the
listener were to judge by the volume of sound which
proceeded from his corner of the room.

At last, however, the difficult matter was accomplished,
and Serjeant Davies succeeded in making his companion
aware that something unusual had occurred. Sitting
upright upon his bed, with a last heavy snort, half awake
and half asleep, the poor Justice could not at first exactly
comprehend the reason of his being disturbed. As quickly
as he could, however, Davies explained the reason, and
begged him to listen, in case the words which he had just
heard should be repeated by their unseen visitor. Accord-
ingly, both men remained perfectly silent, straining every
nerve in order to catch the faintest possible sound. This
lasted for about a minute, when the same voice which
Davies had previously heard again broke upon their
astonished ears in the following words:

‘River Dee, River Dee,
Speak thy mind out, fair and freo !”



70 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

The next instant, without the slightest warning of any
kind, and whilst the moon was still shining clear in the
heavens above, and no sign of rain or wind whatever, a
low rushing sound was heard, and in at the window, and
at the same time through the crevices of the roof, rapid
streams of water came dashing into the room, and flooded
the place in a couple of seconds. Before they could leap
from their straw beds, the latter were saturated with wet,
and the water stood a foot deep on the floor, and was rising
rapidly, in such a manner as to threaten to fill the room.
The two gentlemen shouted hastily for help, for there
seemed no possibility of escape from drowning.

The old people of the house were some time before they
could hear ; but John Griffith was soon roused by the noise,
and came rushing from his room in some anxiety as to the
cause of the outcry. Scarcely had he opened the door than
a wonderful phenomenon ensued. Not only did the water
cease to descend, but not a drop of it attempted to cross
the threshold of the open door, but the whole body of
water stayed as if pent up in an iron cistern, presenting to
Griffith’s eyes the extraordinary sight of a pool of at least
three feet in depth, in which stood his two companions
shivering and wretched, whilst various articles of their
clothing floated hither and thither around them. Then,
singular to relate, the water began to sink and disappear
as fast as it had come, and indeed performed this feat with
so much rapidity, that by the time the old woman of the
house had got up-stairs and reached the room door, it was
scarce an inch deep, and in the space of another minute,
damp boards, moist straw, and men as moist and damp as
either, were the only remaining evidences of the strange
and wonderful event which had taken place.

Both Mr. Justice Allen and Serjeant Davies were
thoroughly out of temper, which was perhaps not extra-
ordinary under the circumstances. Their language was in



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 71

accordance with the warmth of their internal, rather than
the chilliness of their external, feelings. They denounced
the house, the place, the country, and everything connected
with it, especially the river and the so-called saint; for
whom no epithet was too opprobrious.

The old woman of the house, however, was so evidently
terrified at the occurrence which had taken place, that
although the two gentlemen were at first inclined to con-
demn her forthwith as a witch, and one that must have
been in league with those who had so injuriously treated
them, they speedily retracted their opinion, and became
mollified in their views of her behaviour. Anxious to
conciliate her guests, she hastened to fetch fresh bundles
of straw, which she deposited in the living-room down-
stairs ; and having lighted a fire, hung all the wet articles
of raiment before it to dry, all the while bemoaning in her
own tongue the misfortune that had happened, and calling
Heaven and all the saints to bear witness that she would
rather have suffered any hardship in her own person than
that guests in her house should have been treated in so
scurvy a manner.

Yielding to her persuasions, and having dried themselves
as well as they could, and warmed their shivering limbs at
the fire, the travellers again sought repose upon the new
straw beds which had been provided for them, and suffered
no further disturbance during the remainder of the night.
When morning came, they took solemn counsel together
as to the course which they had best pursue in order to
carry out the King’s orders, which might on no account be
neglected,

Upon the following day they were to meet the third
Commissioner, Mr. Philipson, who was coming from Ruabon,
where a small party of soldiers and certain officials were to
assemble, before proceeding to Llanderfel. To reach the
latter place, therefore, was still their object, and they



72 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

desired to do so upon that same day. In fact, as Serjeant
Davies wittily observed, although great attempts had been
made



and not altogether without success—to throw cold
water on their proceedings, the enemy, be he who he might,
had not succeeded in damping their ardour, and they were
perfectly resolved to do their duty. They, therefore, deter-
mined to make one more attempt to follow the path from
which they had been driven on the previous day, and
accordingly got their horses ready, and, accompanied by
honest John Griffith, again set out.

They did not forget to reward the old woman for her
hospitality, although both Allen and Davies felt a kind of
shudder pass through them when, in mumbling out her
thanks, the crone expressed an earnest wish that “St.
Dderfel might have them in his care,” which, judging by
past events, was precisely the thing which they would have
most desired to avoid.

They slowly descended the mountain side, and presently
found themselves once more in the road which led direct
from Bala to Llanderfel. Here John Griffith ventured
mildly to suggest that if they followed this road they
would probably find no trouble in reaching their destin-
ation. Serjeant Davies rather inclined to the same opinion,
but the stout-hearted Justice objected to so simple a pro-
ceeding. In fact, he was rather ashamed at the cowardice
which he somewhat unjustly imputed to himself with
reference to the proceedings of the previous day, and felt
that his character was more or less at stake. He, there-
fore, put it very strongly to his companions that they
ought not to be driven to alter their course by even so
much as one inch in consequence of the events which had
taken place. He reminded them that he and the Serjeant
were travelling upon the King’s business, that the King
was supreme in England, both as regarded temporal and
spiritual matters, and that as to dispute his power and



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 73

supremacy was undoubtedly rank high treason, so to be
influenced and swayed by those who evidently did so must
certainly be very near the same. Moreover, he said that
since the King had proved strong enough to shake off the
Pope, who had claimed to be supreme over the spiritual
affairs of the kingdom, it would be an insult alike to King
and Pope if they allowed any one else, saint, sprite, or
demon, to oppose and thwart his Majesty’s royal will and
pleasure. Therefore upon their allegiance he demanded
that they should resume their yesterday’s path, and ride
along the banks of the river to Llanderfel.

Not without some hesitation did they comply, for although
John Griffith had no fears for himself, he did not wish to
be delayed in his journey upon his own private affairs by
further misadventures which might befall the two gentle-
men, whilst as for Serjeant Davies, he justly remarked
that although the King’s orders enjoined them to proceed
to Llanderfel, they said nothing about getting there by any
particular road, and he did not see the force of braving
unseen foes when there was nothing to be got by it.

Mr. Justice Allen, however, being an obstinate man, and
one that loved his own way, had the same good luck which
usually attends those of a similar temperament and dis-
position. He had his own way, and the three men once
more entered upon the path by the river side, and advanced
along the bank. é

There was nothing unusual to be seen in river, mountain
side, or meadow. The water gurgled round the stones,
merrily as usual, the ring-ousel started from the rushes in
the shallow water, and fluttered across the river, as if
alarmed by the approach of the invaders of his quiet home,
the kingfisher went by like a flash of lightning as usual,
but apparently quite intent upon his own business, and
nothing appeared at all likely to disturb or molest the
travellers.



74, EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

They proceeded for some distance further than they had
done on the previous day, and had in fact arrived at a point
about half-way between the bridge at which they had left
the high-road and the village for which they were bound,
before anything unusual occurred. Then they came to a
small strip of green meadow, not twenty yards wide,
beyond which was a hedge, and a bridle-gate through which
they would be able to pass into a larger meadow beyond.
But exactly as they reached this strip of meadow, it
suddenly changed altogether its character and appearance.

From a pleasant-looking pasture, which seemed to invite
a canter, it became a regular quagmire, shaking and shift-
ing as if only anxious to swallow up and engulf anybody
or anything which ventured upon it. So actively did its
surface heave to and fro, that the horses naturally hecame
alarmed, and refused to move a step further. Nor was it
only the land itself which had such a dangerous look about
it. From the mud peered up frogs, toads, snakes, and
other disagreeable and venomous-looking creatures, and the
frogs indeed set up a hoarse croaking, which was of itself
enough to frighten any well-disposed horse.

Mr. Justice Allen, however, was determined not to be
discomfited, and spurring his steed forward, raised his
riding-whip at the same time for the purpose of more
effectually enforcing his will, Horror upon horrors! No
sooner had he done so, than the hilt silver of the whip
turned into a serpent’s head, the rest of the weapon became
the body, and slipping from the hand of the astonished
Justice, wriggled away towards the marsh as if it belonged
to the place. Most men would have been utterly frightened
and overcome by this strange and alarming occurrence, but
the good Justice was not an ordinary man, and had,
doubtless, for this reason been selected ag one of the
Commissioners whose duty it would be to encounter and
defeat much local prejudice, and therein to display a



LEGEND OF SI. DDERFEL 75

firmness and strength of mind without which the victory
could not be won. On the previous day Allen had been
taken by surprise, and certainly he was not free from
wonder at the present moment. But he had made up his
mind to carry the business through, and resolved within
himself that ten thousand sprites or saints, goblins or
devilkins, should not now turn him back. So he shouted
aloud to his companions :

“Come on, come on! In the King’s name, come on !
I warrant me that the King and my Lord Cromwell will
prove too strong for these knaves, an we face them
boldly !”

Scarcely had the word Cromwell passed his lips when a
tremendous yell broke from the bed of the river; such a
yell of mingled surprise, rage, and agony as had never
before been heard by any of the party. At the same time,
after one mighty heaving, which evidently agitated its
whole surface from end to end, the quagmire in front of
the travellers ceased to oppose any obstacle to their pro-
gress, and returned to its former condition of a peaceful
and innocent meadow. Mr. Justice Allen’s whip, moreover,
calm and quiet as if it had never misconducted itself at
all, came actually into his hand as if it had been there
all the time—a sedate, respectable, everyday whip—and
every ugly and venomous creature utterly disappeared from
sight.

All, however, was not over. In the very middle of the
river, rearing itself up above the water, appeared the figure
of a man, or at least the head and shoulders of a man,
which led the casual observer to the conclusion that the
rest of the body and the legs were beneath the water ;
though, as everything connected with magic is wonderful
and uncertain, this might not have been the case, and it is
quite possible that there were no body and legs belonging
to the head and shoulders at all. Be this as it may, so



76 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

much of a man’s form as I have described was certainly
visible to all three men, as each of them declared to his
dying day. It is true that they all differed somewhat as
to its precise appearance, Justice Allen declaring that the
head was covered with dark grizzly hair, with a long grey
beard, and singularly handsome features, whilst Serjeant
Davies maintained that there was a wreath of weeds which
almost concealed the hair, and John Griffith stoutly avowed
that the head and hair were of a dark red colour. Still
they all saw the head, and all agreed that the breast and
shoulders were covered with something very like the scales
of a fish, It is unimportant, however, to dwell upon these
details, since by far the most interesting part of the
strange apparition was the voice which issued from its lips.
Of course they all knew perfectly well that it was the
River-Sprite. No one else would be likely to be in the
middle of the river or to make such an unearthly noise
under the circumstances ; so they looked and listened, quite
. prepared for something extraordinary, though not exactly
for what followed. Raising above his head a hand which
firmly grasped a salmon of considerable size, he hurled the
fish in the direction of the party, as if it was his manner
of giving vent to a curse upon them and their undertaking.
The fish, fortunately for itself, fell short, and disappeared
in a pool between the Sprite and those at whom he seemed
to aim. At the same moment he raised his voice, and in
harsh and discordant tones thus addressed them :
‘*Ride on, ride on, since River-Sprite
No more may check the royal might,
Nor Dderfel’s sanctity avail
*Gainst those who would his shrine assail.
Ride on, ride on, base Harry’s slaves,
To do the work of robber-knaves 3
Yet pause on sacrilegious way,
And list to my prophetic lay.

By Cromwell’s aid and Cromwell’s act
(Where hath the rogue a counterpart 2)



LEGEND OF ST, DDERFEL 77

Comes o’er the land an hour of gloom,

And meck Religion hears her doom.

Through Cromwell works a king this shame—
Yet kings shall live to curse the name.

In ages yet to come shall spring

A Cromwell to confound a king,

For Dderfel’s wrong shall king atone,

And Dderfel’s vengeance shake a throne !”

Having uttered these words, the River-Sprite threw up
both his arms once more, gave vent to another tremendous
yell, and disappeared with a splash which sent the water
flying right and left, and must have considerably disturbed
any fish which chanced to be in the neighbourhood. The
three men looked at each other in amazement, and then
John Griffith shook his head, and said he did not like this
sort of thing at all. The two gentlemen, however, thought
differently, inasmuch as they augured, from the appearance
and disappearance of the individual whom they had just
seen, that they would meet with no further interruption on
their journey, and they neither understood nor cared for
the allusions of something which a Cromwell would, at
some future day, do to a king, so long as they were allowed
to proceed to the accomplishment of the business of their
King, which had caused their expedition.

We, of course, looking back upon the whole course of
events, understand all about the matter, and see what a
wonderful prophecy was that of the River-Sprite ; but the
persons who heard it were differently circumstanced. Yet
I have heard it whispered that some prophecy of this kind,
working upon the jealous fears of King Henry the Eighth,
was the beginning of the events which caused Lord Crom-
well’s downfall, which was very hard upon him, since he
had nothing to do with the geat river, and never killed a
king in his life. Indeed, as a matter of fact and history,
the King killed him, which was a totally different thing ;
and considering the whole circumstances of the case, I



78 EVERY GIRI’S STORIES

think it would have been a far more reasonable prophecy
of the River-Sprite if he had foretold that Cromwell should
before long (as was the case) fall out of favour with his
Royal master, and, as happened to a good many other
people who displeased King Henry the Eighth, lose his
head in consequence. This, I say, the River-Sprite might
have foretold, and, in ascribing it to St. Dderfel’s vengeance,
would have greatly raised both his own reputation and that
of the Saint.

Perhaps, however, he didn’t know it, or perhaps he was
bound not to prophesy about any person then alive, or
perhaps he did not choose to give Cromwell the warning.
In fact, river-sprites are such very curious people, that one
never knows the exact rules by which they go, and there-
fore it is not of the slightest use to speculate upon the why
or wherefore of anything which they may chance to say
or leave unsaid. I only know what this particular Sprite
did say, and, as I had it direct from a water-ousel, who
was descended in a direct line from a bird who heard and
saw the whole occurrence, and had constantly told the
story to his children, to be handed down to the eggs yet
unhatched, I do not think that there can be any mistake
about it.

At all events, Mr. Justice Allen and Serjeant Davies
found that no further obstacle was thrown in the way of
their journey to Llanderfel, and in a very short time they
arrived at that interesting village, and found comfortable
quarters at the ‘ Horse-shoe.’

As they reached the place in good time, they were able
to make a full inspection of the church and to visit the
shrine of the Saint. Several people followed and watched
them closely, but no one interfered with them ; and, having
viewed the figure of the Saint on his wooden horse, and
gazed upon the offerings which the piety of the neighbouring
villagers and the passing pilgrims had bestowed thereupon,



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 79

they returned to their inn and made themselves comfortable
for the night.

They required the services of John Griffith no longer,
and therefore dismissed him, with the offer of a liberal
reward. But this honest John refused, saying that since
he had been thrown in with them as comrades during a
ticklish time, he had stood by them as a Welshman should,
but that he had now heard too much of their errand to
care to touch their money, and accordingly he took his
leave without doing so. This somewhat surprised the two
-gentlemen, but they did not allow it to distress them, which
was a sensible thing on their part, though perhaps not
wonderful, since people are seldom averse to saving their
‘money when they can conveniently do so. John Griffith,
therefore, went on his way ; and, although no longer pro-
tected by his presence, neither the Justice nor the Lawyer
suffered any further inconvenience at Llanderfel that night.

Upon the next morning their work was to begin, and
their brother Commissioner, Mr. Philipson, duly arrived
from Ruabon with a body of men who had been sent to
support the execution of the King’s will. The inquiry
which they instituted was one of a sufficiently simple
character, it was merely to ascertain that miraculous
powers were commonly ascribed by the people of the
neighbourhood to the wooden figure of St. Dderfel, and
this would. be held to justify its immediate destruction and
the plunder of a shrine which every true Protestant would
of course rejoice to see destroyed.

The belief of the people was not difficult to prove, for
it was universal throughout all North Wales. When
summoned to give evidence upon the subject, the poor
creatures thought they were called upon to bear witness to
the power, sanctity, and goodness of their beloved Saint,
and testified with great alacrity to the many cures which
had been effected through his agency. Sufficient evidence



80 EVERY GIRS STORIES

was soon collected to have hanged half-a-dozen sinners
instead of one saint, who in those days had still less
chance of getting off, and it was soon clear enough that
St. Dderfel must be doomed. Hanging, however, was not
to be his fate.

The people vainly endeavoured to save him by offering
to subscribe for his ransom. It might not be. There could
be but one place to which the image might be carried, one
manner in which it might be destroyed.

At that time Friar Forrest, having first maintained the
supremacy of the Pope and then that of the King, had
come back to his first love, and was opposed to the uproot-
ing of the papal power and the destruction of monasteries.
It was, therefore, determined that he should be “ purified
by fire,” which was the pleasant way people had of putting
it in those days when they burned a man, although I don’t
suppose it made it any more pleasant for the fellow who
had to be burned. Friar Forrest was burned in Smithfield
market, and stuck wp for the Pope to the last, just as many
stout-hearted Protestants held out against him, in Queen
Mary’s reign afterwards, and were burned in the same
fashion. But in order to show that the Saint could not
save the Friar, they took his image, chopped it up, and
made it into firewood to burn the victim, which it did with
great success.

Mr. Justice Allen, Serjeant Davies, and Mr. Philipson
thought it their duty to be present upon this occasion,
being determined to see the last of St. Dderfel, and saw
his remains used in this manner with much satisfaction.

Now the fragments into which the Saint had been spilt
were of considerable size, and as they spluttered and
cracked and hissed in the fire, the three Commissioners, in
common with other people, could plainly distinguish them.
Suddenly, from the middle of the crowd which pressed
around, eagerly watching the execution of the unhappy



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 81

victim, a tall man, wrapped in a long, dark cloak, stepped
swiftly, as it appeared to those who saw him, into the very
fire, seized one of the largest pieces of St. Dderfel, blazing
as it was, quickly placed it under his cloak, whence came a
hissing noise as of water thrown on fire, and in an instant
the stranger had disappeared again, without any one making
an effort to stop him.

All three Commissioners saw the thing plainly, but
Philipson was astonished at its effect upon his companions.
They turned deadly pale, trembled all over, and looked at
each other with terror written in the countenance of each.
After a time they recovered themselves sufficiently to
explain the cause of their strange emotion, when they both
informed their colleague and friend, that in the person who
had so boldly stepped into the fire, and performed the feat
which has just been told, they distinctly recognized the
features of the Sprite of the River Dee. nh

It was in vain that Mr. Philipson endeavoured to combat
so foolish an idea, and to explain away so absurd a delusion.
Both the gentlemen stuck steadily to their story, Serjeant
Davies endeavouring, though with a melancholy face, to
perpetrate a joke after his own peculiar fashion, by declaring
that it was no De-lusion but a Dee-Sprite.

This, however, failed to amuse the company when dis-
cussing so serious a subject. Serious, indeed, it turned
out to be. Mr. Justice Allen was never the. same man
afterwards ; he changed his religion three times, which
was not an uncommon occurrence in those days, but was
never any the better for it. The memory of his sojourn in
Wales seemed ever with him: he continually fancied that
he saw the figure of the Spirit of the Dee following him,
and at last he took to drinking, and of course made a
miserable end of it. It is said, indeed, that when nearly
at his last he heard the doctor who was in attendance upon

him declare that it was a clear case of “Delirium tremens.”
G



82 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

“Dee, again?” he exclaimed in frantic horror—“ the Dee
—the Dee—always the Dee—oh, that dreadful Dderfel !”
and with this name on his lips expired.

Nor did Serjeant Davies ever thrive after the events of
which I have had to tell. He grew stout, and, strange to
say, the more corpulent did he become, the worse grew his
temper, until at last he was a perfect nuisance to every one.
Any allusion to his Welsh adventures at once excited him
to fury, and the names of Dderfel and the river Dee were
never suffered to be mentioned in his presence. At last,
when he had been enjoying a worse attack than usual of
the gout, to which he was a martyr, he so annoyed his
niece by his irritability and disagreeable remarks, that to
one of the latter she thoughtlessly remarked, “ Fiddle-de-
dee.” Scarcely was the word out of her mouth when he
flew into a violent passion, accusing the poor girl of having
used a forbidden word, and working himself up into such
a temper that he tried to rise from his chair to strike her.
The exertion and the excitement brought back the gout,
which flew to a vital part, and the learned Serjeant went
out of the world in this melancholy fashion.

This account of the end of the two Commissioners is that
which is commonly held to be correct in Llanderfel, and I
have therefore given it, although I believe that the families
of Allen and Davies have entirely different versions as to
the lives and deaths of their two respeeted ancestors.

There is, however, a striking corroboration of one part
of my story, the most of which, to tell the honest truth, I
learned from the water-ousel, whom I have already men-
tioned and whose acquaintance I recently made when on a
visit to North Wales.

Somehow or other, a large fragment of the image of
St. Dderfel on his horse did re-appear in the church of
Llanderfel, and may be seen in the porch thereof unto this
day. Now, how did it come there? Is it likely that the



LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 838

Commissioners, who were so zealous and earnest in their
work of destruction, would have left the smallest vestige
of the abomination which they had come to destroy? Is it
not certain, beyond all reasonable doubt, that every scrap
and fragment of the Saint and his horse was sent up to
Smithfield to help to burn Friar Forrest? If so, how can
we reconcile this with the undoubted fact of the presence
in Llanderfel church of a large fragment to-day? There
is only one way of doing so, and that is by believing the
story of the gallant rescue made by the River-Sprite.

And when I walk along the banks of the old river, and
listen to its pleasant murmuring sounds, they seem to tell
me over again these old tales, and to impress on me that it
is just as well to believe them, for they lead me to feel that
there is an unseen and an unknown world, through, and
by, and in which we may be daily walking, although we
see and know it not, a world of spirits who protect the good
and pure, and who can do so better and more effectually
than the Spirit of the Dee was able to protect the shrine
of St. Dderfel.



SYBIL’S VISION

By tue Ricut Hoy. E. H. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN

(LorpD BRABOURNE)

Tr was a sad moment for Sybil Praed when she was told
that she was to be taken to the dentist that very morning,
and have four of her teeth taken out! Those who have
(and who has not 1) had to undergo the misery of such a visit,
can picture to themselves the horror with which Sybil
listened to the announcement. I well remember my own
feelings on many a similar occasion, and I suppose the same
sensations are common to all children. How shall I describe
the terrible nature of those visits? First of all, the carriage
always drove twice as fast as ib did when it was taking us
anywhere else, and one always seemed to be at the dentist’s
door almost directly after leaving our own. Then there
was the waiting—ten minutes—twenty minutes—half-an-
hour—sometimes an hour—in the dismal waiting-room. I
can see it now, with its table covered with books, which at
another time would have been charming to one’s childish
imagination ; but, alas! it was not so at that particular
moment! The Gentlemen's Mag gazine wight as well have
been a Latin grammar ; Pickwick and Nicholas Nickleby
were no better than a French dictionary, and even that
volume of pictures from Punch (invariably found on a
dentist’s drawing-room table) had entirely lost its attrac-

tions for the nonce. Nor was the agony of suspense much
$4



SYBIL’S VISION 85

lightened by the observation of other victims also awaiting
their summons to the dreaded presence of the operator.
One regarded them with a curious mixture of pity for
fellow-sufferers and jealousy lest they should be first sum-
moned, and so one’s own agony be prolonged. The longing
for and yet dreading the summons was something too trying
to the childish mind, and when at last the servant—who
had generally a melancholy look of his own—opened the
door and signified that our turn was come, one felt as if one
was going then and there to instant execution! I forbear
to carry my description further. The appearance of The
Torturer—his kindly smile, in which one detected lurking
treachery—his friendly words, “ Let me just feel that tooth,
my dear, I won't hurt you”—his row of marvellous and
terrible instruments—the very chair in which one sat,—all
these things are vividly before my eyes, and so they were,
I dare say, before poor Sybil’s eyes when she received the
intelligence of her coming fate. And, to tell the honest
truth, I do not think she was much comforted by the infor-
mation given her at the same time, that “ it really wouldn’t
hurt her at all, for she was to have ‘ laughing gas,’ and
would know nothing at all about it till it was over.’ ‘This
sounded all very fine ; but Sybil knew nothing about “ laugh-
ing gas,” and she did know that having a tooth out some-
times hurt a great deal. She had once before undergone
the operation, and was only partially reconciled to the
suffering by the new shilling which (according to the
invariable custom of all papas who know their duty and do
it) her papa had given her in consequence. Moreover, she
had before her the experiences of her elder brother Willy.
That young gentleman, being much addicted to “sweets”
and nuts, which are the avowed and mortal enemies of all
teeth, had been rewarded by a tooth-ache which could only
be cured by the removal of one of his double teeth, the
extraction of which had given him so much pain that he



86 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

had hated the name of dentist ever since, though, from all
I can hear, he had not given up the consumption of those
nuts and “sweets” which he had so much more reason to
detest. So Sybil, judging by all she knew, expected to be
hurt, and didn’t at all like the thoughts of it. However,
she was a good girl, and knew that when one has to do or
to bear anything, the only way is to make the best of it,
and go through it bravely, and this she determined to do.
Accordingly, when the carriage came to the door, she put
on as cheerful a face as circumstances permitted, and pre-
pared to accompany her mamma. The horses went as fast
as usual, and in less than no time, as it appeared to Sybil,
they arrived at Mr. Tronfield’s door. Mr. Tronfield was a
man whom nature never intended as an instrument of
torture to any one, and who, I am sure, would never have
undertaken the duties of his profession except from the
knowledge that the pain which he was occasionally obliged
to inflict was only given for the purpose and with the
certainty of preventing the longer and more excruciating
anguish of tooth-ache. Kindness was in his face, sympathy
for suffering in his eye, and when, after a short interval of
waiting, Sybil and her mamma were ushered into his
presence, the former felt at once that in such hands as his
she would not be made to suffer more than was absolutely
necessary. In the room, however, was another person be-
sides Mr. Tronfield, who held in his hand a large, mysterious-
looking bag not unlike that in which lawyers carry their
papersand documents. Sybil looked at him with some little
awe, not being sure whether his presence meant that her
case required more than one person to deal with it, or
whether he was going to carry away her teeth in his bag,
or play any other part in the coming performance. She
was soon told, however, that this was the gentleman who
was to administer the “laughing gas,” and, as he seemed
a pleasant, friendly kind of person, she overcame her fears



SYBIL’S VISION 87

and sat down as directed in the arm-chair by the window.
Then they put.a curious bag over her nose, and told her to
sit quite still and not to mind, for nobody was going to hurt
her. So she sat quite still, and tried not to mind, and then
the gentleman said to her, “ Now you can listen to me
whilst I count, and see how many you can hear me count
whilst you sit there.’ And then she heard him begin, “ One,

two, three, four, five, six——”

What had happened?
Suddenly, Sybil found that she was no longer in the
dentist’s chair, but that something very strange and extra-
ordinary had occurred. She was standing in the middle of
a garden, surrounded by the loveliest flowers you can pos-
sibly imagine. Roses were there in profusion, and roses,
too, of the most beautiful kind, and emitting the most
fragrant odour. Standard roses Sybil saw everywhere, right
and left, and close to her was a large bed of dwarf roses, the
like of which, for size, brightness of colour, and beauty she
had never seen before. On every side were flowers whose
names she knew, and a great many of which she had never
heard, but the sight of them all was most beautiful, and the
perfume which was wafted through the soft, balmy air was
something more delicious than she had ever smelled before.
Nor was it the flowers alone which constituted the beauty
of that wonderful garden. Birds of gaudy plumage flew
from tree to tree, and others, perched among the foliage
above Sybil’s head, uttered notes of the sweetest melody,
rare and beautiful butterflies floated lazily over the flower-
beds, and the contented hum of the honey-bee imparted an
air of comfortable, quiet drowsiness to the whole scene. Not
that a honey-bee is a drowsy creature of itself, far from it,
but. in the warm summer weather, if you ever throw your-
self upon the grass and give yourself up to quiet laziness,
nothing helps you more than that busy yet tranquilizing
hum which proceeds from these industrious little insects as
they ply their daily labours among the sweetest flowers.



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Frontispiece.
EVRY CUES
> Ole Ss

BY

GRACE AGUILAR, GERALDINE BUTT, JANE BUTT,
THE COUNTESS D’AULNOY, MARIA EDGEWORTH,
“ESML,” MADEMOISELLE DE LA FORCE,

E. GOATLEY, MRS. H. R. HAWEIS,

THE RIGHT HON. E. H. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN,
MRS. LUXTON, MRS. HENRY MACKARNESS,
MARY RUSSELL MITFORD, L. MYERS

WITH 24 PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

LONDON
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, Limitrp
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILI.
MANCHESTER AND NEW YORK
1896
Ricuarp Cray & Sons, Limitep,
Lonpon & Bunaay.
CONTENTS

AGUILAR, GRACE.

PACE

Lapy Gresuam’s Fite . ; ; , 5 ; 7
BUTT, GERALDINE.

How Morty Mapr Pract . ; f : : : . 115
Joun’s REVENGE . ‘ r ; : ; ; 3 . 138
Our Basy , : e ‘5 : a E : : . 146
Tur Carre or A Ropin 5 ; 3 ‘ E : rel
Tue Story THAT Marcotrr Top : . , 5 . 109

WILLOUGHBY . P a , ‘ ' A a 5 . 198

BUTT, JANE.
My HerEro 5 a 5 : ; F ; fi , . 150

DAULNOY, COUNTESS.
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET . ' , , ; , . 166

EDGEWORTH, MARIA.

Our or Drsr Out or DANGER. , ; . , 192

Tur Kwapsack : ' : ; ‘ P ' x . 230
“RSME,”

Teena) are CoN Tec Te ae ee en ae 20

FORCE, Mapemorsrnnr Dr La.
Farrer THAN A FAIRY. j ; , : , 7 . 477

GOATLEY, FE.
Tue Story or RAcHEL ; ' , , r . . 286
vi CONTENTS

HAWKEIS, Mrs. H. R.

THE Story or CHANTICLEER AND PERTILOTE

KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN, Ricizr Hoy. EF. Te

Lrecenp or St. Dprerret,
Syzrr’s Visto :
Tur Movusé TRAVELLER

LUXTON, Mrs.
How Barrara cot wer own Way
Tur Broken Sonprrr
Wryyy’s Brrripay

MACKARNESS, Mrs. HENRY,
Forarr Mr Nor
NELLY

MITFORD, MARY RUSSELL.
Dora CrEswenr.
Parry’s New Har.
THE Cutna Jvc

MYERS, L.
THE Farry ‘Wrst’

42
84

21

321
385
308

420
394

453
448
438
FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

Miss Nuvinnu AND Lucy Ropurts : ; ; ; ‘ ;
“(Q MIMA, YoU MUSTN'T? KILL THE Mousk, Pook LITTLE FELLOW ”
Tans Feature ARMY NOVERED ROUND THE ‘TRAVELLERS :
A Fountain WAS PLAYING IN THE CENTRE OF THE GARDEN.

MARcELLE HAD TAKEN A FacGor FROM THE Fire, AND CAST IT

AT HIM . 5 ; f : : ° : ; ; ;
RALPH LAYS HER GENTLY DOWN ON THE STRAW : : :
Ferepinc THE Ropins . . 3 x . ‘ . : :
WinLovcusy AND REUBEN UNDER THE PLAYGROUND TREE :
KATHARINE AND Many , : : E : : : :
Our Basy . y : i : : ite ; , i ;
DoLLY WAS PLAYING SOFTLY ON THE VIOLIN : : : :

Tus Proxcy took THe BRIDLE AND LED THN SPIRITED ANIMAL

“Cursep, Cursep WoMAN, YOU HAVE BROUGHT ME ‘TO THE
GALLows” —. : : : 3 3 : : ; :

“Wy pay! WHat WAvE we HERE? A Pursu, A Pursu”

ConkAD AND THE GNOME. 6 : 5 , , ; ;
ConrRAD ON THE Macic Horsi. , 5 : : i .

Tune GueTep ARTISTE WAS LED FORWARD BY THE HAPPY GERVASE
Hert sum Wad A Cock, CALLED CHANTICLEER . , : 5
SHH WOULD PULL OFF 1bR SHOES AND PappLE IN THE STREAM

Miss Barpara Loveror 1x THE StaBLy with Trorry Vuck .

NeELLY WAS BUSY WitH Broom AND PaIL . m - , :

SHE FETCHED THE WATER HERSELF IN THE CHINA JUG. ;

“Dame Catarina! I’m uure, Datsy’s Har is My Rusrinc-
PLACE”? , : : ; : : : z A ’

Vairunk THAN A Farry . 7 3 5 / , A , F

PAGE

290
294
317
331
396
445

463
477
EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

LADY GRESHAM’S FETE
A TALE OF THE DAY
By Grack AGUILAR

Ir was near the end of May, beautiful May, that month
of strange contrarieties in our lovely land. In the haunts
of Nature, robed with such gorgeous beauty, bringing such
a lavish garniture of tree and shrub and flowers; such
fresh and dewy mornings; such glorious sunsets; and
those soft sweet hours of twilight, so fraught with spiritual
musings ; and those lovely nights, when the mind loses
itself in the infinitude of thought, in the vain yearning to
grasp something beyond our present being, in itself -evi-
dence of Immortality ! In the city, in the proud metropolis,
seat of empire and wealth, fashion and beauty, luxury and
pleasure, crime and famine, misery and desolation, clothed
as May still is with her natural beauty, we know her not,
save as the “Season!” and in that word what a_ host
of thoughts spring up—enjoyment, luxury, fétes, balls,
dinners! These were once, and but a few years back, its
sole association ; but now a mighty spirit is abroad, and

over the festal halls a dim cloud is hovering, breathing of
B
2 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

oppression born in that very thoughtless joyance. Through
the gay music, the silvery laugh, the murmur of glad
voices—aye, through every tone that tells of luxurious
a thrilling cry is sounding! the voice of



pleasure only
suffering thousands, claiming brotherhood with Joy;
demanding a portion of that which a beneficent Father
ordained for ALL—rest, recreation, homes.

In the drawing-room of one of the smaller mansions of
the aristocratic west, a young lady was sitting near an
open window, inhaling the delicious scent of the beautiful
flowers, which filled the balcony in such profusion that,
shaded.in the background as they were by the magnificent
trees of the park, they looked as if the goddess May had
brought a gafden from her most sylvan haunts, to mark
her presence even there.

Lucy Neville, the sole inmate of this pleasant room, was
neither very young nor very beautiful, yet she had charms
enough to occasion some degree of wonderment that she
should have passed through four London seasons and
attained the venerable age of three-and-twenty, and was
Lucy Neville still. She had the advantage of mingling
with some of the most highly-gifted and most learned
patriots of the age; for her brother, Lord Valery, of
whose house she was sole mistress, was one of the most
influential men of his day. She went into society also
continually ; and, altogether, it was a constant marvel to
all those who had nothing to do but to ‘talk of their neigh-
bours, why she had never married. Lucy Neville might
not have had regular beauty, but she had something better
—she had mInp, and a heart so full of good and kindly
feeling that she was an exception to the general idea, that
we must know sorrow ourselves before we can feel for
others. She was, indeed, only just putting off mourning
for a young and darling brother ; but she had begun to
think years before that, and the six months of quietude
LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 3

had only deepened, not created, the principles on which she
acted.

“ Visitors so late! why, it is just six o’clock!” passed
through her mind, as a loud impetuous ring announced a
carriage ; and a party of young ladies, of ultra-fashionable
exterior, hurried into the drawing-room, all talking at once,
and of something so very delightful, that Miss Neville had
great difficulty in comprehending their meaning.

“Now, Lucy, don’t look so bewildered. You are quick
enough at comprehension sometimes, and I really want you
to understand me with a word now, for I am in a terrible
hurry. I ought to have come to you by eleven this
morning, but really this short invitation has given me so
many things to think about, I could not.”

“But what am I to understand, Charlotte?” replied
Miss Neville, laughing so good-humouredly, that it was
difficult to discover why those of her own age and standing
so often kept aloof from her, as having so little in common.
“ Laura—Mary—have pity on my obtuseness.”

“Why, Lady Gresham’s long-talked-of féte is fixed at
last ; and of course you will go. Your invitation was en-
closed in mamma’s last night. Absolutely her ladyship
condescends to entreat her to introduce you. I cannot
imagine the reason of this sudden empressement—she could
have visited you long ago, had she wished it.”

“She did wish it individually, I believe ; but an unfor-
tunate misunderstanding between her brother and mine
prevented it. Edward has long wished the estrangement
to cease, so I shall be very happy to meet her half-way,
and accept the invitation. When is it?”

“Next Monday.”

“Monday! Why, to-day is Friday! You must mean
Monday week.”

“Indeed I do not. How she will manage I cannot tell,
except that when people have more wealth than they know,
4 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

what to do with, they can do what they please. Her villa
at Richmond, too, is just the place for a /éte champétre ;
and the novel shortness of the invitation, and being the
day before a drawing-room, will crowd her rooms, depend
upon it. It is something unusually exciting, the very
bustle of the thing.”

“ But I thought it was not to be until oe

“Until Herbert Gresham returned. Nor will it. He
arrives to-morrow night, or some time on Sunday, quite



suddenly, not having been expected for several weeks yet.
What with his foreign honours, his promised baronetcy,
and last, not least, his distinguished appearance, he will
be sought and féted by all the money-loving mammas and.
husband-seeking daughters for the remainder of the
season.”

“The worst of its being a féte champétre is, that we must
have complete new dresses,” rejoined Laura, “And how
to coax papa for the necessary help, I know not; my last
quarter was all gone before I received it, and my debts
actually frighten me. But what is to be done? go I must.”

“And then the shortness of the notice!” continued
Mary ; “really Lady Gresham might have given us more
time. Who can decide what to wear, or even what colour,
in three days?”

“Come, Lucy, decide! But of course you will go!” ex-
claimed Charlotte, impatiently. ‘It will be your first ap-
pearance in public this season, and so you can have nothing
to think about in the way of expense. Nothing but the
trouble of seeing about a new dress.”

“Which will prevent my going; much as I might wish
it,” replied Miss Neville, very quietly, though the faint
tinge rising to her cheek, and the quiver of the lip, might
have betrayed some degree of internal emotion.

“Prevent your going! What can you possibly mean ?”’
exclaimed her guests together.
LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 5

“That as it is now six o’clock on Friday, and you tell
me Lady Gresham’s féte is three o’clock on Monday, I
have not sufficient time to procure all I want (for having
been so long in mourning, I have literally nothing that
will do), without breaking a resolution, and sacrificing a
principle, which I do not feel at all inclined to do.”

“ Sacrificing a principle! Lucy, you are perfectly ridi-
culous! What has principle to do with a /éte champétre ?
Your head is turned with the stupid cant of oppressing, and
the people, as if we had not annoyances, and vexations, and
pressure too, when we want more money than we happen
to have! And as for time, what is to prevent your sending
to Mrs. Smith to-night, (by the bye, how can you employ
an English artiste ?) and get all you want by ten o’clock on
Monday morning? Why, I cannot even give an order till
after the post comes in to-morrow. I must wait to know
what was worn at the Duchesse de Nemours’ /te champétre
the other day. One feels just out of the ark, in England.”

« And Lam sure I cannot decide what to wear till then,”
languidly remarked Mary.

“ And as for me, I am in a worse predicament than
either of you,” laughed Laura, but her laugh was not a gay
one. “Raise the wind I must, but it requires time to
think how.”

We. have no space to follow this conversation further.
Persuasions, reproaches, and taunts assailed Miss Neville on
all sides, but she did not waver. Charlotte left her in
high dudgeon ; Mary marvelled at her unfortunate delusion,
quite convinced that she was on the verge of insanity ; and
Laura wishing that she could be but as firm. Not that
she comprehended or allowed the necessity of the principle
on which she acted, but only as it would save her the
disagreeable task of thinking how to get the necessary
costume when both modiste and jeweller had refused to
trust her any more.
6 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

For nearly half-an-hour Lucy remained sitting where her
visitors had left her, her hands pressed on her eyes, and
her whole posture denoting a painful intensity of thought.
Herbert Gresham returning! His mother’s unexpected
and pressing invitation! Could it be that the bar between
the families was indeed so entirely removed, that she might
hope as she had never dared hope before? Sir Sydney’s
hatred to her brother, from some political opposition, had
been such, it was whispered at the time, that he had
obtained his nephew some honourable appointment abroad,
only because he feared that he not only loved Lucy, but
leaned towards Lord Valery’s political opinions. Four
years had passed since then, and Herbert Gresham was no
longer a cipher in another’s hands. He had formed his
own principles, marked out his own course; and Lucy
heard his name so often and so admiringly from her brother’s
lips, that the dream of her first season could not pass away,
strive against it as she might, for she knew not whether
she claimed more than a passing thought from him who
held her being so enchained. And now he was returning ;
and to the féte to welcome him she was invited, with such
an evident desire for her presence, that her heart bounded
beneath the thronging fancies that would come, seeming to
whisper it was at his instigation. And why could she not
‘go? Wasis not, indeed, a quixotic and uncalled-for sacrifice ?
‘How could the resolution of one feeble individual aid in
removing the heavy pressure of over-work from the thou-
sands of her fellow-creatures? There was time, full time,
for all she required, if she saw about it at once. It was but
adding an atom to the weight of oppression, which, whether
added or withheld, could be of no moment; and surely,
surely, for such a temptation there was enough excuse.
How would Herbert construe her absence, if, indeed, it was



at his wish the invitation came? Why might she not
“Lucy, seven o’clock and not ready for dinner! Why,
LADY GRESHAM’S FETE v

what are you so engrossed about?” exclaimed her brother,
half-jestingly, half-anxiously, the latter feeling prevailing,
as she hastily looked up. A few, a very few words, and he
understood it all.

« And yet I know, even under such circumstances, you
will not fail,” he said; and how powerful is the voice of
affectionate confidence in the dangerous moment of hesita-
tion between right and wrong! ‘ You may, indeed, be
but one where there needs the aid of hundreds; but if all
hold back because they are but one, how shall we gain the
necessary muster? To check this thoughtless waste of
human life, this (in many) unconscious crushing of all
that makes existence, is woMAN’s work. Man may legislate,
may theorize, but he looks to his female relatives for its
practical fulfilment. \ Dearest, do you choose the right, and
trust me, useless as the sacrifice now seems, you will yet
thank God that it was made.”

Lady Gresham’s féte was brilliant, recherché—crowded as
anticipated. The weather was lovely, the gardens magnifi-
cent, the arrangements in the best taste that an ultra-
fashionist of some thirty years’ experience could devise.
Youth, beauty, rank, wealth, all were there, and the female
portion set off to the best advantage by an elegance of
costume and an extreme carefulness of attire, without which
all knew an entrance into Lady Gresham’s select coterie
could never be obtained. A despot in the empire of dress
and appearance, she little knew, and still less cared, for all
the petty miseries (alas, that such a word should be spoken
in the same breath with dress!) which her invitations
usually excited. The resolve to outvie—the utter careless-
ness of expenditure while the excitement lasted—the
depression, almost despair, at the accumulated debts which
followed—the rivalry of a first fashion—the petty man-
wuvres not to give a hint of the intended costume, and the
8 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

equally petty manceuvres to discover it—the mortification
when, after all the lavish expense; all the mysteries, others
appeared more fashionable, more recherché—the disgust
with which, in consequence, the previously considered
perfect dress was henceforth regarded—these, and a
hundred other similar emotions had been, during the
“season,” called forth again and again; and in beings
destined for immortality! was it marvel they had no
thought for other than themselves ?

That this féte was in commemoration of Herbert Gres-
ham’s return, and that he was present, the hero of the day,
not a little increased its excitement and importance. But
he moved amongst his mother’s guests with native and
winning courtesy indeed, but as if his mind were engrossed
with other and deeper things. In the four years of his
absence many changes, powerful in themselves, but still
only invisibly working, had taken place in the political
aspect of his country. By means of private correspondence
with the most influential men of the day, and through the
public journals, he had felt the deepest interest in these
changes ; and from the very fact of his looking on from a
distance, and not mingling with the contending waves of
party, he had formed clearer views concerning them than
many on the spot. He had returned, determined to devote
the whole energies of his powerful mind to removing
invisible oppression, so lessening labow: that minp might
resume her supremacy, and create for every position its
own immortal joys. He was no leveller of ranks; no
believer in that vain dream, equality. He had travelled
and thought much, and felt to his heart’s core the superi-
ority of England as a nation, both for constitution and
morality ; but this conviction, instead of blinding him to
her faults, quickened his perceptions, not only regarding
the evils, but their causes, and increased the intensity of
his desire to remove them.
LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 9

It was not, however, only the habitude of thought which,
on this occasion, had given him a look of abstraction. He
was disappointed. His mother had told him that, in com-
pliance with his desire, all foolish coolness between his
family and that of Lord Valery should cease—she had con-
descended to make advances to Miss Neville, which were
coldly rejected. She did not tell him that these advances
had been merely an invitation to her féte (of whose sudden
arrangement Herbert was himself unconscious), and did
not know herself, and certainly would never have imagined
the real reason of Lucy’s refusal. Before the day closed,
however, her son was destined to be enlightened.

He was standing near a group of very gay young ladies
and gentlemen, conversing at first on grave topics with a
friend, when his quick ear was irresistibly attracted by
the mention of Miss Neville’s name, coupled with much
satirical laughter.

“She will become a second Mrs. Fry, depend upon it,”
was the observation of one. “I should not be at all sur-
prised that at last we shall find her making pilgrimages
through the streets of London, to see if all the shops are
closed at a certain hour, and the released apprentices
properly employed.» She should set up an evening school
for drapers’ assistants and milliners’ apprentices. Why
don’t you propose it to her, Miss Balfour?”

Charlotte, whose superb Parisian costume gave her the
triumph of being almost universally envied, laughed, and
declared it was too much trouble.

“You stand in rather too much awe of both her and
Lord Valery,” was her brother’s rejoinder. “It is a pity,
though, that Miss Neville has imbibed such owtré notions,
otherwise she would be a nice girl enough.”

“And did she really refuse to come only because the
notice was too short for her to get a proper costume with-
as the cant of the day has it—



out injuring or oppressing
10 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

the poor milliners? How perfectly ridiculous! I am sure
the artistes who come for our orders are in the finest
condition both as to health and wealth.”

“And the shopmen—they are sleek, gay, care-nothing-
looking fellows. As for their needing greater rest, more
recreation, opportunities to cultivate the mind, one hag
only to look at them to feel the pure romance of the thing.
‘What are some people born for but to work ?”

« And just imagine how dull London would be if all the
shops were closed by seven or eight o’clock! I should lose
half my enjoyment in walking to my club.”

“T should like to know what good Miss Neville and her
party of philanthropists think they will accomplish by
giving so much liberty and leisure. We shall have to
build double the number of taverns, for such will be their
only resort. What can such people know of intellectual
amusement !”

“And if they did, what do they want with it? We
should have a cessation of all labour, and then what is to
become of us, or the country either ?”’

“Tt is pure folly. Some people must have a hobby to
make a noise about; and so now nothing is heard but
oppression, internal slavery, broken-hearted milliners’ ap-
prentices, and maimed drapers’ assistants! Really, for so
much eloquence, it is a pity they do not choose a higher
subject !”

“And I wish the present subject may never drop till the
work is done,” interposed Herbert Gresham, joining the
conversation with a suddenness, and speaking with such
startling eloquence, that it caused a general retreat of
individual opinion. He would have been amused had he
felt less interested, to see the effect on both sexes of his
unexpected interference. He spoke very briefly, for he
was too disgusted with the littleness, the selfishness, of all
the had heard to attempt anything like argument. And




Il.

P:

nd Lucy Roberts.

Miss Neville ar

WSs \








LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 11

the effort to excuse former sentiments—to dare say he was
right, but they had not reflected much about it—thought it
a pity to alter things which had been going on so long—
could not understand, even granting there was a good deal
of misery, how could it be helped, but if Herbert Gresham
thought it might be, no doubt there was more in it than
they believed, and very many other similar speeches, only
excited his contempt.

We must change the scene, for our space will not allow
us more than a slight sketch: a momentary glance, as it
were, on things passing daily, hourly around, and yet seen,
known of, by how few! Four or five days after Lady
Gresham’s féte, Miss Neville might have been seen entering
one of those small, close, back streets, found even in the
aristocratic west, and whose dilapidated dwellings present
almost as great a contrast with the proud mansions which
surround and conceal them as the inhabitants themselves.

It was a poor old needlewoman whom Lucy was visiting,
and, surprised at finding her usual sitting-room empty, and
fearing she was ill—for there was no sign of work about,
and Mrs, Miller was infirm and ailing—she gently entered
her sleeping apartment. The rough bed was occupied in-
deed, but not by its usual inmate, who was sitting by its side,
tears rolling down her withered cheeks, and her attention
so fixed that she did not perceive Miss Neville’s entrance.
She was watching the painful, restless movements of a girl,
who, in a high state of delirium and fever, was lying on
the pallet ; she was very young, and had been beautiful,
but suffering had scarcely left any trace but its own.
Earnestly and pityingly, Lucy entered into the sad, but
only too common tale her inquiries elicited ; but the old
woman’s narration being garrulous and unfinished, we will
give it in our own words.

Fanny Roberts and Harry Merton, born and nurtured in
12 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

the same village, had been playmates, school-fellows, friends,
and at last lovers—not only faithful and affectionate, but
prudent and thoughtful. The parents of both were poor,
even in their humble village, but the wishes and interests
of their children were their first object, and to see them
somewhat higher in the world than themselves their sole
ambition. To set up an establishment in the neighbouring
town, combining linen-draper, dressmaker, and milliner, had
been their day-dream from the time they had conned their
school lessons and taken long walks together, instead of
joining their playmates on the green; and to fulfil this
earnest wish, their parents, by many sacrifices, which,
measured by their love, seemed absolutely nothing,
gathered together sufficient to send them to London, and
apprentice them there. Harry was then nineteen and
Fanny two years younger. Hope was bright for both.
Their only drawback seemed the impossibility of meeting
more than once a week ; and six days of entire separation
was a weary interval to those accustomed to exchange
affection’s kindly words and looks each day. Only too
soon, however, did the oppressive reality of the present
absorb the rosy hues of the future. On the daily routine
of unmitigated work, the exhausting labour, the deadened
energies, the absorption of every faculty in the depressing
weariness, we need not touch. It was no distaste for work,
for both had set to their respective duties with hearts
burning to conquer every difficulty—to do even more than
was required of them, the sooner to gain the longed-for
goal; and had it not been for the fearful burden of over-
work, the absence of sufficient rest, of all wholesome recre-
ation, how brightly and nobly might these young loving
beings have walked the path of life, by mutual exertion
creating a HOME, and all the joys which, in England, that
one word speaks! Alas! ere eighteen months elapsed,
every thought of buoyancy and joy seemed strangely to
LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 13

have deserted Fanny. She could not tell why, for outward
things seemed exactly the same as they had been at first.
Harry was still faithful, still fond. Her heart intuitively
felt that he was altered. Why, she would often ask
herself, could she no longer feel happy? Why should
every thought of her own dear home cause such a sickly
longing for fresh air and green fields, that the hysteric sob
would often rise choking in her throat? and, more than
once, nothing but a timely burst of incomprehensible tears
had saved her from fainting as she sat. She could not
satisfy herself ; but in reality it was the silent workings of
insidious disease, seeming mental, because impossible to be
traced as physical, save by the constant sensation of
weariness, which she attributed merely to sitting so long in
close and crowded rooms; but though happiness seemed
gone, she retained the power of endurance : woman can and
will endure, but, in nine cases out of ten, men cannot. In
the one, suffering often purifies; in the other, it but too
often deteriorates.

Harry Merton had entered on his work joyfully and
buoyantly, determined to make the best of everything, and
be good friends with everybody. Naturally lively, with
the power of very quick acquirement, and a restless
activity of mind as well as body, a very few months’ trial
convinced him that if he had not entirely mistaken his
vocation, he certainly must do something to make it more
endurable. He had heard of institutions for the people in
London, of amusements open even to the most economical ;
he had pictured enjoying them with his Fanny, and
gaining improvement likewise. He found it all a dream.
There were, indeed, such things, but not for him or her.
The hour of his release found not only every wholesome
amusement closed, but himself so weary, that mental
recreation was impossible, and yet with the yearning for
some pleasure, some relief from wearisome work, so natural
14 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

in youth, stronger than ever. His convivial, unsuspecting
disposition led him to join the most seemingly attractive,
but in reality the most dangerous, of his companions.
The consequences need scarcely be narrated. He became
intemperate, gay, reckless, looking back on the pure, fresh
feelings of his early youth with wonder, and retaining but
one of their memories, his love for Fanny ; but even that
was no longer the glad, hopeful feeling which it had been,
He was constantly told, and he saw, that it must be years
before they could marry. He was laughed at for imagining
that either he or she would retain their early feelings. He
heard her beauty admired, and then pitied as a most
dangerous gift, which must eventually and most fearfully
separate her from him; and the most furious but most
unfounded jealousy took possession of him, and so darkened
every hour of meeting, that poor Fanny at length antici-
pated them with more dread than pleasure. It was long,
indeed nearly three years, before things came to such a
crisis; but the gradual conviction of the deterioration of
her lover’s character was to Fanny the heaviest suffering
of all: that she still loved him, surely we need not say.
She saw the circumstances of this miserable change, not the
change itself. Her woman’s heart clung to him the more,
from the very anxiety he inspired. So intensely did she
mourn for his long, wearisome hours of joyless toil, that
she scarcely felt her own ; though, when he was released at
ten or eleven, she was often working unceasingly till two
in the morning. The choking cough, the shortened breath,
the aching spine, she scarcely felt, in the one absorbing
thought of him. .

‘Whenever she could be spared, which in the “season ”
was very seldom, it was Fanny’s custom to go to Mrs.
Miller (her only friend in London) Saturday night and
remain till Sunday evening. Two or three days before the
invitations were out for Lady Gresham’s féte, a note was

.
LADY GRESHAM’S FRTE 15

given to her from Harry, the perusal of which occasioned
deeper suffering than anything she had yet endured. Snatch-
ing half-an-hour from the scanty time allowed for sleep, the
following was her reply :—

“Harry ! Harry! this from you! when you so fondly
promised you would never doubt me more! Yes, he did
seek me that Saturday night, or rather Sunday morning,
for it was one o’clock ; and I would not have gone there, had
you not made me promise that I would not disappoint you,
and that you would take me home. Why were you not
there? Why did you leave me to the chance of such a
meeting? And then upbraid me with putting myself in that
bad man’s way! Oh, Harry! Harry! by the memories of
our early home, our early love, spare me such unjust sus-
picion! You tell me writing will not satisfy you, you
must see me, hear from my own lips my version of this
cruel and most false tale. How can I see you till Saturday
night, the earliest, if then? Sunday, if I can only crawl
to Mrs. Miller’s, indeed I will come, pain as it is now to
move. Only trust me till then, dearest, dearest Harry.
Do not add to your burden and mine by thoughts like these.
You know that I am innocent ; that I never have loved,
never can love, any one but you.”

The Sunday came, but Fanny was unable to keep her
engagement. Madame Malin was so overwhelmed with
orders for Lady Gresham’s féte, that even the Sabbath-day
was compelled to be sacrificed. The peculiar trimmings
which it was absolutely necessary for Miss Balfour to have
to complete the Parisian costume (the details of which
never arrived till eleven o’clock, Saturday, and then all the
materials had to be purchased) were Fanny’s work ; and,
from her delicate taste, she, of all the assistants, could the
least be spared. In fact, extra hands were hired ; for to
complete twenty or thirty full dresses from the noon of
Saturday to ten o’clock Monday, in addition to those
16 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

already in hand for the drawing-room the following day,
was an unusual undertaking, even for the indefatigable
Madame Malin. Hour after hour those poor girls worked,
—through Saturday night, the yearned-for Sabbath, again
late into the night, till many fainted on their seats, and
the miserable toil was continued in a recumbent posture
by those unable to sit upright. A dead weight was on
poor Fanny’s heart, a foreboding misery ; but the sufferings
of the frame were such as almost to deaden the agony of
mind. ‘The hour of release came at length, inasmuch that,
ill as she was, she craved permission to take home some of
the dresses, that she might call at Mrs. Miller’s on her
way back, and learn some news of Harry, and beseech her
old friend to seek him, and tell him the reason of her
forced absence. Exhausted and most wretched as she was,
she had to wait till the dresses were tried on—the capricious
humour of the young ladies proved, by altering, realtering,
and final arrangement as they were originally—to bear
with petty fault-finding—until her whole frame seemed
one mass of nerve; and so detained, that she only entered
the street leading to her old friend’s abode, as the carriages
whirled off their elegantly-attired inmates to Lady Gresham’s
fete.

What a tale awaited her! Harry, restless, miserable,—
almost maddened by the false reports against her,—and
from the great pressure of business in his master’s shop,
from the innumerable visits of modistes’ assistants to pro-
cure the necessary materials so needed for the costumes of
Mrs. Gresham’s féte, not released till past one o’clock
Sunday morning, had perambulated the streets all night, in
the vain hope of meeting Fanny, encountering one of his
jovial companions, who, half intoxicated, swore he had
seen her entering a coach with—Merton knew whom—and
when collared and shaken by the infuriated lover till he
recovered his more sober senses, declared he could not tell
LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 17

exactly, but he thought it was her: at all events, Harry
would know to-morrow, if she had gone as usual to Mrs.
Millev’s.

There she was not. Never before had six o’clock on
Sunday evening come without her presence; and really
anxious, Mrs. Miller (though not believing a syllable
against her) conjured the unhappy young man to call
himself at Madame Malin’s, and inquire if she were ill or
detained. He did so. The well-instructed lacquey declared
the family were all at evening service, and if the appren-
tices were not with their friends, he supposed they were
there also ; he knew nothing about thém ; but he was quite
sure his mistress never permitted them-to work on
Sundays. Harry was in no state coolly to consider his words.
He rushed back like a madman to Mrs. Miller, uttered a
few incoherent sentences, and darted away before she had
time or thought even to reply. That very evening he
enlisted, and the Monday found him marching to South-
ampton with other troops about to embark for India. A
few lines to Mrs. Miller told her this, and accompanied a
parcel directed to Fanny, in case she should ever see or
hear of her again. The poor girl had just strength to tear
it open, to discover all her letters and formerly treasured
gifts, even to some withered flowers, returned,.with a few
words of stinging reproach, bidding her farewell for ever, ©
and dropped lifeless at the old woman's feet. One or two
intervals of coherency enabled her, by a few broken
phrases, to explain the reason of her absence 3 but brain-
fever followed, and even when Miss Neville saw her, all
hope was over. Vain was the skill of the gifted and bene-
volent physician Lucy called in. Disease had been too long
and too deeply rooted for resistance to a shock which, in its
agony, would have prostrated even a healthy constitution. A
few, a very few days of intense suffering, and the crushed

heart ceased to beat, the blighted frame to feel, and misery
c
18 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

for her was over. But for poor Harry—for the parents of
both—what might comfort them? We have seen the dete-
rioration of Harry’s character. _There were many to mark
and condemn the fwults, but none to perceive their cause.
And when he absconded from his apprenticeship, it did but
bring conviction as to his determined depravity. Who
may tell the agony of those two humble English homes,
when the post brought the miserable news of death to the
one, and of sin and utter separation to the other? They
had not even the poor comfort of knowing the cause of
their son’s change; their own bold, free, happy, loving
Harry,—how could Itis parents associate him with sin 1—or
Fanny, the healthy, rosy, graceful Fanny, with suffering
and death? And what caused these fearful evils, amongst
which our tale is but one amongst ten thousand? Lucy
Neville buried her face in her hands as she sat by the lowly
pallet, where lay the faded form whence life had only half-
an-hour before departed, and thanked God that the tempt-
ation had been indeed resisted, and that she had not made
one at Lady Gresham’s féte. It had not, indeed, been the
primary, or even the secondary cause. It did but strike
the last blow and shiver to atoms the last lingering dream
of hope and joy which, despite of oppression, misery,
despair, will rest invisibly in the youthful heart, till driven
thence by death.

“Tucy!” exclaimed Lord Valery that same day, stop-
ping the carriage unexpectedly as it was about to drive off
from that part of St. James’s where it usually waited for
her (she shrunk from ’the notice which a nobleman’s
carriage, seen in such localities as Mrs. Miller’s, would

‘inevitably produce),—“ Lucy, an old friend wishes to recall
himself to your memory ; will you give him a seat in your
carriage, and take me on the box? We both pine for
fresh air, and a drive in the Park will revive us for dinner,
LADY GRESHAM’S FETE 19

which, whether he will or no, I intend this gentleman to
partake.”

The words were the lightest, but the tone which spoke
them betrayed the truth at once. It was Herbert Gresham
by his side. Herbert Gresham, whose earnest eyes were
fixed on hers, with an expression in their dark depths
needing no words to tell her that his early dream, even as
her own, was unchanged—-that the first action of his now
unshackled will was to seek her, requiring no renewal of
acquaintance, again to love and trust her. And though
the suddenness of the meeting, the rapid transition
from sorrowing sympathy to individual joy, did so flush
and pale her cheek, that her brother looked at her
with some alarm, there was neither hesitation nor idle
reserve. Her hand was extended at once, and the pressure
which clasped it was suflicient response. Whether they
continued so silent, when Herbert did spring into the
carriage, and took his seat by her sidc, indeed we know
not. Certain it is that, had it not been for Lord Valery,
the footman might have waited long enough for orders to
drive “home ;” and equally certain that no day had ever
seemed so short to Lucy,—short in its fullness of present
enjoyment ; in its retrospect, could it have been but one
brief day ?

“And that poor girl is really gone?” inquired Lord
Valery, just as Herbert Gresham was about taking his
departure, most reluctantly warned to do so by a neigh-
bouring clock striking midnight. “ Another victim to
that hateful system, desecrating our lovely and most noble
land !”

“Dear Edward, hush!” interposed Lucy, gently, as her
eye rested on her lover.

“Do not check him, dearest, though I prize that fond
thought for me. I know the whole tale—that the ftte
welcoming my return, by misdirected zeal and thoughtless
20 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

folly, has added incalculably to the general burden, and
to individuals brought death and a life-long despair. The
past, alas! we cannot remedy—the future > and his
arm was fondly thrown round Lucy, and his lip pressed
her brow—“ dearest, let us hope next season there will be
another Lady Gresham’s Féte fraught with happiness for
all.”


THE MOUSE TRAVELLER

By tne Ricut Hon. BE. H. Kxyarcurvuni-HucEssex

(Lorp BrabourNE)

Din you ever lie awake listening to a mouse? It is
not a particularly agreeable occupation, and can hardly be
called an amusement, but sometimes one has to do it.
There are two sorts of mice, I think, which inhabit houses,
or else a mouse’s disposition, like that of a human being,
changes at different times and seasons. However that
may be, the noises which mice make are very different at
different times. There is your nibbling mouse, who keeps
on biting and tearing away at some piece of paper or
plaster in the wall to which he has apparently taken a
fancy, and which seems to afford him considerable pleasure
and occupation. Sometimes he moves on quietly and
stealthily, and if your fire is still alight, and happens to
be blazing a little, you may even see his small sharp-nosed
head and bright black eyes peeping out of the little hole
from which he sallies forth into that which is the outer
world to him. Then there is your noisy, blustering,
rampaging mouse, who is for ever running up and down
behind the wainscot, making such a prodigious row, that
you declare to yourself, over and over again, that it must
be a rat, and wish him a thousand miles off from the
bottom of your heart.

This kind of mouse is a rackety, unpleasant neighbour,

21
22, EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

who makes you feel hostile to mice generally, and inspires
you with a sudden and earnest affection for cats, mouse-
traps, and toasted cheese. The other mouse excites no
such violent animosity towards himself or his race. If you
rap the wall, he frequently ceases his noise and troubles
you no more, and it is possible to become quite accustomed
to his ways, and at last even to consider him as a companion
and friend. Such a mouse it is who will be the hero of
my present tale, and a highly respectable mouse he was.
Do not think the worse of him because he lived in London.
Very good people, as well ‘as very bad ones, live there, all
the year round, generally because they have nowhere else
to live. And although we have all read of the simple,
honest, country mouse, who, after a short stay in town,
was frightened at the first danger he met, and went back
declaring that he liked his dry country crust, eaten in
safety, better than all the town delicacies which were
obtained with so much risk, yet, if the truth were known,
there are mice in London just as simple and honest as
those in the country, and just as contented with a bit of
bread and cheese as their neighbours, At any rate, the
mouse of whom I am going to tell you was as worthy a
little fellow as ever entered a wainscot. He lived in a
house which was situated in one of the most fashionable
parts of London, but I will not tell you the name of the
street, for fear the mouse newspapers might get hold of it,
and find fault with the poor little fellow for having told
me his story, since mice are not permitted to speak to
people if they can possibly avoid it, but are ordered by the
laws of mousedom to run away as fast as they can if a
man, woman, or child, comes towards them or speaks to
them. So it would clearly be wrong if I was to expose my
little friend to unpleasant consequences by telling his
name or that of the street in which he lived. It is enough
for you to know as much as I have already told you, and
THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 23

T must beg that none of you will try to find out any more.
This little mouse was of a contented disposition: he kept
quietly behind the wainscot all the day, only treating him-
self to an occasional peep into any of the rooms which
appeared to be unusually quiet. Then, as night came on,
he was in the habit of creeping out of the hole in the
corner of the room, and foraging about for provisions. A
few crumbs of bread from the dining-room floor contented
him ; a bit of hard biscuit gave him great pleasure, and a
morsel of cheese delighted him beyond all bounds. So you
see our town mouse was not so very dainty, nor was he
accustomed to live upon delicacies, and consume the fat of
the land. One day he had crept out rather earlier than
was his usual custom; and as he was watching the dining-
room table with hungry eyes, his attention was drawn to
the conversation of two gentlemen who were sitting over
their wine and cracking their jokes and their walnuts
together, They were telling each other of the curious
things which they had seen in foreign countries, of the
difference of the people who inhabited them, their various
languages, those of their habits and customs which seemed
strange to visitors from other lands, and, in short, of the
many remarkable lessons which might be learnt by people
who travelled abroad.

Then one of the gentlemen began to say how odd it was
that so many persons went abroad to see strange sights
and scenes, and never visited half the beautiful places in
their own country, or discovered the curiosities and amusing
things which were very often close to them when they were
at home.

The mouse was much struck by this remark, with which
the other gentleman appeared perfectly to agree. So when
the dessert was over, and the dining-room was left empty,
although the little mouse crept out and enjoyed himself
mightily with the scraps which he found on the floor,
24 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

somehow or other he found it impossible to get the con-
versation which he had heard out of his head.

“Here am I,” thought he to himself, ‘one of those
very stay-at-home folks of whom the gentlemen were
talking. I cannot go to those foreign countries of which
I heard them speak, but there must be many strange sights
within my reach which I have never seen, or even taken
the trouble to look after. I really feel that I am doing
myself an injustice by refusing to make use of the oppor-
tunities before me, and I must seriously consider the
matter.”

So thought and so talked the mouse for several days,
until at last he quite made up his mind to take a voyage
of discovery, and to see all that was to be seen in the
neighbourhood of the house in which his lot had been cast.

Accordingly, the very next evening he set to work ; and
creeping up the curtain, and out on to the window-sill, he
found that, by passing along the gutter at the edge of the
roof, he could easily find his way into the next house, and,
indeed, could traverse the whole street if he pleased in the
same manner.

Into the next house he crept, under the eaves ; and after
creeping and crawling as only mice and courtiers know
how to creep and crawl, he found himself in a strange
wainscot, along which he travelled until he came upon a
little hole in the corner, from which he peeped out into a
room that was quite new to him. It was evidently the
nursery, for there upon the floor sat three little girls and
a little boy playing with some dolls, whom they were
making believe to be real people, and talking to them and
answering for them as gravely and seriously as possible.

“ Now, Gertrude,” said the eldest little girl to one of
her sisters, “you and Mary shall put your dolls to bed,
and Johnny and I will make our dolls the nurses, and rub
their feet and tuck them in quite snugly.”
THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 25

“Yes, Emily dear,” said the other, “that will be very
nice ; and then one of them shall have a cold, and Mary
shall be the nursery-maid, and bring her some bran tea.”

« With lemon and lots of honey in it,” said Mary.

“Yes,” said Emily; “and then she must have her bed
warmed, you know, and I will be the mamma, and come
in the last thing to see that the little ones are all safe in
bed.”

So they began to undress the dolls, and talk to them all
the time, as if they were real children. One they called
Julia—she was a large wax doll with very red cheeks and
very black eyes; another was Lucy Jane—she was also
a wax doll, but not quite so large as Julia, and with flaxen
hair; then there was Amelia, who was still smaller, but
very smartly dressed in white with a crimson sash and
crimson bows on her shoulders; and there were several
other dolls whose names I do not happen to remember just
at this moment, but I dare say you can guess them, and
if not, invent others for them which will do quite as well.

The children went on undressing the dolls very carefully,
and making every arrangement for putting them snugly to
bed. Gertrude got a basin, and Mary fetched a jug, which
she said was for the hot water. Then Emily took a little
make-believe warming-pan, and pretended to warm the
bed, and all this time the children were as happy as possible
—no unkind word ever passed between them, but they
seemed to be all fond of each other, and to be enjoying
their play together as contentedly and merrily as little
brothers and sisters ought always to do, if they want to
be happy whilst they are children, and in after years to
have nothing but sweet, cheerful, happy thoughts to cast
back upon the days of the early childhood which they have
left behind.

The mouse thought it was very pleasant to see this
loving little family at play, and he would have liked well
26 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

enough to have joined them, or at least to have stayed
‘a little longer and listened to them as they prattled away
so merrily. But as he cast his bright black eyes round
the room, he espied a large tortoise-shell cat, fast asleep
upon the hearth-rug in front of the fire-place, and at this
terrible sight he shivered all over, crept back into the
wainscot, and continued his travels. As he passed into
the next house, loud and angry voices met his ears,

“ Give me that doll, I say! give it me quick !”

“No, I sha’n’t; it’s mine, and I won’t let you have
it!”

Such were the words which met his ears, and the little
mouse peeped through a hole in the wall with great curiosity
and amazement. Two little girls were quarrelling about a
doll, which one held in her hands, and which the other
wanted, whilst their baby brother was seated on the floor,
staring at them in silent astonishment. Their little eyes
flashed with rage, and they looked quite ugly in their
passion, as children always do look, and other people too,
when they let their evil tempers get the better of them.

The mouse only stayed here for a moment, for no sensible
creature, mouse or man, likes quarrelsome children ; and
our little friend crept slowly away, thinking to himself
how odd it was that big creatures like boys and girls, who
have so much to be thankful for and to make them happy,
should be so foolish as to fly into passions, and be cross,
and quarrel with each other for really nothing at all. “T
am glad,” thought he to himself, “that this is not the
custom with us mice; and if it is so with many children,
T really think that it is much better to be a mouse than a
child.”

Then he pursued his journey to the next house, and
crept into a room where all was very still and quiet, so
still and so quiet that he came out of the wainscot and on
to the soft carpet of the room. The blinds were drawn
THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 27

down, and there was but little light from the windows, but
the rays of the moon crept in just sufficiently to shed a soft
tender light into the room, by which the visitor could per-
ceive a child’s cot, placed near to a larger bed. There, in
the cot, lay a little child whose spirit the good God had
taken to Himself, so that it was only the body which lay
there, cold and dead. The little eyes were closed to the
sights of this world ; the small ears would no more hear
the loving voices to which they had so often listened with
childish interest and pleasure; the baby hands were cold
and stiff as wax, and there was only the casket which had
held the jewel which the Father had taken to His own
home in heaven. And as the little mouse softly advanced
over the floor, he saw a lady dressed all in white with dark
hair falling over her shoulders, and large eyes that were
red with crying, come gently into the room and sit down
upon the large bed and gaze earnestly upon the dead child. |
And her tears flowed again as she looked upon the little
face which she had loved so well, and upon which never
more for her might beam the light of life, never more be
seen the sweet smile of trusting love, never more the
tender, touching glance of confidence and safety which
twines the little ones round the hearts of those to whom
God has given them.

“Oh, my baby, my baby!” sobbed the poor mother,
“it is so hard to lose you, it is so hard to think of what
you were to me, and what I am without you ; your pretty
playful ways, your loving little heart. Oh, when shall I
forget you, and how can I bear this sorrow?” And the
poor mother wept again, and she kissed the pale, cold face,
and then again she spoke and said, “But I know that you
are happy, my angel child. The good God who gaye you
to me has taken you back to Himself according to His own
will and for His own good purpose, and He will give me
strength to bear your loss, for only He can do so.” And
28 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

still the poor mother wept, but softly and silently, and
the little mouse was sad to see her sorrow. And as slowly
and quietly he returned to the hole from which he had
come out into the room, he thought in his heart that if
even men and women had so much unhappiness to go
through, he must not complain if to him and his fellow-
mice the ways of the world were not always easy and
comfortable.

On he went, with soft and stealthy tread, into the
next house, and he peeped in upon a scene of a different
character.

There was a mother, too, but she was not in sorrow.
She was sitting up in her bed, and a sweet smile was upon
her face, as her young children sat around her, some on
the bed, and some in little chairs close to it, whilst she
gave them their early reading of the Holy Book. She
spoke to them of the great and good God who had made
and who preserved them; she told them of the Saviour,
who was once a child like themselves, upon His blessed
mother’s knee, who bade His apostles to “suffer little
children to come unto Him,” and who loves them still, and
will love them to the end of time. And the dear little
eyes looked up with quiet solemn interest into the mother’s
loving face, and the little ears drank in’ eagerly every word
she spoke, and the little hearts received the good seed
which the earthly parent sowed, in humble hope that the
Heavenly blessing would water it and keep it alive in
those hearts, to the children’s eternal happiness.

And the mouse looked and listened; and though he
could not understand all that he heard, yet he knew that
it was something which it was well for the children to
hear, and that to hear and know it was one of those
privileges which raised human beings above creatures of
his own kind. And he wondered what it could all mean,
and wished he could know and understand it all; and
THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 29

because he could not do so, he felt sad and sorrowful as he
passed along to the next house and into another room.

Here was something altogether different from anything
which he had seen before. A large table was set in the
middle of the room, on which were lots of cups and saucers,
plates of bread-and-butter, and slices—large slices, too—
of cake, and a number of children all sitting round just
ready to begin. The mouse opened his eyes wide at the
sight, and felt as if he should like to be going to begin
too, for he was rather hungry, and the food looked un-
commonly good. It was a children’s feast, that was plain
enough ; and, to tell the truth, it was a birthday feast, and
one little girl sat at the head of the table with a crown of
flowers on her head, to show that she was the queen of the
feast, for it was her birthday which the other children had
met to celebrate.

Happy faces were there to be seen, and cheerful voices
to be heard, and the mouse cast a wistful glance upon all
the good things which the little ones now began to devour.
Oh, it was a pleasant party, indeed, and the sound of the
children’s merry laughter made the mouse wish more than
ever that he was a child instead of a mouse. As this,
however, was impossible, he had nothing for it but to
make the best of matters as they were, and accordingly
determined to watch his opportunity and try to get some
small share of the feast which the young ones seemed to be
enjoying so much. There was little chance for him for
some time, for there were several maids hurrying and
bustling about, and handing the tea and cake and bread-and-
butter to the children; and even if they had not seen the
mouse, they might possibly have stamped upon him by
accident, which would have been remarkably unpleasant.
So he waited on and on, and presently the maids had
finished moving about, and the children had done eating,
and they got up from the table, after they had said their
30 EVERY GILRL’S STORIES

grace, and some one proposed that they should have a
good game of play, and so they all began to get ready for
it. Then the little mouse peeped out again, and put his
head and half his body out of the hole; and then, as he
saw that everybody was thinking of their own business
and not minding him (which was very natural, inasmuch
as none of them had seen him), he came quite out, and sat
still upon the carpet By this time the children had all
sat down in a circle, and began to play at “Hunt the
slipper,” which took all their attention away from every-
thing else; and what was more, the maids, instead of
taking away the tea-things, which they had just been about
to do, stood watching the game, and chatting and laughing
as they did so. Therefore the table was left just as it was,
and as all the people, big and little, were at the side of it
furthest from the mouse, he thought he might as well
steal out and try to get his share of the good things. 5o,
very softly and slyly he crept over the carpet till he
reached the table, and seeing a crumb of bread, commenced
his dinner with that, and ate it up ina moment. Then,
casting his eyes forward, he saw, a little in front of him,
a nice little bit of plum-cake, which one of the childyven
had dropped. He lost no time in approaching this, and
found it so sweet and good, that he began to nibble away
as happily as possible, and thought of nothing else than
the meal which he really wanted so much. Nibble, nibble,
nibble went the little mouse, enjoying himself quite as
much as the children had done, and in a very little while
he would have finished the cake as he had done the bread.
But, as ill luck would have it, before he had got above
half through it, one of the maids turned away from the
rest, and, coming back towards the table, prepared to take
away some of the tea-cups. As she came up, she happened
to cast her eyes under the table and caught sight of our
little friend at his feast. She screamed out directly,—“ A
THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 3l

mouse, a mouse—ah! ah!” and seemed as if she was
actually frightened at the sight, which was very foolish as
well as unnecessary, for the little mouse had a great deal
more reason to be frightened than she had, as she perfectly
well knew, if she had given the matter a moment’s thought.
However, she screamed out aloud, as I have already told
you, and all the children jumped up directly and came
running round, and the other maids came too, all in as
much fuss and trouble as if it had been an alligator, or a
camel-leopard, or a griffin, or a boa-constrictor, or a Red
Indian, instead of a harmless, trembling little animal that
could hurt nobody, and was frightened out of his wits at
their noise and outcry. So frightened, indeed, was the
mouse that he quite forgot the way back to the hole from
which he had come; and instead of running into it as fast
as he could—which no doubt he would have done if he had
remembered it—he darted up to the other end of the table
at the top of his speed, and scurried along the wall, vainly
searching for some hole in which to hide himself.

Meanwhile the maids and the children all kept saying
first one thing and then another, as fast and as loud as
they could speak, and such a noise as they made you never
heard. “ Where’s the cat?” said one of the maids.
“ Where’s the mouse?” said another. ‘Oh, do catch the
mouse for us!” said one child. ‘Oh, yes,” said another,
“let us catch it quick before it gets into a hole.” «Run
and shut the door.” “Look under the grate.” “ Ring for
John.” “Fetch Fido,” and all kind of remarks of a like
nature they made; and two or three of the youngest
children got together, and stood still, and opened their
eyes as wide as ever they could, and asked each other
what a mouse was like, and whether it was a beast or a
bird, and whether it could bite or not ?

The mouse, meanwhile, finding no hole or corner in
which to hide, and being in a state of alarm, to imagine
32 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

which one must fancy one’s self in a wild animals’
country, with all the wild animals running after one, and
no place of escape open; the mouse, I say, began seriously
to doubt whether he should ever come out of this business
alive. There was, however, no time for doubting, for the
maids and the children ran round, and came so close to
him, that all he could do was to run under the fender, and
crouch down, with his little heart beating as if it would
burst.

“There he goes; I saw him,” cried one of the maids,
and then the whole party gathered round the fender, and
began to consult what was best to be done. One of the
maids proposed that they should lift up the fender, and the
others should stand round with the poker, shovel, and
hearth-broom, so as all to make a dash at the enemy as
soon as he should be seen. Another wanted everybody to
be very quiet till the cat could be fetched, and another said
that they had better all go away, and leave a trap with
some toasted cheese, by which means the intruder might
certainly be caught.

The mouse heard all these proposals as he lay crouched
down close under the fender, and hardly knew which
sounded the worst for his chance of escape. At last some
one of the party, in her eagerness, pushed the fender, which
disturbed and frightened our friend so much, that he
rushed out again, and ran along the wall further on.
Close up to the wall, but not so close as to prevent the
passage of a mouse, stood a black ebony cabinet, not very
big and not very heavy, and behind this, between it and
the wall, our mouse hid himself, still trembling with
excitement. Alas! it was no safe hiding-place. Some
of the people got on each side of it, and found that they
could see the mouse quite well, and that he could not get
out, either to the right or to the left, without being in
their sight and passing under their very noses.






































































































































































“O, Mima, you mustn't kill the mouse, poor little fellow.”—P. 33.
THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 33

“Now we have got him!” they cried out, and directly
they popped down a napkin from the table at each end of
the cabinet, so that the poor mouse could not possibly get
out. Then they began to hold a consultation as to what
they should do next. One maid said that if they tilted
the cabinet back a little, they could easily kill the mouse
with a stick. Another thought they could catch him in
a napkin, and pop him at once intoa basin of water, whilst
a third was for bringing the cat up, and moving the
cabinet so far as to let her seize her victim easily. But
while they discussed the matter in a manner which made
the mouse’s blood run cold, one of the little girls came
forward with haste from among the rest, and spoke in an
earnest voice to the maids, whilst the tears stood in her
blue eyes.

“O ’Mima,” she said, “you mustn’t kill the mouse,
poor little fellow! I dare say he only wanted a teeny-
tiny share of the feast, because it was Eva’s birthday. It
would be a shame to kill him! Spare his little life, and
let me have him to take care of.”

“Ah, I dare say!” answered another of the maids.
“That’s just Miss Kate, all over. ‘Never kill the poor
thing, but let me have it to make a pet of.’ No, no, my
dear ; nobody with sense in their heads ever makes a pet
of a nasty little mouse. They’re only meant to be killed ;
or if not, what’s the use of having any cats?”

But the other maid answered and said, “And if it és
just like Miss Kate, to my mind it’s a very good thing
to be like, and I don’t see why she shouldn’t have the
mouse. For my part, I like to see young ladies kind to
dumb animals, and why not a mouse as well as a bird or
a cat, pray?”

Thus encouraged, Kate renewed her entreaties ; and as
all the children backed her up, and cried out with one

voice, “ Kate shall have the mouse! Kate shall have the
D
34 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

mouse!” the other maids had nothing for it but to give
in, and so the matter was settled.

The next thing was, how to catch the little animal, but
this was soon managed. Some one brought an old mouse-
trap, and held up the lid, then they placed it'at one end
of the cabinet, close to the wall. They moved the cabinet
a little, and pushed a stick gently from the further side
until it touched the mouse, and when he darted to the
other end, he ran straight into the trap, down they popped
the lid, and there was the little captive safe and sound.
The next few minutes were the most terrible of his life.
There was a grating over his head and on each side,
through which he could be seen; and all attempts to
escape from the prying eyes which looked in upon him
were vain. Up and down, to and fro, he ran in his fright,
and looked about for a hole where no hole was to be
found, expecting he knew not what, and being quite
bewildered.

Meanwhile all the children crowded round the trap,
which one of the maids held in her hand, and each peered
eagerly in, to see the little captive.

“ Oh, look at his dear, bright little eyes!” said one.

“ Just see how his tail keeps getting between the bars
of the trap!” cried another.

“What funny whiskers he has!” exclaimed a third, and
they all seemed delighted with their prize.

The maid held up the trap above their heads, when she
thought they had gazed sufficiently.

“Well,” she said, “here we have him safe enough ; and
now, Miss Kate, what are you going to do with- him?
Your papa and mamma will never like you to keep such
a pet as this.”

“Oh yes,’ answered the little girl, “I think they will,
because they like me to be kind to animals ; and then, I
remember that Cousin Amy had a little pet of a mouse
THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 35

once—two, I think there were—who used to roll themselves
up in cotton wool, which she put in their box, and make a
regular nest for themselves, and sleep ever so long without
waking.”

“ Ah, yes,” answered another child, “I remember that,
too; but I don’t think Amy’s mice were like this one.
They were of a lighter colour, and more sleepy-looking.”

“Ta, Miss Eva,” said one of the maids, “it is a dor-
mouse Miss Kate means. Nice little quiet pets they are,
but this is quite a different sort of a creature. A little
restless, mischievous, common mouse is no more to com-
pare with your dormouse than a crab apple with a china
orange.”

“Never mind, ’Mima,” replied Kate; “Ill risk it, any-
how, if mamma doesn’t mind my trying.” And so, after
a little more looking and wondering, the trap was put
into Kate’s hands, who carried it off in triumph to her
numma, The latter was rather astonished at the new pet
which her little girl had found, and told her that she was
afraid she would find it difficult to keep ; however, as she
had set her heart upon it, she would give her leave to try,
and accordingly off marched Miss Kate, mouse in hand.
The first thing to settle was, where the new pet should be
kept. The trap was very small and inconvenient, and
Kate was sure he would never be happy there. She
thought for a moment, and then, clapping her hands with
joy, told the nursery-maid that she should keep it in an
old band-box which Chamberlain, her mamma’s maid, had
given her. But she was told that the sharp teeth of the
mouse would very soon find their way through the band-
box, and that some stronger place must be provided if she
intended to keep the little prisoner safe. Kate was rather
disappointed at finding that her plan would not do, but at
once seb to work thinking, and racked her brains to
discover the best plan for securing her new pet. At last
36 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

she hit upon a scheme which seemed to promise well.
Her brother Ned had had given him a large box of tin
soldiers: the box was thick and strong, with a sliding lid,
on the top of which were painted the most extraordinary
pictures of wonderful battles, full of cavalry and infantry
soldiers charging, and firing, and fighting in a hand-
to-hand manner, such as the world never saw. However,
the lid fitted tight for all that, and there was plenty of
room.in the box for the mouse, which could have holes
bored in the lid to give him air, and might be as happy as
a king there if he could only make up his mind to be
contented. ‘ :

So into this box Mr. Mouse was placed, and Kate put a
quantity of bread-crumbs in with him, so that there might
be no chance of his starving. Then she went and told’ her
papa, with great glee, all that had happened, and asked
him what he thought of her plan. He listened to his
little darling’s story with interest, and told her how
pleased he was that she had been kind and merciful, and
had saved the poor mouse’s life. But he told her that he
did not think that the little animal would thrive or be
happy in that dark box, and that it was very doubtful
whether he would eat anything whilst he was there. But
whilst the father and daughter were talking over the
matter, the poor little mouse was by no means happy.

On the contrary, he was as miserable a little wretch as
had ever crept along inside a wainscot. He crawled round
and round the box without finding a hole of any sort
through which he might escape ; he peeped up through the
little air-holes which had been bored in the lid, but they
were too small for him to be able to squeeze himself
through, small as he was, and there was no other outlet
whatever. He tried to gnaw the wood, but it was too
hard—he only hurt his teeth ; and, after looking about on
every side, and finding that escape was impossible, he gave
THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 37

himself up to despair, and began to bemoan his sad fate in
melancholy tones.

“Alas! alas!” he said to himself, for there was no one
else to talk to, “why was I beguiled, by the talk of those
two gentlemen, to leave my quiet, happy home, and go out
on this unfortunate expedition? Why did I want to
travel? Why could not I be contented where I was,
instead of so foolishly going forth in search of adventures?
Oh, my home, my home! there, at least, I was always safe ;
and had I but been wise and sensible, I might have lived
on peaceably from day to day, and died comfortably behind
the wainscot when my time had come. But now, what
will become of me? I am in the power of human beings,
who are never to be trusted. This little girl who spoke so
kindly, and who was certainly the cause of my life being
saved, may at any moment become tired of me ; and, besides,
how do I know the reasons which make her keep me here?
perhaps she only keeps me—oh, horrid idea !—to give me
to some favourite cat; perhaps she has put these crumbs
in, that I may eat and grow fat, so as to be plump and
tender when my poor little body is required for some
mouse-eating monster. Oh dear, oh dear! what shall I
do? what will become of me?”

And so the poor mouse went on, until he had not the
least bit of courage left in him, from the tip of his nose to
the end of his tail, and began really to feel that it would
be a mercy if some one would put him out of his misery
at once. What made it worse, too, was that, being left
on the floor of the nursery, he heard soft footsteps approach-
ing, and presently a low purring sound, which informed
him of the presence of one of those terrible cats whom
every well-conducted mouse hates, fears, and abominates
from the bottom of his heart.

' Pussy came up to the box, smelt at it for a moment ;
38 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

and having by this process discovered that there was a
mouse within, began to push the box about and to pat the
lid, as if she thought she could get him out, in which case
she would no doubt have very soon given a good account
of him. But, fortunately for the mouse, the lid was firm
and did not move; and although the box shook, and the
voice of the eat frightened the little fellow so terribly that
he thought he should have died then and there, yet he was
really quite safe ; and after a little while the cat discovered
that this was the case, and accordingly moved off with an
angry “miaw,” and he heard no more of her. Eating,
however, after this fright was out of the question; and
when Kate came to look, she found the crumbs of bread
untouched, and the mouse crouching in a corner trembling
all over and looking utterly miserable. She spoke kindly
to him, but it was of no use; she put a little water into
the box in a doll’s teacup, but he would not touch it, and
she did not know what todo. So she got a little toasted
cheese and put it in the box, and then she closed the lid
again, and left Mr. Mouse for the night. A long, sad,
dreary night it was for him ; for while Katie was sleeping
sound as a top, and dreaming of her pony and her little
white dog, and all kinds of pleasant things, the poor new
pet never closed his eyes, but sat shivering and trembling,
thinking of his past and happy days, wishing himself home
again, and starting with fear at every sound he heard.
So he was not very comfortable or happy, as you may
suppose ; and when Kate came again early in the morn-
ing, she found him looking utterly wretched, with none
of his food touched, and his eyes peering up at her
with a sad, wistful expression which went at once to her
heart.

“ Poor little fellow!” she exclaimed, ‘so you won’t eat
and be tame! I am afraid you will die if you don’t eat.
THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 39

I wonder if I can tame you and make you take some of
your food? I wish I knew how.” And then she went and
asked the maids, but they didn’t know any more than she
did ; and then she went to her papa’s study, and asked him
his advice upon the matter.

“Well, my darling,” he said, “‘since you ask me, I will
tell you what I think at once. These wild animals can
hardly ever be made tame unless you catch them when
they are very, very young, which is difficult in the case of
a mouse. If you keep your pet in the box, I am afraid
you will find that nothing will make him eat, and in a
day or two he will starve himself to death. If you want
to be really kind to the poor little fellow, the only way is
to turn him loose in the room where you caught him, and
let him find his own way back to his home and _ his
friends !”

Kate’s blue eyes filled with tears at first, for she had
set her heart on making the little mouse quite tame, and
she didn’t like the thoughts of losing her new pet. But
she knew that her papa was sure to be right; and she
would have been very sorry if the poor little mouse had
starved itself, and died in the box, which would probably
have been the case if he had been kept there another day.
So she gave a little sigh, and then determined that she
would do what was most kind to the prisoner. She took
the box, and went with it to the room where they had had
the tea-party, with nobody with her but her little sister.
Then she said to the mouse, “ You poor little fellow, I am
determined that you shall not die if I can help it.. Lam
going to let you loose, so that you may run back to all
your mouse friends and relations, and play about and be
as happy as ever.” Then Kate put the box down upon the
floor, and took off the lid. The mouse was too frightened
and weak to move at first ; but presently he ran up the
4.0 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

side of the box, and hopped on to the carpet. Meanwhile
the children stood quite quiet, watching what would
happen. The little mouse did not at first know where he
was; but as nobody chased and confused him, he had time
to collect his scattered ideas, and presently remembered all
about it.

Casting his keen, black eyes about, he saw the corner of
the room from which he had come into it through the hole
in the wainscot, and he ran off in that direction as fast as
his legs would carry him. The little girls clapped their
hands with joy, as they saw him run off.

“There,” cried Kate, “the little thing is quite safe
and happy now!” and she ran off to tell her papa and
mamma,

You may well imagine that Mr. Mouse was right glad
to be free again, and safe and sound behind the wain-
scot. He made the best of his way back to his old home
without any delay; and squeaked with delight when
he found himself once more in the house from which he
had started.

“Well,” said he to himself, “travelling may be all very
well for those who can afford it; but for my part, I think
the danger is greater than the pleasure. Besides, we all
of us have duties to perform at home; and although it is
doubtless a good thing to gain experience by going out
into the world, still it is better and wiser not to neglect
our duties, and home is the best place after all for a well-
behaved mouse. So now that I know something of what
goes on outside in the gay world, I will rest satisfied with
the knowledge I have already gained, and remain where
I know that I am well off, as well as safe from the dangers
which TI have so fortunately escaped this time. Home for
me henceforward, and let those travel who like it.”

True to his word, the little mouse always stayed at home
THE MOUSE TRAVELLER 4.

after that famous journey. Nothing could tempt him to
leave the old house in which he had been born; and
although his travelled friends often laughed at him for
being such a “stay-at-home” fellow, he only winked his
eye knowingly at them, and kept on in the usual habits of
his every-day homely life, which he was still living and
enjoying when I last heard of him.
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL

By tue Ricut Hon. E. H. Knarcupevrin-Hucrssenx

(Lord BrapournfF)

_ Twere are few moments of life which I more thoroughly ’
enjoy than those which Iam fortunate enough to pass by
the side of a river. I do not speak now of great rivers:
I am not thinking of the Thames, the Rhine, or the
Danube ; these have their beauties, wondrous in themselves,
and mightily enhanced by the associations by which they
are accompanied, and with which they are interwoven.
But I have in my thoughts the rivers of Scotland and
Wales, winding along the valleys between mountains of
wood and heather, the rivers of the kingfisher and water-
ousel, the trout and grayling, and, last not least, the
salmon, king of river fish; the rivers, moreover, of the
fairies and water-kelpies, hallowed by local tradition, and
in the love and veneration borne towards them by those
who live near their banks, each a very Thames, or Rhine,
or Danube to the locality through which it winds its
pleasant way. I love to stand upon the pebbly bed of one
of these rivers which has been left dry enough in the
summer months to allow you to walk close down to the
water, flowing on in its narrowed channel, still broad enough
to be a respectable river, and too deep to be waded across
by any one who does not want to be wet through at least

as high as his knees—close down to the water, I say, I love
42
LEGEND OF ST, DDERFEL 43

to stand, to watch the eddying current, and to listen to the
pleasant, babbling sound. It always seems as if the Spirit
of the River was speaking to me, and telling me how, in
its rapid, continuous course, it is setting an example to
man how he can most wisely and happily regulate his life.
The water is so wise; when it comes to little banks and
uneven places in its bed, it gently flows over them without
making any bother about it, and this, says the river, is the
way in which men should treat the little unpleasantnesses
and smaller misfortunes of life, instead of allowing such
things to distract and worry them, and perhaps even to
alter their whole course of existence. Then, when huge
boulders of rock stand out into the stream, the river glides
quietly round them, accepting them as necessary evils
which must be endured, since they cannot be cured, which
is the way in which men should treat their greater
difficulties and the hardships of their lives, instead of
fuming and fretting, or sitting down in despair. These
are things that rivers never do, says the Spirit, and more-
over, as they move constantly forward, they explore with
their water every hole and corner within their reach, neg-
lecting nothing, giving a kindly wash to everything that
comes in their way, and holding a pleasant conversation
with all objects, living or inanimate, with which they come
in contact. Soa wise man, and one who desires to make
his life useful and pleasant to himself and others, will
always seek for information as he goes along through the
world, will ever have a cheery word for his fellow-travellers,
and be ready to doa kind and friendly action to any that
require it. And, if he does so, just as the river grows
broader and wider as it nears the ocean, in which it finally
loses itself, and merges its waters in the infinite space of
the sea, so the man’s life will become grander and more
noble as it approaches its close, and he will have gained the
affection and respect of all those whose respect and affection
44 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

are worth gaining, before the stream of his life, too, floats
out upon the ocean of eternity.

These are some of the thoughts that come into my mind
as I stand listening, as I imagine, to the voice of the
River-Spirit. And he tells me of other things. Wild
legends of ancient times; strange tales of love and war,
of happiness and woe, of courage and of treachery—tales
brought down from the distant mountains, where his stream
takes its rise; from the romantic sides of the heathery
heights which tower above him ; from the deep, dark woods
with which his banks are fringed, and from the gloomy
valleys cut far into the mountain sides—tales and legends



so interwoven with the supernatural and so fascinating to
the imaginative mind, that I can hardly find language to
express the ideas which, in wordless sound, the River-Spirit
seems ever to convey to me as I commune with him, silently
but earnestly, in his very own domain.

One of these—the tale of the River-Sprite—a harmless,
pleasant tale enough, I will try to tell, and if it be not all
T could wish it to be to those who read, let them blame the
mortal who repeats it, and not the Spirit who has perchance
whispered it to unworthy ears.

Everybody has heard of St. Dderfel, the famous and
blessed saint of North Wales. At least, anybody who has
not heard of him can never have visited that beautiful
country, and cannot have the face to pretend to have a
drop of Welsh blood in his veins. St. Dderfel was—and
a very powerful and withal



perhaps is, if we only knew
a most worthy saint. His wooden statue, seated upon 2
wooden horse, stood in the church of Llanderfel, and to
this day the portion of the horse which time and the
spoilers have left undestroyed, may be seen in the porch
of that venerable edifice.

St. Dderfel’s powers were thankfully recognized by the
people who-dwelt in the district round Llanderfel, and more
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 45

especially so since they were mainly exercised in curing
the diseases of animals, which the Saint did in the most
wonderful manner. Whether, during his life, he had been
a veterinary surgeon I cannot say, but the healing powers
of his statue were miraculous and undeniable, and for miles
round there was scarcely a Jones, a Roberts, or a Davies
who had not had a horse, cow, or pig cured by application
at the shrine of St. Dderfel. For years—perhaps for
centuries—the worthy Saint had gone on, quietly and
comfortably, curing people’s animals, and the fame of his
shrine spread wider and wider, and its riches likewise
accumulated by the offerings of the thankful recipients of
the favours to be obtained thereat.

At length, London itself heard the tidings of the famous
Welsh Saint, whose reputation had become too great to be
confined to his own country. But as many things which
are good and estimable in the country, become contamin-
ated when brought into contact with London fog, London
smoke, and London wickedness, I grieve to say that the
reputation of the Saint fared no better. Mutterings against
his sanctity were heard, doubts of his power openly ex-
pressed, and even whispers let fall that priestly deceit and
trickery were at the bottom of it all. For those were days
when priests were out of favour, unless indeed they were
prepared to change their old creed, to declare that the Pope
was possessed of no authority in the country, and that
Henry the Eighth was the only and rightful head of the
Church within these realms. Some of them did so, and
were rewarded for their compliance with the wishes of
the King; others refused, and were speedily thrust out,
whipped, and sometimes burned; to the great delight of all
good Protestants, who little foresaw that they themselves
would have to undergo the same pleasures when the bigot
Queen Mary had in due time succeeded to her tyrant
father’s throne.
46 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

In those days there was a regular crusade against religious
houses, images, and the shrines of saints, and not a few
relics, which had been the objects of reverence or of
superstition to many thousands of people, were burned at
Smithfield and elsewhere, whilst the offerings which pious
people had for ages past presented at the shrines, were
gathered together to fill the coffers of the King, who thus
found that his alteration in the religious establishment of
the country was not unattended with pecuniary advantages
to himself, which were exceedingly satisfactory.

So when the fame of St. Dderfel reached London,
accompanied by reports that his shrine was not without
some rich offerings, it was determined by the ruling powers
that a commission of inquiry should be sent down to look
after the matter, and, if needs be, destroy the abomination.
The persons selected for this business were worthy and
discreet men, who had no prejudice for or against anything,
so that matters might be directed according to the wishes
of the King and his trusty servant Master Cromwell, whose
face was steadily set towards the abolition of monasteries
and the spoliation of religious houses throughout the land.

The worshipful Justice Allen was one of these Com-
missioners ; Serjeant Davies, learned in the law, was the
second ; and the third was a respectable person of the
name of Philipson, who loved the King and hated the
Pope with sufficient ardour to qualify him for the office.

The news of the coming of these Commissioners filled
the inhabitants of North Wales with mingled disgust and
consternation. They, poor, simple people, were unable to
discover what harm their favourite saint had ever done;
they firmly believed that through his power their cows,
pigs, and sheep had frequently been cured of diseases
which threatened to destroy them; and when they were
told that this was either a delusion, or that, if it had really
occurred, it was the work of the priests or the devil, or both,
y

LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 47

the only conclusion to which they could come was, that
neither the priests. nor the devil deserved all that was said
against them, or were quite so bad as they were represented
to be by the public opinion of the day.

For some time they could hardly make up their minds to
believe that this needless commission (as they thought it)
was really about to visit Llanderfel, and when the matter
was placed beyond all doubt, their anger and indignation
knew no bounds. It is at this precise period that our story
begins.

It was upon a beautiful August afternoon that a pedes-
trian was making his way over the hills behind Bala. He
was a stalwart, well-built man, with an oaken staff in his
hand, and a small wallet strapped upon his shoulders. He
stepped boldly forward through the heather, gaily whistling
a tune as he proceeded to make his way towards Llanderfel,
bearing downwards from the mountain to the pleasant
valley through which the Dee winds its cheerful course.

When he reached the edge of the hill, he paused before
commencing the descent, and looked down upon the lovely
view beneath. It was wild—wilder than would be seen at
the present day, for the population was more thin there
than now, and far more of the land, even in the valley, was
innocent of plough and harrow, and knew not the lowing
of the oxen or the bleating of the herds which seek their
pasture there to-day. Yet was the view lovely indeed, and
the traveller might well be excused his pause to gaze down
upon it with gratified eyes.

Immediately beneath him the steep side of the mountain
gradually fell away into an easy decline, down which a
pedestrian might descend without difficulty, provided he
were sufficiently sound in wind and limb, and not overladen
with baggage or other encumbrance.

At a short distance down the hill the steepness altogether
disappeared, and a wide ledge of table-land afforded room’
48 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

for an old-fashioned stone house, apparently too small for a
farmhouse, and yet too large for the dwelling of a shepherd.
At a few paces from this building was a low stone wall,
from which the ground again became steeper, and far below
in the bottom the traveller could see the river, gurgling
and brawling along as if the whole place belonged to it,
and nobody and nothing else had a right to be there. For
a full minute the man looked down upon the scene at his
feet, and then he exclaimed in a cheery tone of voice :

“Qh, the Dee, the jolly old Dee! how like it is to home,
and kin, and country, to me and mine. Was there ever
such a river to wind itself round a man’s heart till he
loved it as if it was a human being? Oh, the dear old
Dee! How I love to see you again, old river! "Tis years
since I have done so, and the sight of you makes me a boy
again.”

With these words, the traveller rapidly began his descent,
forsaking the path which he had hitherto followed, and
proceeding in a straight line down the mountain side. As
he went, he hummed a merry tune, and was evidently in
exceeding good humour with himself in particular and
the world in general. Down, down he went, until he had
passed the dwelling already mentioned, crossed the wall,
descended the steeper incline beyond, and found himself, at
a distance of some hundred feet or more below, in ‘a rough
country road which led, though by a somewhat zigzag and
roundabout path, from Bala to Llanderfel.

Scarcely had he pulled up to recover his breath, which
had somewhat suffered from the rapidity of his descent,
before he descried two horsemen approaching him at a
short distance. They came from the direction of Bala,
and by their manner of looking around and occasionally
halting, appeared to be somewhat uncertain of their road.
They were both clad in long dark cloaks, and appeared to
be persons of great respectability, as far as our friend the
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 49

traveller could venture to form an opinion upon such
a subject. I do not know indeed that he would have
troubled himself to form any opinion at all about it, had
not the horsemen, as soon as they caught sight of him,
shouted aloud in order to attract his attention, and having
succeeded in doing so, ridden up and accosted him at once.

“ Friend,” said the elder of the two, a grave and sedate-
looking person, who evidently had a dignity of his own,
and knew it. ‘Friend, how far are we from Llanderfel,
and is this the right road to conduct us thereto?”

“ Now, by St. David,” replied the traveller, “it is strange
that thou shouldst ask me such a question, when thou and
thy mate are but a short two miles from the church and
shrine of the blessed St. Dderfel.”

The first speaker gravely shook his head as he made
reply.

“Speak not to me of shrines and saints,” he said, “ for
sadly does such talk savour of that popery which has so
long brooded like a foul cloud upon our dear country, but
which is now on its last legs, thanks be to the All-Wise.
It is to aid in cleansing the land from such abominations
that I and my companion do ride here to-day, and we would
fain be guided to the best hostelry which may be near this
Llanderfel.”

As the worthy man spoke, he to whom his words were
addressed regarded him with glances which plainly told
that he scarcely appreciated the subject of his discourse,
and somewhat chafed at being detained upon his journey.
He listened to the end, however, and then returned answer.

‘Tis long since I was here, sirs, and things may well
have changed since then. But the ‘Horse-shoe’ was the
sign of the inn at which man and beast were wont to find
bed and stall, meat and fodder, in old days, and belike it’s
so still.”

“And where is the ‘Horse-shoe,’ friend?” asked the
E
50 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

younger of the two horsemen, a somewhat shorter man
than his companion, and not without a pleasant expression
upon his countenance, which betokened a cheerful soul
within. :

‘Tis in the main and only street of Llanderfel,”
responded the traveller, ‘and you have but to follow your
nose in order to reach it.”

“ Art thou journeying the same way?” demanded the
elder of the two riders; “haply thou mightest conduct us
to this same hostelry ; and, moreover, tell us thy name and
station. We are men, I may say, under authority, and
may be of service hereafter to those who aid us in our
present endeavour.”

“T know not thy authority,” returned the other, “and
what thy endeavour may be I cannot tell. As for me, my
name is John Griffith, and from these parts I set forth
years back, to go upon the salt seas. I have but lately
come home, and I go now to see what old friends may be
left alive, and to visit the shrine of St. Dderfel before I go
on to Llangollen, which is my native place. An ye will
come with me I have nought to say against it, though a
seafaring man on foot is but poor company for two mounted
gentlemen.”

“Friend,” observed the elder man, in reply, “thy name
and thine errand may be well enough, so far as it is right
and proper that John Griffith should revisit the home he
left as a boy. Not so, however, thy purpose of visiting
this idle shrine. It is time to tell thee, young man, that
thou hast fallen into worshipful company. I am Mr.
Justice Allen, and here is the learned Serjeant Davies, and
we journey to Llanderfel to make speedy end of that
abomination which thou callest the shrine of St. Dderfel,
who is no more a saint than is this good horse of mine
2 cow Mg

Searcely were the words out of the speaker’s mouth


LEGEND OF ST, DDERFEL 51

when, to the terror and astonishment of all these men, a
loud, sonorous, and unmistakable “‘moo’’ proceeded from
the mouth of the animal which the worthy justice bestrode,
whilst at the same moment its ears seemed suddenly to
change their character, and from behind each of them arose
a veritable horn, the head of the animal being at the same
instant converted into that of the animal which had just
been mentioned. For an instant the whole party remained
silent with surprise, and before any of them found his
tongue the phenomenon had passed away as suddenly as it
had appeared. The horns vanished from the place in which
they had just been visible, the head resumed its former
appearance, and the horse, quietly shaking its mane as if
nothing had happened, ceased to utter any other sounds
than those which are natural to its species.

Each man looked at the other two for another instant,
and then honest John Griffith burst forth with a nautical
exclamation of surprise, which I think it better to omit.

“So much for you, Mr. Justice,” he continued. ‘No
saint, ain’t he? And your horse ain’t no cow neither ?
Well, I never! If you haven’t learnt a lesson now, I
don’t believe as ever you will.”

“What mean you, man?” somewhat haughtily replied
the person addressed. ‘Some momentary confusion has
clouded your understanding. There is no cow here and no
saint yonder, whatever you may think.”

“No saint and no cow!” shouted Griffith, “Why this
other gentleman must have seen it as well as I! Come
now, master ; tell us like a man ; wasn’t your mate’s horse
a cow just now if ever there was a cow upon earth?”

Too discreet to commit himself by any answer to such
2 question, the wary lawyer smiled, as he remarked:

“T am no judge of animals, Master Griffith, since that
is thy name; but neither the Justice nor I are to be cowed
by magic art when we are on the King’s business.”
52 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

“On the King’s business!” cried Griffith. ‘ What!
does his royal Majesty’s Grace’s mightiness go for to
concern himself with our little doings down here?”

“My man,” gravely responded the elder rider, “the
King’s Majesty is concerned for all the matters which
belong to the welfare of his subjects, however remote be
their dwellings from his city of London, however humble
their position in life. He is supreme over their spiritual
matters as well as over their temporal possessions, and he
is grieved to see darkness, ignorance, and superstition still
among them. It is in his name and by his command that
we are here to-day, of which thou wilt hear more anon.
But say, is this the Dee we are approaching, and how far
are we from Llanderfel 2”

As he spoke, the road along which they had been slowly
descending, brought the party close to a bend in the river,
which commanded a view right and left as they stood upon
a bridge which spanned a small tributary rivulet which at
that point joined the main stream. To the right, scarce
a mile from where they had halted, rose the village of
Llanderfel, towards which the wood-fringed river varied
considerably in its breadth and depth, but never varied in
the dark colour of its water, the sweet tone of its murmur-
ing over its pebbly bed, and the surpassing beauty of its
wooded banks. To the left the stream stretched away
towards Bala, behind which the eye rested upon the
heather-clad hills in the far distance; whilst, on the other
side of the river-bed, immediately opposite the travellers,
rose a large wood, which screened the mountain side as
with a huge green curtain, all the way up to Llanderfel.

“?’Tis a fair scene,’ remarked Mr. Justice Allen to his
companion, “and not only pleasant to the eye, but
wholesome for the soul to contemplate.”

?

“True,” returned his companion ; “ but man has other

component parts beside soul and eye, and for my part I
or

Q
Oo

LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL
feel an internal sensation which reminds me that the body
requires occasional nourishment. Push we on, say I, to
this same hostelry of the ‘Horse-shoe.’”

Whilst this short conversation passed, John Griffith had
remained quiet, leaning upon his staff, and apparently
thinking earnestly over the last words which had been
addressed to him by Justice Allen, to which he had as yet
made no reply. Now, however, he again joined in the
conversation.

“Yes,” said he, “this is the Dee, and yonder is Llan-
derfel ; but an ye go to say or do aught against our old
saint, I like not to be the man to guide ye thither.”

“Friend Gritlith,”’ calmly rejoined the lawyer, “ saint or
no saint, [ must have my dinner, after which such a matter
can be better discussed.”

“Maybe so,” returned Griffith; “but I marvel much
why ye should come hither with words against a saint
whose power is as little doubted in Wales as is his good-
ness. Why my own grandmother’s red cow was down,
time back, with a complaint of which she seemed likely to
die, and the cow-doctor said that so ’twould be. What
does the old lady do but trot off with a basket of eggs and
honey to the shrine at Llanderfel. Many a time, as a boy,
have I heard her tell the tale, and how she fancied the
horse on which the figure of the saint sits, bowed his head
to her as she knelt there. And who can say he did not?
Anyhow, when she got home again, there was the red cow
on her legs again, and never had another day’s illness till
her time came. And then to say St. Dderfel is no saint!
Marry, come up! say I.”

What reply his companions might have made to the last
exclamation (which I frankly own to be one which I never
understood myself), or to the statement by which John
Griffith sought to establish the reputation of his favourite
saint, can never be accurately ascertained, for at this
54 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

precise moment began a chain of curious events, which
have principally induced me to tell this story.

The road ran for a very short distance parallel with the
river; but a bridle-path apparently led from the road along
the river bank in the precise direction of Llanderfel. This
appeared not only to be a short cut to the village, but to
afford the advantage of turf for the horses’ feet, and to
command even a better view of the river scenery than
could be obtained from the high-road. The travellers
therefore were tempted to deviate from the main road, and
to follow the aforesaid path. They had not gone twenty
yards thereupon, before a strange, wild, unearthly yell
arose from the river. It was not a yell which it is easy
to describe ; it was not such a scream as a nervous young
lady may be supposed to give when a mouse unexpectedly
runs over her face just as she is going to sleep ; it was not
such a howl as a boy of tender years may raise if a sharp
and sudden pang lets him know that a wasp has crawled
up the leg of his trousers; nor was it such an enraged
bellow as proceeds from an elderly and corpulent gentleman
when you inadvertently set your foot heavily upon his
gouty toe. But it was a compound of all three; and,
moreover, it was so loud, that it seemed to occupy the
whole space and engross the full powers of hearing
possessed by the three travellers, so that, in fact, they
could hear nothing else whilst it continued.

At one and the same moment, by a natural impulse,
they all clapped their hands over their ears, and as this,
in the case of the two riders, made it necessary that they
should drop their reins, there was nothing to prevent their
horses from running away. Fortunately, however, or
unfortunately, as you may happen to think, the animals
showed no such inclination, but held down their heads and
trembled violently, as if under the influence of great alarm.
The sound rang in the ears of the three men for several
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 55

seconds, and they regarded each other with looks of the
greatest astonishment. It seemed to come either from the
river itself, or from the woods on the other side, and as
none of them had ever heard anything like it, they had
not the least idea what it meant, what they had better do,
or whether indeed it was necessary for them to do anything
at all.

John Griffith, simple and unlettered as he was, first
found his tongue, and broke the silence which had followed
this dreadful yell.

“This comes of reviling saints!’’ he exclaimed. ‘The
devils are loosed upon us, and none to help us. Holy St.
Dderfel, aid us!”

“Peace, man!” interrupted Justice Allen, who seemed
to recover some of his habitual self-possession at the sound
of the other’s voice. ‘Peace! and prate not to us further
of thy saints. It is, doubtless, because of the sad ignorance
and benighted condition of these districts that strange
noises are permitted, and, perchance, strange creatures are
allowed to appear on earth, whom, let us trust, our coming
will henceforth banish for ever. Come, forward and a

At this instant the speech of the worthy Justice was cut
short by two things which happened at one and the same
moment. A huge splash, right in his face, as if a full
bucket of water had been dashed into it by a strong arm,
with an unerring aim, choked his voice, and drenched his
head and shoulders, whilst the same awful yell arose from
the river, and rang again through the very heads of the



terror-stricken hearers. The water must have been thrown
by some agency very close to the unlucky Justice, for it
struck him in such a volume and with so great a force, as
very nearly to knock him backwards off his horse, yet
nothing was to be seen, and nobody appeared to whom this
strange attack could be attributed. An invisible hand had
dealt the blow, and the power which had directed it was as
56 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

unseen as extraordinary. But whatever may have been
his faults, want of cowrage was not one of those with
which the worshipful Justice was aftlicted. Confident in
the righteousness of his cause, and the justice and wisdom
of the errand on which he travelled, he was prepared to
defy the worst efforts of those who dared to withstand him.
He recovered himself as speedily as could be expected after
such a violent and unexpected blow, and, spluttering with
rage and indignation, called on his companions to support
him.

“What, ho!” he cried. ‘Is it thus the King’s servants
are treated in these outlandish parts? Come on, Serjeant
Davies ; come on, trusty friend, and let us remember who
and what we are. And you, man Griffith, an ye be not in
league and fellowship with the powers of evil, come to my.
side, and let us pass boldly on our way.”

So saying, he clapt spurs to his horse, and raised his
riding-whip with a threatening gesture, as if about to face
and overthrow some visible and tangible foe. At the same
time, though he did not much fancy the business, Serjeant
Davies urged his steed forward to his companion’s side,
and for very shame’s sake John Griffith felt obliged to
range himself with the others. But at this moment a wild
chorus of mocking laughter arose all around them. From
the trees, from the grass, from the hills, from the woods,
but principally from the river itself, peals upon peals of
laughter came ringing in their ears, as if their appearance
or conduct, or both, were furnishing immense amusement
to a large concourse of bystanders.

Now it is bad enough to be laughed at by your friends,
it is a great deal worse to be derided by your enemies ; but
to be made the object of jeers and contemptuous merriment
by unseen persons is positively unbearable and irritating
in the extreme. So did the three men feel it, and more
especially those two gentlemen who properly. considered
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 57

that their dignity and position entitled them to be treated
with respect.

Drawing himself up to his full height upon his horse,
and assuming as martial an appearance as he could summon
to his aid, Mr. Justice Allen urged his steed forward, and
cried out to his companions to pay no heed to the foolish
sounds about them. At these words the laughter was
redoubled; but this was not all. Neither of the two
steeds could by any means be persuaded to move an inch ;
and as honest John Griftith did not feel disposed to march
in advance of the two gentlemen, they all three stood there
in a row, presenting an appearance sutticiently absurd, and
feeling extremely uncomfortable.. Their discomfort, how-
ever, was presently increased in no small degree, for there
suddenly arose out of the river two separate and distinct
waterspouts, one of which directed its attention to the
worthy Justice, whilst the learned Serjeant experienced the
full benefit of the other. Whether in consequence of the
respect he had shown for St. Dderfel, or from his being a
native of the locality, or from what other cause, I know
not; but certain it is, that while this was going on, and
his companions were entirely drenched, John Griffith
remained as dry as a bone, and stood staring with open
eyes at the discomfiture of the others. :

Meanwhile the laughter continued, and so did the water-
spouts, for at least a couple of minutes ; at the conclusion
of which time the one ceased and the other died away,
until the three men found themselves again left in silence,
and the two gentlemen stood, or rather sat, looking at each
other with rueful countenances, and looking for all the
world as if they had just walked through a pond. Davies
was the first to speak, and shivered with wet as he did so.
His language was strong, though perhaps not stronger than
most men would have used under similar circumstances.
He wished the saint and Llanderfel itself with a person
58 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

whose name bears a strong resemblance to that of the
saint, though of a character extremely different. He
declared that he should certainly catch his death of cold,
besides being half-starved, which was already the case, and
expressed a fervent wish that he had never been induced to
set out on such a journey, or to visit a country so wild and
strange.

On the other hand, Justice Allen took a different view.
Not only was his heart more deeply set upon the enter-
prise in which they were engaged than was the case with
his companion ; but being impressed with a full sense of
the dignity and importance which attached to them both,
as bearers of the King’s authority, he felt bound to resent
and protest against anybody or anything which offered
opposition to that authority in any manner whatever. It
is but just to say, that this feeling was more powerful in
Justice Allen’s breast than any consideration of the personal
annoyance to himself which was caused by the interruption
to his journey, and it stimulated his courage in a remark-
able degree. Raising his voice once more, he boldly
shouted to his comrades :

“Come on, my friends, come on! In the name of our
royal master, King Henry the Eighth, I demand and will
make a passage. This is rank Popery, or something worse.
Forward !”

As he spoke, he struck his horse sharply with his whip,
and using the spur at the same time, prevailed upon the
animal to proceed. That on which Davies was mounted
followed the example ; and as John Griffith now felt bound
in honour to stand by his companions, the three men
advanced some dozen yards further without interruption.
Then, without any warning, there suddenly appeared around
them an innumerable quantity of water-birds, emerging
from the river, and making right at the travellers. Moor-
hens, dabchicks, ring-ousels, swifts, and various other


































































Ni
ON

al







The feathered army hovered round the trayellers.—P. 59.
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 59

winged creatures, came crowding upon them, led by a
kingfisher, who darted to and fro with a rapidity which
made his bright plumage appear like a flash of lightning
passing before their eyes. More formidable still, there
appeared several herons bringing up the rear, and appar-
ently prodding several tardy members with their long
beaks, as if to urge them forward to the attack. The
feathered army hovered round the travellers, flapped their
wet wings in their faces, uttered shrill and discordant cries
close into their ears, made unpleasant feints, as if about
to peck at their eyes, covered their horses’ heads and
necks with such a feather-bed of wings, breasts, and tails,
that they could not see a foot before them, and alto-
gether behaved in a most incomprehensible and audacious
manner.

It was evident that the winged army intended to dispute
the passage of the Royal Commissioners, who indeed began
to feel that their journey was like to be of a far more
disagreeable character than they had at all foreseen. They
struck right and left at their assailants, but with little
effect, and the more angry they grew the louder grew the
chattering and chirping, the more constant the wing-flapping
and pecking, until the horses again resolutely refused to
proceed, and there seemed no possibility of passing through
the opposing force. Not one of the latter, however, touched
John Griffith, who'hardly knew whether to be pleased or
not at being thus spared, as he was well aware that it
might not improbably expose him to the charge of being
in some way or other connected with those who were thus
impiously withstanding the servants of Royalty. So it
was, however, and, in order to clear himself from a charge
of this nature, Griffith thought it necessary to lend what
assistance he could to the two gentleman, and accordingly
raised both voice and arm in their behalf.

For fully five minutes they were kept at bay by these
60 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

strange opponents, and then in one instant the latter dis-
appeared as suddenly and unexpectedly as they had come.
In another instant, not one of them was to be seen, and
again the same chorus of wild, mocking laughter rose from
the river.

“T like it not, I like it not, Master Allen,” said Davies,
who now presented a somewhat doleful appearance, his
green hat, which had been placed jauntily upon his head,
having been utterly torn and disfigured by the beaks and
talons of his foes, whilst the blood which flowed from his
left cheek bore witness to the sharpness and severity of
the attack which had been made upon him by an elderly
moor-hen. ‘TI like it not,” he repeated for the third time, ”
which was scarcely necessary, for no one doubted his
statement for a moment. ‘ Beshrew me, but I wish we
had come by the way of Ruabon with our escort, instead
of being tempted to come the other road on account of
what we heard of the beauty of the Bala country. Con-
found the country and its beauty too, say I, if these be
its inhabitants, and such as this their abominable manner
of receiving travellers.”

“ Brother Davies,” returned Allen, as he wiped the blood
from his wrist, which was suffering from the peck of a
heron, and calmly adjusted his dress, which had been
greatly disarranged by a combined assault on the part of
a determined body of dabchicks, “Brother Davies, I like
it no better than you, but all things come to an end, and if
our great and glorious King can master the Pope and oust
his power from our land, as he hath done, be you sure it is
no river demons that can long withstand him. On, in the
King’s name !”

With these words the brave Justice urged his steed
forward once more, and the party advanced without further
interruption until they arrived at a spot where a long and
curiously contrived wooden bridge spanned the river, by no
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 61

means at its narrowest part, from one side to the other.
The bridge was ascended by steps on each side, and was
not a structure which you would have cared to cross with
« heavy weight, or one which had any great architectural
beauty to recommend it. There it was, however, to serve
its purpose, which it doubtless did to theggatisfaction of
all concerned, and almost to the foot of this bridge the
travellers advanced in security. Then a strange thing
occurred. Out of the river there sprang, with one simul-
taneous spring, a vast quantity of fish—salmon-trout,
perch, and I know not what beside—right wp into the air.
This, however, was not all. Leaving their natural element,
the whole body darted through the air, full upon the
travellers. It was one flash—one glitter of shining scales,
dripping with water, and they were at them and on them
in every direction.

Davies was nearly smothered by trout, and felt as if
perch by dozens were sliding down his back, while Mr.
Justice Allen was struck about the middle of the waistcoat
by a salmon, which must have weighed thirty pounds at
least, and felt at the same time a nip in the calf of his leg,
which must have proceeded either from the teeth of a pike
or from some other fish endowed with similar weapons of
offence.

This was too much for both men and horses. The latter
fairly turned tail, and the former being too much surprised
and startled to prevent them, set off at full speed in the
direction of the road which they had lately quitted. This
they very soon reached, their pace on the retreat having
been much faster than in the advance, and no obstacle or
hindrance whatever being offered to their progress. They
continued up the road in the direction of Bala for twenty
yards or more before their riders recovered from their
confusion and discomfiture sufficiently to pull them up.
This, however, they presently did, and for, several seconds


62 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

the two men sat staring at each other in mute astonishment.
In truth, they presented but a sorry spectacle, though, as
there were no bystanders to behold them, it mattered but
little, since, after all, it is the gaze of our fellow-creatures,
and the opinion which we think they will form upon our
appearance, which have the greatest share in causing us to
care how we look. With clothes wet through and through,
and by no means without rent or tear, with hats broken,
bent, and out of shape, with blood-stains on hands and
face, and a general look of having been recently dragged
through a pond full of fish whose scales came off easily,
our two friends certainly looked less respectable by many
degrees that when John Griffith had first encountered them
that morning.

So thought that worthy person, who, although his route
lay in the opposite direction, and nobody had interfered
with his advance, felt bound, by the laws of good-fellow-
ship, to retrace his steps and follow his flying companions,
whom he joined at their first halt. Neither of them liked
to speak first, but the same thoughts were evidently
struggling in the breasts of each. Wonder, alarm, and
indignation prevailed alternately, until at last the latter
passion obtained the mastery in the bosom of Mr. Justice
Allen, and he burst forth in terms of reproach, directed
alike against the river and the whole neighbourhood. Such
treatment had never before been heard of in England, if
this north part of Wales might so be called. That two
men, bearing the authority of the lawful sovereign of the
realm, and sent by him on a special mission for the good
of his people, should be interrupted, hindered, nay, abso-
lutely assaulted, on their journey, attacked by birds,
drenched with water, pelted with fishes, their lives and
limbs endangered, and their enterprise likely to be defeated,
and that by powers which did not dare to show themselves
boldly and openly like honourable foes !—the thing was
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 63

too shameful—too monstrous, and would certainly bring
down severe and deserved punishment upon the locality.

Whilst the irate Justice expressed his sentiments in
these words, and consoled himself with such reflections,
the learned Serjeant was occupied with other thoughts, to
which he shortly gave utterance.

“My worshipful friend,” said he, “in all that you say
there is, as usual, much forcible logic and good sense: the
King’s majesty has been insulted, and vengeance must
assuredly follow. But, meanwhile, let me respectfully ask
you whether you think it is absolutely necessary that we
should attempt to proceed further with our journey this
afternoon? We have done our duty so far, and doubtless
we will not return until we have accomplished the purpose
for which we left London ; but the delay of a few hours
will nat materially interfere with this, and whilst our
bodies are refreshed and our strength recruited, it may be
that the unseen powers who have opposed us will repent
of their folly in setting themselves up against the King’s
authority, and thus to-morrow we may be allowed to
proceed on our way without further molestation.”

These words made due impression upon the person to
whom they were addressed. Like his companion, he had
had nearly enough for one day, and they accordingly agreed
‘to find shelter at the nearest place offered, and there to
pass the night.

John Griffith would gladly have left them, in order to
proceed upon his own way, but the two gentlemen pressed
him so hard that he agreed to stay with them.

The next question was where they should pass the night,
and Griffith thought it but right to warn them, that
if they found shelter in any farmhouse or cottage in
the neighbourhood, it would be well for them to conceal
their errand if they valued their safety ; for such was the
reverence which the people felt for their favourite saint,
64 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

that the would-be spoilers of his shrine would have fared
but badly had the purpose of their coming been disclosed.

I have already mentioned the fact that, in his descent
into the valley, John Griftith had passed a house, which
was perched, as it were, upon a flat piece of ground which
interrupted the continuous steepness of the mountain side.
To this building the travellers now directed their attention,
for although it was at some height above them, yet there
was a sort of path by which it might be reached, and the
horses which the two gentlemen bestrode, being used to
mountains, were able to make their way upwards without
much difficulty. So, leaving the river and the valley, they
slowly ascended until they reached the low stone wall to
which attention has been made, a breach in which, some
yards in length, served for the gate by which might be
entered the court, so to call it, of the dwelling.

This court, indeed, was nothing more than a grass-plat,
and over the grass the travellers proceeded up to the very
door of the house itself. It was an old, tumble-down place:
the walls, indeed, were substantial enough, being built of
large rough-hewn blocks of stone, but its slated roof had
evidently not been repaired for some time, for the absence
of slates here and there disclosed huge rafters, which had
been long exposed to the wind and rain, the chimney in the
middle of the roof seemed as if it only wanted a decent
excuse to fall down altogether, and the whole place bore
about it an air of loneliness and desolation which did not
promise much to weary travellers. But a thin wreath of
smoke, which curled upward from the chimney, betokened
that the house was inhabited, and our friends were too wet
and too hungry to stand upon ceremony. So they rode up
at once and knocked loudly at the door, shouting at the
same time in order to attract the attention of the inmates.

For some moments they appeared to have failed in their
endeavours, for no one took the slightest notice of their
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 65

summons, which they therefore repeated more vehemently
than before. Presently a shufiling of feet was heard
within, and the door was opened by an old woman.

A very old woman she seemed to be, for she was bent
nearly double with age, and her nose reached forward and
came down with a hook towards her chin, which curved
upwards to meet it with a similar hook, evidently showing
that the two had been engaged for a considerable period in
the attempt to come together.

She had a queer-fashioned old cap upon her head, in the
which were confined the few scanty grey locks of hair
which Time had left her; she was clad in a dress of coarse
material, and as she leaned upon a crutch and gazed with
evident surprise upon her visitors, there was a poverty-
stricken look about her which gave but little hopes of the
hearty meal of which they were one and all prepared and
anxious to partake.

John Griffith was the first to speak.

“ Mother,” he said, “can you give these gentlemen and
me food and shelter for the night? We have come far
to-day, and there has been a wetting in the river which
causes my friends to be anxious to dry and rest themselves
before they go forward on their journey.”

The old woman listened to these words, and then replied,
in a tremulous voice, and in a language which was entirely
new to the Justice and the Lawyer, but which their com-
panion understood, for it was the language of his native
land—the Welsh of his childhood.

In the same tongue he addressed the old woman when
she had answered his first speech. She immediately
brightened up, said a few more words, and by voice and
gesture invited the men to enter.

Interpreting her speech to the others, Griffith explained
that she had said at first that her man was poor, and they

had little in the way of food to offer—it was but a short
F
66 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

way to Llanderfel, where good accommodation could be
had, and the gentlemen had better proceed there. But on
hearing her native tongue spoken by one of the strangers,
she had changed her tone, and said that the party was
welcome to such poor provision as she could afford in the
way both of food and shelter.

Having ascertained this, the travellers’ first care was to
provide a lodging for their horses, for which they had not
far to look, for at one corner of the house, built into the
side of the hill, was a stable, quite as good as the house
itself as far as warmth and comfort were concerned. Here
they placed their steeds in security, and forthwith re-enter-
ing the house, were conducted by the old crone to the room
which served both as parlour, kitchen, and general living-
room for her and her husband.

The latter, a weather-beaten old man, with a face which
was one mass of wrinkles, so that you could hardly discern
one feature from another, was seated in a crazy old chair
by the side of the fire-place, and carefully watching a huge
pot which was resting upon the fire, and from which fast-
rising bubbles told of hot food within.

This was a joyful sight to the hungry travellers, and
they signified as much forthwith, both by word and
gestures. Their delight at first appeared to be hardly
shared by the old man, who probably viewed with the
reverse of satisfaction the diminution of his own supper
by the application thereto of the appetites of these fasting
strangers. A few words, however, uttered to him in his
own tongue by John Griffith, and doubtless speaking of
payment certain to be made, reassured and comforted his
venerable soul, nor did he express himself otherwise than
cheerfully with regard to their arrival, so far as they could
judge from his voice and manner, for his words were not
only.spoken in the same strange language as that used by
his wife, but were mumbled forth from a toothless and
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 67

antiquated mouth in a manner which, had they been the
purest English ever spoken, would have gone far to render
them beyond man’s understanding.

The old crone, who had disappeared for a few seconds,
now re-entered the room with a bundle of sticks, with
which she replenished the fire, and made the pot boil the
better. She then addressed herself to John Griffith, who
forthwith informed the others of the purport of her
communication.

There were no such things as beds, it turned out, in the
house. She and her man slept on a wretched pallet at one
corner of the only other room on the ground floor, but
there were two rooms above, and if the gentlemen would
be content with bundles of clean straw, they would be very
welcome to stay the night.

There being no alternative, so far as they could see, the
travellers expressed themselves satisfied, and even grateful
for the proposed arrangement, and whilst the old woman
continued to busy herself about the preparations for the
supper, they ascended the stairs and found the rooms as
represented. One, which looked out over the valley of the
Dee below, was a large room in tolerable repair, though the
moonlight found its way in at more than one crevice at one
end. However, it was weather-tight for the most part, and
the weather was moreover fine, so the worthy Justice and
his friend resolved that they would appropriate this, whilst
Griffith prepared to occupy the other apartment, which was
smaller, and looked out into the small yard adjoining the
stable. Each of the two gentlemen carried a small closely-
packed bag strapped to his saddle, and these they now
opened, and were able with the contents to make themselves
somewhat more comfortable, and presently to appear in dry
garments, and requiring nothing but food for the inner man.

This was presently provided, for the old woman had
made such addition as she could to the supper, and a
68 EVERY GIRI’S STORIES

savoury mess of potatoes and other vegetables, stewed up
together in a manner which rendered the food uncommonly
palatable to the hungry men, served for their repast, and
had ample justice done to it.

After a day which had been rendered fatiguing, as well
by the excitement as the labour which they had undergone,
the travellers were not sorry to retire to rest, and humble
as was the couch upon which they stretched their weary
limbs, it was not long before sleep overpowered them, and
they forgot their annoyances and difficulties in dreams
which we may trust were pleasant.

Davies was the first to wake. He could never exactly
tell what it was that woke him, but something did so, and
that most effectually. He started—sat upright at once
upon his straw bed, and listened attentively. Surely a



voice had been speaking to him—whispering in his very
ear. Impossible! it was an idle dream, he would lie down
again, and compose himself to sleep. But sleep refused to
return at his command. Again he heard whispering—
again he sat upright and listened. The moonlight was
streaming in through the window of the room, and also, if
the truth be told, through the crevices in the roof. The
night was calm and still, so still that, far away down in
the valley, the pleasant murmuring of the Dee came up to
the ears of the listener in the hill-side dwelling. But, as
he listened, other murmurings came up also, more and more
distinct, until at last it shaped itself into words proceeding
from a human mouth,

‘*Say, who has dared to make complaint
Against Holy Dderfel, Cambria’s saint,
And who, more daring, here would bring
The ban of an apostate king ?

Saint Dderfel’s fame all Wales can tell,
And all her children love him well,
For blessings on their flocks and kine
Oft won by pray’r at holy shrine.
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFED, 69

Back, back, ye men of Saxon breed,
Let shameless Harry change his erced,
And let each Southron shift his hope
From pope to king, or king to pope.
But if ’gainst Cambrian saint he turn
His new-born zeal, then let him learn
That he who questions Dderfel’s might,
Must first o’ercome the River-Sprite | ”

As these words of direful import fell upon his ear,
Davies, remembering the experience of the River-Sprite,
which he and his friend had already had, felt the reverse of
comfortable, as, according to his view of the case, further
proceedings on the part of the individual in question
(whoever or whatever he might be) were undoubtedly
threatened. He lost no time, therefore, in endeavouring
to arouse his companion, which, however, was at first no
easy matter, for, overcome by the exertions of the previous
day, Mr. Justice Allen was sleeping the sleep of the just,
and snoring the snores of both just and unjust too, if the
listener were to judge by the volume of sound which
proceeded from his corner of the room.

At last, however, the difficult matter was accomplished,
and Serjeant Davies succeeded in making his companion
aware that something unusual had occurred. Sitting
upright upon his bed, with a last heavy snort, half awake
and half asleep, the poor Justice could not at first exactly
comprehend the reason of his being disturbed. As quickly
as he could, however, Davies explained the reason, and
begged him to listen, in case the words which he had just
heard should be repeated by their unseen visitor. Accord-
ingly, both men remained perfectly silent, straining every
nerve in order to catch the faintest possible sound. This
lasted for about a minute, when the same voice which
Davies had previously heard again broke upon their
astonished ears in the following words:

‘River Dee, River Dee,
Speak thy mind out, fair and freo !”
70 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

The next instant, without the slightest warning of any
kind, and whilst the moon was still shining clear in the
heavens above, and no sign of rain or wind whatever, a
low rushing sound was heard, and in at the window, and
at the same time through the crevices of the roof, rapid
streams of water came dashing into the room, and flooded
the place in a couple of seconds. Before they could leap
from their straw beds, the latter were saturated with wet,
and the water stood a foot deep on the floor, and was rising
rapidly, in such a manner as to threaten to fill the room.
The two gentlemen shouted hastily for help, for there
seemed no possibility of escape from drowning.

The old people of the house were some time before they
could hear ; but John Griffith was soon roused by the noise,
and came rushing from his room in some anxiety as to the
cause of the outcry. Scarcely had he opened the door than
a wonderful phenomenon ensued. Not only did the water
cease to descend, but not a drop of it attempted to cross
the threshold of the open door, but the whole body of
water stayed as if pent up in an iron cistern, presenting to
Griffith’s eyes the extraordinary sight of a pool of at least
three feet in depth, in which stood his two companions
shivering and wretched, whilst various articles of their
clothing floated hither and thither around them. Then,
singular to relate, the water began to sink and disappear
as fast as it had come, and indeed performed this feat with
so much rapidity, that by the time the old woman of the
house had got up-stairs and reached the room door, it was
scarce an inch deep, and in the space of another minute,
damp boards, moist straw, and men as moist and damp as
either, were the only remaining evidences of the strange
and wonderful event which had taken place.

Both Mr. Justice Allen and Serjeant Davies were
thoroughly out of temper, which was perhaps not extra-
ordinary under the circumstances. Their language was in
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 71

accordance with the warmth of their internal, rather than
the chilliness of their external, feelings. They denounced
the house, the place, the country, and everything connected
with it, especially the river and the so-called saint; for
whom no epithet was too opprobrious.

The old woman of the house, however, was so evidently
terrified at the occurrence which had taken place, that
although the two gentlemen were at first inclined to con-
demn her forthwith as a witch, and one that must have
been in league with those who had so injuriously treated
them, they speedily retracted their opinion, and became
mollified in their views of her behaviour. Anxious to
conciliate her guests, she hastened to fetch fresh bundles
of straw, which she deposited in the living-room down-
stairs ; and having lighted a fire, hung all the wet articles
of raiment before it to dry, all the while bemoaning in her
own tongue the misfortune that had happened, and calling
Heaven and all the saints to bear witness that she would
rather have suffered any hardship in her own person than
that guests in her house should have been treated in so
scurvy a manner.

Yielding to her persuasions, and having dried themselves
as well as they could, and warmed their shivering limbs at
the fire, the travellers again sought repose upon the new
straw beds which had been provided for them, and suffered
no further disturbance during the remainder of the night.
When morning came, they took solemn counsel together
as to the course which they had best pursue in order to
carry out the King’s orders, which might on no account be
neglected,

Upon the following day they were to meet the third
Commissioner, Mr. Philipson, who was coming from Ruabon,
where a small party of soldiers and certain officials were to
assemble, before proceeding to Llanderfel. To reach the
latter place, therefore, was still their object, and they
72 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

desired to do so upon that same day. In fact, as Serjeant
Davies wittily observed, although great attempts had been
made



and not altogether without success—to throw cold
water on their proceedings, the enemy, be he who he might,
had not succeeded in damping their ardour, and they were
perfectly resolved to do their duty. They, therefore, deter-
mined to make one more attempt to follow the path from
which they had been driven on the previous day, and
accordingly got their horses ready, and, accompanied by
honest John Griffith, again set out.

They did not forget to reward the old woman for her
hospitality, although both Allen and Davies felt a kind of
shudder pass through them when, in mumbling out her
thanks, the crone expressed an earnest wish that “St.
Dderfel might have them in his care,” which, judging by
past events, was precisely the thing which they would have
most desired to avoid.

They slowly descended the mountain side, and presently
found themselves once more in the road which led direct
from Bala to Llanderfel. Here John Griffith ventured
mildly to suggest that if they followed this road they
would probably find no trouble in reaching their destin-
ation. Serjeant Davies rather inclined to the same opinion,
but the stout-hearted Justice objected to so simple a pro-
ceeding. In fact, he was rather ashamed at the cowardice
which he somewhat unjustly imputed to himself with
reference to the proceedings of the previous day, and felt
that his character was more or less at stake. He, there-
fore, put it very strongly to his companions that they
ought not to be driven to alter their course by even so
much as one inch in consequence of the events which had
taken place. He reminded them that he and the Serjeant
were travelling upon the King’s business, that the King
was supreme in England, both as regarded temporal and
spiritual matters, and that as to dispute his power and
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 73

supremacy was undoubtedly rank high treason, so to be
influenced and swayed by those who evidently did so must
certainly be very near the same. Moreover, he said that
since the King had proved strong enough to shake off the
Pope, who had claimed to be supreme over the spiritual
affairs of the kingdom, it would be an insult alike to King
and Pope if they allowed any one else, saint, sprite, or
demon, to oppose and thwart his Majesty’s royal will and
pleasure. Therefore upon their allegiance he demanded
that they should resume their yesterday’s path, and ride
along the banks of the river to Llanderfel.

Not without some hesitation did they comply, for although
John Griffith had no fears for himself, he did not wish to
be delayed in his journey upon his own private affairs by
further misadventures which might befall the two gentle-
men, whilst as for Serjeant Davies, he justly remarked
that although the King’s orders enjoined them to proceed
to Llanderfel, they said nothing about getting there by any
particular road, and he did not see the force of braving
unseen foes when there was nothing to be got by it.

Mr. Justice Allen, however, being an obstinate man, and
one that loved his own way, had the same good luck which
usually attends those of a similar temperament and dis-
position. He had his own way, and the three men once
more entered upon the path by the river side, and advanced
along the bank. é

There was nothing unusual to be seen in river, mountain
side, or meadow. The water gurgled round the stones,
merrily as usual, the ring-ousel started from the rushes in
the shallow water, and fluttered across the river, as if
alarmed by the approach of the invaders of his quiet home,
the kingfisher went by like a flash of lightning as usual,
but apparently quite intent upon his own business, and
nothing appeared at all likely to disturb or molest the
travellers.
74, EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

They proceeded for some distance further than they had
done on the previous day, and had in fact arrived at a point
about half-way between the bridge at which they had left
the high-road and the village for which they were bound,
before anything unusual occurred. Then they came to a
small strip of green meadow, not twenty yards wide,
beyond which was a hedge, and a bridle-gate through which
they would be able to pass into a larger meadow beyond.
But exactly as they reached this strip of meadow, it
suddenly changed altogether its character and appearance.

From a pleasant-looking pasture, which seemed to invite
a canter, it became a regular quagmire, shaking and shift-
ing as if only anxious to swallow up and engulf anybody
or anything which ventured upon it. So actively did its
surface heave to and fro, that the horses naturally hecame
alarmed, and refused to move a step further. Nor was it
only the land itself which had such a dangerous look about
it. From the mud peered up frogs, toads, snakes, and
other disagreeable and venomous-looking creatures, and the
frogs indeed set up a hoarse croaking, which was of itself
enough to frighten any well-disposed horse.

Mr. Justice Allen, however, was determined not to be
discomfited, and spurring his steed forward, raised his
riding-whip at the same time for the purpose of more
effectually enforcing his will, Horror upon horrors! No
sooner had he done so, than the hilt silver of the whip
turned into a serpent’s head, the rest of the weapon became
the body, and slipping from the hand of the astonished
Justice, wriggled away towards the marsh as if it belonged
to the place. Most men would have been utterly frightened
and overcome by this strange and alarming occurrence, but
the good Justice was not an ordinary man, and had,
doubtless, for this reason been selected ag one of the
Commissioners whose duty it would be to encounter and
defeat much local prejudice, and therein to display a
LEGEND OF SI. DDERFEL 75

firmness and strength of mind without which the victory
could not be won. On the previous day Allen had been
taken by surprise, and certainly he was not free from
wonder at the present moment. But he had made up his
mind to carry the business through, and resolved within
himself that ten thousand sprites or saints, goblins or
devilkins, should not now turn him back. So he shouted
aloud to his companions :

“Come on, come on! In the King’s name, come on !
I warrant me that the King and my Lord Cromwell will
prove too strong for these knaves, an we face them
boldly !”

Scarcely had the word Cromwell passed his lips when a
tremendous yell broke from the bed of the river; such a
yell of mingled surprise, rage, and agony as had never
before been heard by any of the party. At the same time,
after one mighty heaving, which evidently agitated its
whole surface from end to end, the quagmire in front of
the travellers ceased to oppose any obstacle to their pro-
gress, and returned to its former condition of a peaceful
and innocent meadow. Mr. Justice Allen’s whip, moreover,
calm and quiet as if it had never misconducted itself at
all, came actually into his hand as if it had been there
all the time—a sedate, respectable, everyday whip—and
every ugly and venomous creature utterly disappeared from
sight.

All, however, was not over. In the very middle of the
river, rearing itself up above the water, appeared the figure
of a man, or at least the head and shoulders of a man,
which led the casual observer to the conclusion that the
rest of the body and the legs were beneath the water ;
though, as everything connected with magic is wonderful
and uncertain, this might not have been the case, and it is
quite possible that there were no body and legs belonging
to the head and shoulders at all. Be this as it may, so
76 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

much of a man’s form as I have described was certainly
visible to all three men, as each of them declared to his
dying day. It is true that they all differed somewhat as
to its precise appearance, Justice Allen declaring that the
head was covered with dark grizzly hair, with a long grey
beard, and singularly handsome features, whilst Serjeant
Davies maintained that there was a wreath of weeds which
almost concealed the hair, and John Griffith stoutly avowed
that the head and hair were of a dark red colour. Still
they all saw the head, and all agreed that the breast and
shoulders were covered with something very like the scales
of a fish, It is unimportant, however, to dwell upon these
details, since by far the most interesting part of the
strange apparition was the voice which issued from its lips.
Of course they all knew perfectly well that it was the
River-Sprite. No one else would be likely to be in the
middle of the river or to make such an unearthly noise
under the circumstances ; so they looked and listened, quite
. prepared for something extraordinary, though not exactly
for what followed. Raising above his head a hand which
firmly grasped a salmon of considerable size, he hurled the
fish in the direction of the party, as if it was his manner
of giving vent to a curse upon them and their undertaking.
The fish, fortunately for itself, fell short, and disappeared
in a pool between the Sprite and those at whom he seemed
to aim. At the same moment he raised his voice, and in
harsh and discordant tones thus addressed them :
‘*Ride on, ride on, since River-Sprite
No more may check the royal might,
Nor Dderfel’s sanctity avail
*Gainst those who would his shrine assail.
Ride on, ride on, base Harry’s slaves,
To do the work of robber-knaves 3
Yet pause on sacrilegious way,
And list to my prophetic lay.

By Cromwell’s aid and Cromwell’s act
(Where hath the rogue a counterpart 2)
LEGEND OF ST, DDERFEL 77

Comes o’er the land an hour of gloom,

And meck Religion hears her doom.

Through Cromwell works a king this shame—
Yet kings shall live to curse the name.

In ages yet to come shall spring

A Cromwell to confound a king,

For Dderfel’s wrong shall king atone,

And Dderfel’s vengeance shake a throne !”

Having uttered these words, the River-Sprite threw up
both his arms once more, gave vent to another tremendous
yell, and disappeared with a splash which sent the water
flying right and left, and must have considerably disturbed
any fish which chanced to be in the neighbourhood. The
three men looked at each other in amazement, and then
John Griffith shook his head, and said he did not like this
sort of thing at all. The two gentlemen, however, thought
differently, inasmuch as they augured, from the appearance
and disappearance of the individual whom they had just
seen, that they would meet with no further interruption on
their journey, and they neither understood nor cared for
the allusions of something which a Cromwell would, at
some future day, do to a king, so long as they were allowed
to proceed to the accomplishment of the business of their
King, which had caused their expedition.

We, of course, looking back upon the whole course of
events, understand all about the matter, and see what a
wonderful prophecy was that of the River-Sprite ; but the
persons who heard it were differently circumstanced. Yet
I have heard it whispered that some prophecy of this kind,
working upon the jealous fears of King Henry the Eighth,
was the beginning of the events which caused Lord Crom-
well’s downfall, which was very hard upon him, since he
had nothing to do with the geat river, and never killed a
king in his life. Indeed, as a matter of fact and history,
the King killed him, which was a totally different thing ;
and considering the whole circumstances of the case, I
78 EVERY GIRI’S STORIES

think it would have been a far more reasonable prophecy
of the River-Sprite if he had foretold that Cromwell should
before long (as was the case) fall out of favour with his
Royal master, and, as happened to a good many other
people who displeased King Henry the Eighth, lose his
head in consequence. This, I say, the River-Sprite might
have foretold, and, in ascribing it to St. Dderfel’s vengeance,
would have greatly raised both his own reputation and that
of the Saint.

Perhaps, however, he didn’t know it, or perhaps he was
bound not to prophesy about any person then alive, or
perhaps he did not choose to give Cromwell the warning.
In fact, river-sprites are such very curious people, that one
never knows the exact rules by which they go, and there-
fore it is not of the slightest use to speculate upon the why
or wherefore of anything which they may chance to say
or leave unsaid. I only know what this particular Sprite
did say, and, as I had it direct from a water-ousel, who
was descended in a direct line from a bird who heard and
saw the whole occurrence, and had constantly told the
story to his children, to be handed down to the eggs yet
unhatched, I do not think that there can be any mistake
about it.

At all events, Mr. Justice Allen and Serjeant Davies
found that no further obstacle was thrown in the way of
their journey to Llanderfel, and in a very short time they
arrived at that interesting village, and found comfortable
quarters at the ‘ Horse-shoe.’

As they reached the place in good time, they were able
to make a full inspection of the church and to visit the
shrine of the Saint. Several people followed and watched
them closely, but no one interfered with them ; and, having
viewed the figure of the Saint on his wooden horse, and
gazed upon the offerings which the piety of the neighbouring
villagers and the passing pilgrims had bestowed thereupon,
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 79

they returned to their inn and made themselves comfortable
for the night.

They required the services of John Griffith no longer,
and therefore dismissed him, with the offer of a liberal
reward. But this honest John refused, saying that since
he had been thrown in with them as comrades during a
ticklish time, he had stood by them as a Welshman should,
but that he had now heard too much of their errand to
care to touch their money, and accordingly he took his
leave without doing so. This somewhat surprised the two
-gentlemen, but they did not allow it to distress them, which
was a sensible thing on their part, though perhaps not
wonderful, since people are seldom averse to saving their
‘money when they can conveniently do so. John Griffith,
therefore, went on his way ; and, although no longer pro-
tected by his presence, neither the Justice nor the Lawyer
suffered any further inconvenience at Llanderfel that night.

Upon the next morning their work was to begin, and
their brother Commissioner, Mr. Philipson, duly arrived
from Ruabon with a body of men who had been sent to
support the execution of the King’s will. The inquiry
which they instituted was one of a sufficiently simple
character, it was merely to ascertain that miraculous
powers were commonly ascribed by the people of the
neighbourhood to the wooden figure of St. Dderfel, and
this would. be held to justify its immediate destruction and
the plunder of a shrine which every true Protestant would
of course rejoice to see destroyed.

The belief of the people was not difficult to prove, for
it was universal throughout all North Wales. When
summoned to give evidence upon the subject, the poor
creatures thought they were called upon to bear witness to
the power, sanctity, and goodness of their beloved Saint,
and testified with great alacrity to the many cures which
had been effected through his agency. Sufficient evidence
80 EVERY GIRS STORIES

was soon collected to have hanged half-a-dozen sinners
instead of one saint, who in those days had still less
chance of getting off, and it was soon clear enough that
St. Dderfel must be doomed. Hanging, however, was not
to be his fate.

The people vainly endeavoured to save him by offering
to subscribe for his ransom. It might not be. There could
be but one place to which the image might be carried, one
manner in which it might be destroyed.

At that time Friar Forrest, having first maintained the
supremacy of the Pope and then that of the King, had
come back to his first love, and was opposed to the uproot-
ing of the papal power and the destruction of monasteries.
It was, therefore, determined that he should be “ purified
by fire,” which was the pleasant way people had of putting
it in those days when they burned a man, although I don’t
suppose it made it any more pleasant for the fellow who
had to be burned. Friar Forrest was burned in Smithfield
market, and stuck wp for the Pope to the last, just as many
stout-hearted Protestants held out against him, in Queen
Mary’s reign afterwards, and were burned in the same
fashion. But in order to show that the Saint could not
save the Friar, they took his image, chopped it up, and
made it into firewood to burn the victim, which it did with
great success.

Mr. Justice Allen, Serjeant Davies, and Mr. Philipson
thought it their duty to be present upon this occasion,
being determined to see the last of St. Dderfel, and saw
his remains used in this manner with much satisfaction.

Now the fragments into which the Saint had been spilt
were of considerable size, and as they spluttered and
cracked and hissed in the fire, the three Commissioners, in
common with other people, could plainly distinguish them.
Suddenly, from the middle of the crowd which pressed
around, eagerly watching the execution of the unhappy
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 81

victim, a tall man, wrapped in a long, dark cloak, stepped
swiftly, as it appeared to those who saw him, into the very
fire, seized one of the largest pieces of St. Dderfel, blazing
as it was, quickly placed it under his cloak, whence came a
hissing noise as of water thrown on fire, and in an instant
the stranger had disappeared again, without any one making
an effort to stop him.

All three Commissioners saw the thing plainly, but
Philipson was astonished at its effect upon his companions.
They turned deadly pale, trembled all over, and looked at
each other with terror written in the countenance of each.
After a time they recovered themselves sufficiently to
explain the cause of their strange emotion, when they both
informed their colleague and friend, that in the person who
had so boldly stepped into the fire, and performed the feat
which has just been told, they distinctly recognized the
features of the Sprite of the River Dee. nh

It was in vain that Mr. Philipson endeavoured to combat
so foolish an idea, and to explain away so absurd a delusion.
Both the gentlemen stuck steadily to their story, Serjeant
Davies endeavouring, though with a melancholy face, to
perpetrate a joke after his own peculiar fashion, by declaring
that it was no De-lusion but a Dee-Sprite.

This, however, failed to amuse the company when dis-
cussing so serious a subject. Serious, indeed, it turned
out to be. Mr. Justice Allen was never the. same man
afterwards ; he changed his religion three times, which
was not an uncommon occurrence in those days, but was
never any the better for it. The memory of his sojourn in
Wales seemed ever with him: he continually fancied that
he saw the figure of the Spirit of the Dee following him,
and at last he took to drinking, and of course made a
miserable end of it. It is said, indeed, that when nearly
at his last he heard the doctor who was in attendance upon

him declare that it was a clear case of “Delirium tremens.”
G
82 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

“Dee, again?” he exclaimed in frantic horror—“ the Dee
—the Dee—always the Dee—oh, that dreadful Dderfel !”
and with this name on his lips expired.

Nor did Serjeant Davies ever thrive after the events of
which I have had to tell. He grew stout, and, strange to
say, the more corpulent did he become, the worse grew his
temper, until at last he was a perfect nuisance to every one.
Any allusion to his Welsh adventures at once excited him
to fury, and the names of Dderfel and the river Dee were
never suffered to be mentioned in his presence. At last,
when he had been enjoying a worse attack than usual of
the gout, to which he was a martyr, he so annoyed his
niece by his irritability and disagreeable remarks, that to
one of the latter she thoughtlessly remarked, “ Fiddle-de-
dee.” Scarcely was the word out of her mouth when he
flew into a violent passion, accusing the poor girl of having
used a forbidden word, and working himself up into such
a temper that he tried to rise from his chair to strike her.
The exertion and the excitement brought back the gout,
which flew to a vital part, and the learned Serjeant went
out of the world in this melancholy fashion.

This account of the end of the two Commissioners is that
which is commonly held to be correct in Llanderfel, and I
have therefore given it, although I believe that the families
of Allen and Davies have entirely different versions as to
the lives and deaths of their two respeeted ancestors.

There is, however, a striking corroboration of one part
of my story, the most of which, to tell the honest truth, I
learned from the water-ousel, whom I have already men-
tioned and whose acquaintance I recently made when on a
visit to North Wales.

Somehow or other, a large fragment of the image of
St. Dderfel on his horse did re-appear in the church of
Llanderfel, and may be seen in the porch thereof unto this
day. Now, how did it come there? Is it likely that the
LEGEND OF ST. DDERFEL 838

Commissioners, who were so zealous and earnest in their
work of destruction, would have left the smallest vestige
of the abomination which they had come to destroy? Is it
not certain, beyond all reasonable doubt, that every scrap
and fragment of the Saint and his horse was sent up to
Smithfield to help to burn Friar Forrest? If so, how can
we reconcile this with the undoubted fact of the presence
in Llanderfel church of a large fragment to-day? There
is only one way of doing so, and that is by believing the
story of the gallant rescue made by the River-Sprite.

And when I walk along the banks of the old river, and
listen to its pleasant murmuring sounds, they seem to tell
me over again these old tales, and to impress on me that it
is just as well to believe them, for they lead me to feel that
there is an unseen and an unknown world, through, and
by, and in which we may be daily walking, although we
see and know it not, a world of spirits who protect the good
and pure, and who can do so better and more effectually
than the Spirit of the Dee was able to protect the shrine
of St. Dderfel.
SYBIL’S VISION

By tue Ricut Hoy. E. H. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN

(LorpD BRABOURNE)

Tr was a sad moment for Sybil Praed when she was told
that she was to be taken to the dentist that very morning,
and have four of her teeth taken out! Those who have
(and who has not 1) had to undergo the misery of such a visit,
can picture to themselves the horror with which Sybil
listened to the announcement. I well remember my own
feelings on many a similar occasion, and I suppose the same
sensations are common to all children. How shall I describe
the terrible nature of those visits? First of all, the carriage
always drove twice as fast as ib did when it was taking us
anywhere else, and one always seemed to be at the dentist’s
door almost directly after leaving our own. Then there
was the waiting—ten minutes—twenty minutes—half-an-
hour—sometimes an hour—in the dismal waiting-room. I
can see it now, with its table covered with books, which at
another time would have been charming to one’s childish
imagination ; but, alas! it was not so at that particular
moment! The Gentlemen's Mag gazine wight as well have
been a Latin grammar ; Pickwick and Nicholas Nickleby
were no better than a French dictionary, and even that
volume of pictures from Punch (invariably found on a
dentist’s drawing-room table) had entirely lost its attrac-

tions for the nonce. Nor was the agony of suspense much
$4
SYBIL’S VISION 85

lightened by the observation of other victims also awaiting
their summons to the dreaded presence of the operator.
One regarded them with a curious mixture of pity for
fellow-sufferers and jealousy lest they should be first sum-
moned, and so one’s own agony be prolonged. The longing
for and yet dreading the summons was something too trying
to the childish mind, and when at last the servant—who
had generally a melancholy look of his own—opened the
door and signified that our turn was come, one felt as if one
was going then and there to instant execution! I forbear
to carry my description further. The appearance of The
Torturer—his kindly smile, in which one detected lurking
treachery—his friendly words, “ Let me just feel that tooth,
my dear, I won't hurt you”—his row of marvellous and
terrible instruments—the very chair in which one sat,—all
these things are vividly before my eyes, and so they were,
I dare say, before poor Sybil’s eyes when she received the
intelligence of her coming fate. And, to tell the honest
truth, I do not think she was much comforted by the infor-
mation given her at the same time, that “ it really wouldn’t
hurt her at all, for she was to have ‘ laughing gas,’ and
would know nothing at all about it till it was over.’ ‘This
sounded all very fine ; but Sybil knew nothing about “ laugh-
ing gas,” and she did know that having a tooth out some-
times hurt a great deal. She had once before undergone
the operation, and was only partially reconciled to the
suffering by the new shilling which (according to the
invariable custom of all papas who know their duty and do
it) her papa had given her in consequence. Moreover, she
had before her the experiences of her elder brother Willy.
That young gentleman, being much addicted to “sweets”
and nuts, which are the avowed and mortal enemies of all
teeth, had been rewarded by a tooth-ache which could only
be cured by the removal of one of his double teeth, the
extraction of which had given him so much pain that he
86 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

had hated the name of dentist ever since, though, from all
I can hear, he had not given up the consumption of those
nuts and “sweets” which he had so much more reason to
detest. So Sybil, judging by all she knew, expected to be
hurt, and didn’t at all like the thoughts of it. However,
she was a good girl, and knew that when one has to do or
to bear anything, the only way is to make the best of it,
and go through it bravely, and this she determined to do.
Accordingly, when the carriage came to the door, she put
on as cheerful a face as circumstances permitted, and pre-
pared to accompany her mamma. The horses went as fast
as usual, and in less than no time, as it appeared to Sybil,
they arrived at Mr. Tronfield’s door. Mr. Tronfield was a
man whom nature never intended as an instrument of
torture to any one, and who, I am sure, would never have
undertaken the duties of his profession except from the
knowledge that the pain which he was occasionally obliged
to inflict was only given for the purpose and with the
certainty of preventing the longer and more excruciating
anguish of tooth-ache. Kindness was in his face, sympathy
for suffering in his eye, and when, after a short interval of
waiting, Sybil and her mamma were ushered into his
presence, the former felt at once that in such hands as his
she would not be made to suffer more than was absolutely
necessary. In the room, however, was another person be-
sides Mr. Tronfield, who held in his hand a large, mysterious-
looking bag not unlike that in which lawyers carry their
papersand documents. Sybil looked at him with some little
awe, not being sure whether his presence meant that her
case required more than one person to deal with it, or
whether he was going to carry away her teeth in his bag,
or play any other part in the coming performance. She
was soon told, however, that this was the gentleman who
was to administer the “laughing gas,” and, as he seemed
a pleasant, friendly kind of person, she overcame her fears
SYBIL’S VISION 87

and sat down as directed in the arm-chair by the window.
Then they put.a curious bag over her nose, and told her to
sit quite still and not to mind, for nobody was going to hurt
her. So she sat quite still, and tried not to mind, and then
the gentleman said to her, “ Now you can listen to me
whilst I count, and see how many you can hear me count
whilst you sit there.’ And then she heard him begin, “ One,

two, three, four, five, six——”

What had happened?
Suddenly, Sybil found that she was no longer in the
dentist’s chair, but that something very strange and extra-
ordinary had occurred. She was standing in the middle of
a garden, surrounded by the loveliest flowers you can pos-
sibly imagine. Roses were there in profusion, and roses,
too, of the most beautiful kind, and emitting the most
fragrant odour. Standard roses Sybil saw everywhere, right
and left, and close to her was a large bed of dwarf roses, the
like of which, for size, brightness of colour, and beauty she
had never seen before. On every side were flowers whose
names she knew, and a great many of which she had never
heard, but the sight of them all was most beautiful, and the
perfume which was wafted through the soft, balmy air was
something more delicious than she had ever smelled before.
Nor was it the flowers alone which constituted the beauty
of that wonderful garden. Birds of gaudy plumage flew
from tree to tree, and others, perched among the foliage
above Sybil’s head, uttered notes of the sweetest melody,
rare and beautiful butterflies floated lazily over the flower-
beds, and the contented hum of the honey-bee imparted an
air of comfortable, quiet drowsiness to the whole scene. Not
that a honey-bee is a drowsy creature of itself, far from it,
but. in the warm summer weather, if you ever throw your-
self upon the grass and give yourself up to quiet laziness,
nothing helps you more than that busy yet tranquilizing
hum which proceeds from these industrious little insects as
they ply their daily labours among the sweetest flowers.
88 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

Sybil stood for an instant entranced with delight, She
had never seen, felt, smelled, or dreamed of anything half
so pleasant and beautiful as that garden. It seemed as if
nothing disagreeable could ever happen there, and as if the
troubles of the outside world could never enter within that
charmed place. A fountain, too, was playing in the very
centre of the garden—a fountain the basin of which was
built of fantastically-arranged rock-work, covered with
large shells and flowers, and the waters of which played, as
the waters of such fountains do play, in a manner most
sleep-inviting, for ever murmuring on in sweet, dreamy
tones as it fell with tuneful, musical cadence into the basin,
and having about it an air of soft, quiet repose almost irre-
sistible to any one who came within the influence of its
sound. It was indeed a place where peace and happiness
seemed to reign, and to enter which was a privilege to be
highly valued. The little girl was not left long to her own
thoughts, for she had scarcely realized the beauties of the
scene (which indeed it would have required a much longer
time to realize) before a bird of bright plumage flew past
her, then turned and wheeled three times round her head,
and, perching upon a standard rose-tree close by, nodded its
head pleasantly to her, and said in a lively tone of voice,
«I’m so glad you’ve come! we’ve been expecting you ever
so long! Isn’t the garden looking lovely to-day?” Some-
how or other, she could not tell why, Sybil was not the
least bit surprised at being spoken to by a bird, but answered
directly, just as if she had been quite used to it all her life.
“Yes,” she said, “here [ am, and sorry to have kept you
waiting. How beautiful everything is!” “TI believe you!”
chuckled the bird merrily, and was about to continue the
conversation, when down flew a number of other birds from
different trees, and perched upon the rose-bushes and upon
‘the ground, “ You must not keep her all to yourself,” they
eried, “now she has come at last. She must come and see




Lif)
he!

To Wie,









A fountain was playing in the centre of the garden.—P. 88,
SYBIL’S VISION 89

the fruit!” Sybil greatly wondered what they could mean,
but as they were evidently inspired by the most friendly
feeling towards her, she did not scruple to follow them when
they invited her to do so, and fluttered before her across
the lawn until they came to a square kitchen garden, down
the middle of which ran a broad green path, whilst a similar
path surrounded the square.

“What do you think of this?” said one of the birds as
he flew down the middle path and called Sybil to follow.
Certainly there was something to think of. On each side
of her was a strawberry-bed, beneath the leaves of which
strawberries were everywhere peeping out, and such straw-
berries! They seemed to Sybil to be larger and finer and
to have a more delicious look about them than any she
had ever seen before. Beyond the strawberry-beds stood a
number of raspberry-trees, upright as sentinels guarding
the place, and bearing upon them raspberries to look at
which made Sybil’s mouth water, such a “ come-gather-and-
eat-me”’ look about them they had! and farther on still
were the most remarkable gooseberries and currants, grow-
ing upon their trees in the greatest comfort, and evidently
all as yet free from the legitimate grasp of gardener, or the
cruel and unlawful assault of school-boy greediness. Sybil
gazed with pleasure upon the fruit, and was surely not to
blame if visions crossed her mind of large plates of straw-
berries, with a little sugar by their side, awaiting little
girls who had asked to have them “ saved from dessert’ for
them whilst they went to watch their brothers at cricket ;
nor was it otherwise than natural that a pleasant memory
of currant and raspberry-tarts should flit through her brain,
vividly associated with thoughts of rich, thick cream, the
usual accompaniment of such delicious food. But she
restrained such thoughts as these, not being sure how they
might harmonize with the views of the birds who were so
kindly doing the honours of the place for her amusement.
90 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

When they reached the end of the middle walk they turned
to the left and went round the squareof the kitchen garden,
wherein there was much more to see and admire. Magnifi-
cent clusters of filberts hung from their trees; apples,
pears, and plums were growing in profusion, and here and
there was a mulberry-tree disporting itself among the rest
with rich, ripe-looking fruit, which made you long to be at
them without delay. Sybil was enchanted with all she saw,
and thought at once what fun her school-boy brothers would
have had if they could have been turned loose in this land
of plenty. She did not, however, attempt to pick any of
the fruit, as the birds made no offer to her upon the subject,
and she was too well brought up to do anything of the kind
unasked or uninvited. When they had reached the end of
the square at which they had entered the kitchen garden,
the birds, who had been fluttering before and around her
all the while, began to flutter higher and faster in an
evident state of excitement, and several of them pre-
sently exclaimed together, “Oh! there’s the Queen of
the Flowers! take her to the Queen of the Flowers, she is
sure to want to see her now!” Sybil did not at all under-
stand what her companions meant; but as they eagerly
flew forward, she followed them to the middle of the lawn,
where was the fountain already described, and there, a little
way from the fountain, seated in an easy garden-chair, was
a figure whom she seemed at once to know must be the
Queen of the Flowers. The face was the face of a lady,
and of a pretty, exceedingly good-humoured-looking lady,
too; but the hair, which hung down around her head, was
nothing more nor less than festoons of roses—red, lovely,
sweet-scented roses; the arms were apparently entirely
composed of cloves and carnations, the body was formed of
a multitude of various flowers, the most beautiful you can
imagine, and a cloak of honey-suckle and sweet-briar was
thrown carefully over the shoulders. Altogether, the figure
SYBIL’S VISION 91

was the most quaint and extraordinary that Sybil had ever
seen, and the tiny little hands and feet peeping out, alone
disclosed the fact that it was something more than a simple
mass of flowers. As Sybil approached, the Queen of the
Flowers waved her hand gracefully to her, and said in a
sweet, silvery voice :

“Welcome to my garden! I am very glad to see you
here, and I hope my birds have been attentive to you.”

“Yes, I thank your majesty,” replied Sybil; “and
what a beautiful place it is! I should like to stay here
always.”

The Queen of the Flowers clearly took this as a compli-
ment, for she bowed graciously, and smiled as she replied,
“‘T hope you will stay as long as you like. You have come
just in time to see the show, so pray sit down and make
yourself at home.”

Sybil wondered what the show would be, but she had not
to wonder long. The birds showed her toa seat close by
the queen, and, as soon as she had sat down, they all perched
about on the side of the fountain, and, after a minute or so,
the Queen of the Flowers said in a clear, ringing voice, “ Let
the show begin !”

Upon this, a strain of low but indescribably sweet music
was heard, which seemed to come from no particular spot,
but to fill the whole place as if it rose from the ground like
dew, or fell like the rain-drops from the heavens above. It
grew a little louder at times, and then sank almost to a
whisper, and there was something in it which struck all
the tenderest chords of Sybil’s heart. It seemed to remind
her of home, and childish days, and her little brothers and
sisters, and her papa and mamma, and all that she loved
and cared for most; a strain of heart-touching music, that
she could have listened to for ever without being tired.
But as the music came swelling upon her ears, she saw at
the same moment a curious sight, such as probably mortal
92 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

child had never seen before. All the flowers in the garden,
at least all the best and most presentable flowers, left their
beds and marched past the queen like soldiers at a review.
And Sybil, who had always been very fond of flowers, and
had studied their habits as well as she could, observed that
they appeared to advance, one sort after the other, in regular
rotation, very much according to the season of the year at
which they usually come forth. Thus, first came a regiment
of snowdrops, white and pure like the spotless souls of
children, hanging their little heads as if in bashful modesty
they scarce dared raise them up to gaze upon the face of
their queen; then a mixed and smart array of crocuses,
yellow, white, and violet, came jauntily past, as if they felt
they had done themselves credit by pushing up through the
brown earth so early in the spring, and had consequently
a right to march among the foremost flowers. A delicious
fragrance next pervaded the atmosphere and heralded the
presence of violets innumerable, sweetest of Spring’s
flowery gifts, closely followed by the pale primroses, so
dearly loved of little English maidens, and, alas! so ruth-
lessly picked from their mossy home on sunny banks, and
scattered as soon as picked, in many a woodland ramble.
Pleasant memories did these recall to Sybil of happy flights
from town to country for Easter :holidays, and long, de-
lightful excursions over wood and dale. Nor were these
memories dispelled by the flowers which followed, for. the
wood anemone and the blue-bell appeared intermixed in
their marching order, and a multitudinous company of both
filed before the queen. Who are these immediately behind
them, large yellow flowers upon tall slender stalks, dutifully
bowing their heads as they pass their sovereign? Sybil
required no second glance to tell her that this was the
daffodil regiment, which neatly contrasted in height and
appearance with the succeeding flowers, which were none
other than the cowslips, with their rich, creamy-looking
SYBIL’S VISION 93

yellow heads, seeming to speak of rich meadows and the
pleasant warmth of advancing spring. These, and one or
two other regiments, were attended by a vast concourse of
daisies and buttercups marching by their side, and appar-
ently considering themselves to belong to no regiment in
particular, but to have something to do with all. But
after the cowslips came a troop of flowers upon which
Sybil’s eyes rested with pleasure, as in the pretty white
bells hanging upon their green stems in graceful beauty,
she recognized the lilies of the valley, emblems of innocence
and virgin purity. And when these tender flowers had
passed by, a very different regiment followed. Holding up
their heads in an arrogant manner, and evidently considering
themselves superior to any other flower there, came the
lordly tulips; and, as she saw their haughty looks, Sybil
called to mind an incident that had once occurred to her
brother Ned, when he was quite a little fellow. Some one
had been telling him a story in which the character of the
humble, quiet little daisy was contrasted with that of the
proud tulip, somewhat to the disadvantage of the latter.
Soon after, Ned was sent to wait in the garden for a short
time until his nurse was ready to walk with him, and when
she came down, she found him standing opposite the best
tulip-bed with a little cane in his hand, with which he had
quietly switched off the head of every tulip, gravely observ-
ing that he had done it to punish them for being so naughty
and proud! And after the tulips came the roses. The
standard rose-trees walked two and two abreast, one red
and one white, of all sorts and kinds. This was a magnifi-
cent sight, to see the noblest of flowers in such perfection as
Sybil saw them that day. It seemed as if their line would
never end, as they kept filing on and on in all their different
varieties of beauty. Sybil recognized many roses that she
knew her mamma was very fond of, and the names of which
she had often asked when walking with her in the rose-
94 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

garden at home. “Général Jacqueminot” held up his
head bravely ; the “Gloire de Dijon” showed gallantly in
front, and “Maréchal Niel,” with its beautiful golden
colour, was proudest of the proud. Then, among many
others, the little girl observed her celebrated friend “ Géant
des Batailles” (which the old gardener at home always
would persist in speaking of as “the gent of the battles’’),
and last, not least, amid the multitude of dwarf rose-bushes
which followed, perfect in blossom and fragrant with per-
fume, came specimen after specimen of the dear old cabbage,
none the worse for being such an old acquaintance ; and
not far off was to be seen, well represented and beautiful
as ever, “York and Lancaster,” side by side with the
“‘Maiden’s Blush.” The roses took some time in passing,
and then came the flowers which to Sybil’s mind beat all
the rest in the sweetness of their accompanying perfume.
A long array of carnations, cloves, and picotees came by,
pink, red, white, of various colours, but all deliciously fra-
grant, and a regiment which the queen evidently held in
high estimation, for she smiled and bowed repeatedly as
they passed, and asked Sybil if she didn’t think they were
beautiful, in which sentiment the latter readily agreed. I
cannot tell you, because Sybil forgot, or never knew, many
of their names,—all the “bedding-out” flowers which
followed. Let it be sufficient to say, that in number,
beauty, and variety they surpassed all that she had ever



seen before. The geranium tribe impressed her particularly.
Xose-coloured, deep pink, brilliant scarlet, white and violet,
they passed in great quantities, and she felt that she had
enjoyed that day a great opportunity, and seen a flower-
show quite unequalled by any in the world. The holly-
hocks were among the last of the flowers which marched
past the queen. ‘Their tall forms displayed various colours,
and as they moved along, eminently respectable in height
and general appearance, Sybil thought that they looked
SYBIL’S VISION 95

better than she had ever thought hollyhocks could look.
The dahlias were the last which she particularly noticed,
and as their retreating footsteps died away in the distance,
the queen turned round and asked her visitor whether she
had been pleased with the review. Of course there was but
one answer to make, and accordingly Sybil made it. Then
the queen observed, “I see you are fond of flowers and
shrubs ; did you ever play at the planting game?”

“Oh yes!” cried Sybil ; “at least, I have often seen the
gardeners doing it, though we don’t call it a game, exactly.
But I have often and often watched them planting shrubs,
for we have a great many plantations of laurels and American
plants, and other things at home, and nearly every year we
make some new ones.”

As she spoke, the queen smiled kindly upon her and
said, “Yes, my dear; but that is not exactly what I mean.
Planting is both useful and ornamental ; but, as you justly
observe, it cannot, strictly speaking, be called a ‘game.’
That which J meant is a real game, a play, in fact, and,
if you do not know it, I will teach you. The game is
to think of something which is wot a tree or a plant, but
which has some connection with the name of a tree or
plant, and pretend that your planting the one makes the
other grow. But an example is the best thing to teach you
the game.”

“T planted the sea, and there came up a beach (beech).
Now do you understand?’’ Sybil timidly said she thought
so, and then the Queen of the Flowers asked her to try her
hand at it.

“T planted Christmas, and there came up a bow,” said
Sybil.

“Very good,” answered the queen.

“T planted a diss, and there came up your two-lips”
(tulips), was the next she tried, and then she told Sybil
several which amused her very much: “TI planted a hauut-

‘
96 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

ing-field, and there came up ‘ pinks’; a poor bachelor, and
there came up ‘marry-gold’; tobacco, and there came up
‘weeds.’ You may go on for a long time in this manner,”
said the queen. ‘‘ Here are three more good ones, and then
we'll change the subject. I planted some Kentish young
ladies, and there came up Canterbury belles ; I planted the
“queen’s court,’ and there came up ‘lords and ladies’; I
planted ‘my pig and myself,’ and there came up ‘ my-hog-
and-I’” (mahogany). Sybil laughed very much at this, and
begged so hard for another specimen, that the queen pro-
ceeded to tell her, that if she planted “ tight shoes ” there
would come up “a corn,” and finally concluded by remark-
ing, “TI planted all my old letters, and there came up ‘La!

>” which greatly amused Sybil, who determined

burn ’em,
to remember this game for the benefit of her brothers and
sisters, and made one more example for her own amusement,
saying quietly to herself, “ I planted ‘ Mangnall’s Questions,’

and there came up ‘ dates,’ ”’

which appeared to her peculi-
arly appropriate. The queen, however, by way of changing
the subject, as she had intimated her intention of doing,
now told Sybil that she was about to hear her singing class,
and invited her attendance during the ceremony. At a
given signal, numerous birds flew down from the various
trees to take part in the performance, which was rather
amusing. All kinds of feathered bipeds performed before
the queen. The blackbirds went through their songs very
creditably, and the thrushes were not far behind ; the robing,
too, did pretty well, only they were rather impndent, and
would roll their black eyes about so waggishly whilst they
sang. But as for the sparrows, there was no getting a note
out of them! They stood chattering and twittering there,
with neither time nor tune. in their performance, and pre-
tended that they had been so busy harvesting and preparing
to build their nests, that they had found no time to learn a
word of their lesson. Then little Jenny-wren was great
SYBIL’S VISION 97

fun. She kept fidgeting so all the time she was singing,
that the queen had to tell her, that if she could not keep
more still another time she should really be obliged to make
her do it all over again. It was altogether a most interest-
ing sight, and Sybil was very much pleased to have seen it,
and to have heard the singing of the birds. When it was
over, the queen told her that if she liked to walk about the
gardens and see everything that was to be seen, she was
very welcome to do so. Sybil desired nothing better, and
accordingly walked away from the fountain, and, crossing
a broad gravel-walk, went up some large white stone steps
on toa trim, close-mown lawn beyond, where the walking
was easy to her feet, for the ground was soft and smooth.
There were beds of evergreens and of American plants,
rhododendrons, and azaleas, on this lawn, and scattered
about between the beds, here and there, were many speci-
mens of pines, cedar and other trees. Beyond the lawn
stood a row of old, old Scotch firs, which at first seemed
rather out of place in a well-kept shrubbery, but when
Sybil looked again, she could not help feeling that their
lofty stature formed a pleasing contrast with the smaller
trees, as did their dark, sombre foliage with the brighter
and more cheerful green beneath them. As she walked
under these trees she heard a low voice whispering through
the branches above her head, and knew, though how she
could not tell, that it was the spirits of the trees talking
one to the other. ‘These are pleasant gardens,” said one,
“the sun shines always so warmly here, the birds sing
so sweetly, the flowers are so gay and bright, and every-
thing around us seems to tell of peace, and mirth, and
happiness.”

“True,” replied the other. “True are the words you say;
and yet, when I remember the day we came here from our
home in the far north, I often wish that day had never come

to us, and that we could have been left to grow where we were
I
98 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

born. Bright and gay though everything here may be (and
we should be thankless not to own it with gratitude), yet I
cannot but remember the old days and the old country—
the thousands and thousands of our stately brethren who
stood, and doubtless still stand, upon the hill-side, over-
looking the vast expanse of moorland and the glorious
brown heather, the brawling river in the valley below, the
keen fresh mountain air, the wild open scenery, the cheery
call of the grouse on the hills,—all, all comes back to me in
the quiet hours of night, and bleak as the wind sometimes
was, and small the care bestowed upon us in comparison
with that which we afterwards received here, yet, after
all, it was our own country, and fain would I see it
again !”

Sybil listened with much interest to the conversation
of the trees, and when she thought how dearly she loved
her own old home, where she had been born and had
lived all her life, she could not help feeling sorry for the
poor creatures. Then she passed on, and heard two chaf-
finches talking together on the branch of a neighbouring
tree.

“JT have built my nest very snugly, I can assure you,”
said one to the other. “It is on the overhanging branch
of a thorn tree, wedged closely into the joint of two
branches, in fact. It is made of wool and moss, and a
few little twigs and leaves outside, and inside it is most
carefully and delicately lined with the very best horsehair.
I have only one egg at present, but to-morrow I expect
another, and so I shall go on, day by day, until I get five.
Then I shall begin to sit, and, after a certain time, my
young ones will begin to crack their shells under me.
Oh, what fun I shall have! Do you think I shall get
four birds out of my five eggs, or may I possibly hatch out
all five?”

And the other answered, “I cannot tell it is so un-
SYBIL’S VISION 99

certain, and depends so much upon the weather. I am
more forward than you, however, for I have already four
eggs in my nest in the copper-beech tree, and I begin to sit
upon them the day after to-morrow. How fortunate we
are in this garden to have no cats prowling about, and no
cruel birds’-nesting boys to cause all our labour to come to
nothing by tearing out the nests about which we have taken
so much trouble, and robbing us of our pretty, precious
eggs!”

Sybil was delighted to find that she could understand all
that the birds said, and she began to think that this garden
was one of the pleasantest places in which she had ever
been. She was just thinking how much she should like to
stay there always, and had really made up her mind that
she could bear even to give up lessons in order to do so,
when there came flying up to her one of the queen’s gay-
plumaged attendants, saying, or rather chirping, in a cheer-
ful tone, “The queen desires me to say that she will receive
you at tea.”

Sybil gravely replied in the form which she believed to
be most correct, namely, that “she would do herself the
honour of waiting upon Her Majesty immediately,” and
then at once retraced her steps to the fountain, and found
the queen in the same place in which she had left her.
Before the royal lady was a pretty little table of inlaid
wood, upon which stood a small tea-service with fourteen
or fifteen of the dearest little cups you can imagine, made
of the very rarest and most expensive china, and each
having upon it the prettiest little picture that can be
conceived, beautifully and delicately painted by an artist
whose skill must have been beyond all question marvellous.
The only thing against the cups that Sybil could see was
their size—they were certainly very small, quite a doll’s
service—so that even a small child (and Sybil was not such
a very small child) would not get a good drink of tea under
100 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

six or eight of them at least, and thaé was a larger number
than any well-behaved child would like to ask for, especially
away from home. Moreover, Sybil was becoming very
thirsty, and so she felt rather uncomfortable about it.
She could not think how the queen herself would be able
to manage, for these cups seemed a great deal too small for
her, and, if she was anything of a tea-drinker, she must find
their size very inconvenient, Sybil was quite sure. The
tea-pot, too, matched the cups, and so did the sugar and
slop-basins, so that Sybil began to think within herself that
she must not expect much in the way of a meal at the
queen’s table. But what puzzled her still more was the
circumstance of there being at least fifteen cups and saucers,
when, so far as she could see as yet, there was nobody else
coming to tea besides the queen and herself. However, she
was too polite and well-bred to ask any questions, especially
in the presence of royalty, and so she sat down quietly in
the chair to which the queen graciously pointed, having first
made a proper curtsy to her majesty. Her surprise at the
number of the teacups was of no long duration. First and
foremost, however, the queen having blown softly but melo-
diously upon a little silver whistle which hung from her
belt, and which emitted the sweetest sounds imaginable,
several birds flew down, each bearing in beak or claw a
wee little plate of bright colour and fantastic pattern, upon
which was placed some species of food such as is usually
partaken of by mortals who indulge in the luxury of tea.
Teeny tiny morsels of bread-and-butter were there ; delicious
fragments—but apparently only fragments—of cake, plum
and seed; inviting crumbs of rusks; minute particles of
bun; and the merest remnants of the inestimable ‘Sally’
Lunn.” In short, had the quantity of the food been at all
equal to its quality, neither Sybil nor any other child that
ever was born could have ventured for a moment to utter
or imagine anything in the nature of a complaint. As far
SYBIL’S VISION 101

as it went, everything was plainly and undeniably excel-
lent ; but, alas! for the unlucky fitness of that same ex-
pression, “as far as it went.” For, undoubtedly, it went,
and was likely to go, a very little way indeed, and, unless
there were hidden and unseen means of expanding the
repast (which might possibly be the case), Sybil felt that it
must be regarded rather in the light of a pleasant (though
trying) farce than as a sober reality. She said nothing,
however, and, as I have already informed you, took her seat
when and where she was told to do so, and calmly waited
the result. She had not long to wait. Again the queen
sounded upon her silver whistle, and this time the effects
were still more extraordinary than before. First of all, the
fountain began to play, which was an exceedingly pretty
sight, and well worth seeing of itself, if that bad been all.
But it was far from being all. Out of the fountain—or out
of the rocks and shells of which the framework of the foun-
tain was formed, one after the other came springing on to
the lawn a number of the most curious little figures you
ever saw in all your life. Not that there was anything
mis-shapen or extraordinary in the make of any of them—
on the contrary, they were elegantly made, and neatly, even
tastefully dressed, every one of them, and they leaped on to
the lawn with a certain grace and vivacity peculiarly be-
coming. But it was their size which made them curious—
they were so little, so very little—and yet so perfectly
made! Sybil at once saw that if this was the stature of
the beings who usually shared the queen’s meals, the size of
her majesty’s teacups might be easily accounted for. She
reckoned twelve of them, who merrily leaped down and
tripped up to the tea-table, each with a polite bow to its
royal mistress. Each carried a little camp-stool, just high |
enough to form a comfortable seat for its owner, and these
they planted round the table in such a manner as just to
leave room, and only just, for Sybil’s own chair. But,
102 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

would wonders never cease? In the features of the little
figures who were about to form the party at the queen’s
tea-table, she recognized children of her own acquaintance,
every one of them. It was absolutely ridiculous, but never-
theless it was perfectly and undeniably true! There was
her own brother Willy—not “as large as life,” certainly,
but as like life as possible, only it was Willy in miniature ;
her little brothers Charlie and Herbert, too, were there, and
her sisters Ethel and Mary ; then there were her cousins,
Adela and Edith, and Florence and Harry Meridale were
also of the party. The Ladies Blanche, Jane, and Augusta
Godinton were also there, so that in fact she knew—or ought
to know—every one of the guests.

Never was a child more astonished than Sybil at the un-
expected sight of so many friends, and friends, too, so won-
derfully reduced in size, if not in circumstance. They didn’t
seem at all astonished, though, but apparently took it all
as a matter of course.

“ Well, Sybil,” said Willy, “aren’t you glad we are come,
and isn’t it jolly down here?”

“Just listen to the birds!’ said Ethel; “and, oh! do
look at the fountain ; how beauti/wd it is,” said Blanche.

Sybil did not like to speak freely before the queen, and
besides, as she only counted twelve children besides her
majesty and herself, she was rather occupied in thinking
who the fifteenth person was likely to be. This question,
however, was before long answered by the queen, who,
having seen that the guests were all properly seated round
the table, counted them carefully, and then remarked that
> Whoever this
“Manners” was, he never came, and, in fact, no better

there was one cup left over for “ Manners.’

manners were required than those which prevailed at the
royal tea-table that evening. Everybody was civil and
obliging to everybody else, and there was not an unpleasant
word from first to last. Sybil’s only trouble was the utter
SYBIL’S VISION 103

impossibility of getting enough to eat and drink, and what
puzzled her amazingly was the way in which all the others
appeared to be perfectly satisfied, and to get, each and all
of them, enough and to spare. It was very different at
home, she remembered. Not that there was not always
plenty ; but, if any one complained of hunger, it was sure
to be the boys, and not she, whereas now they all three
appeared to be positively full, whilst she felt nearly starving.
Nothing could be more kind and gracious than their royal
hostess. She was never tired of pouring out the tea, though,
as each cup held a quantity scarce exceeding half a teaspoon-
ful, it required no superhuman exertion to pour out, and
still less to drink. She conversed with the whole party,
too, in an affable manner, and did her best to make them
all feel entirely at their ease. Her majesty’s information
certainly appeared to be both varied and extensive. She
discoursed freely with Willy (who was the eldest of the
party) about cricket, discussed the best sort of bat for a boy,
the relative prospects of Eton and Harrow in the coming
match at “Lord’s,” and even dived into an argument upon
the advantages and disadvantages of fagging at public
schools, a system of which she highly approved, whilst
Willy respectfully but firmly held to the opinion that he
shouldn’t approve of it until he was in the fifth form, but
that, after that crisis of his fate was passed, he should be
its strenuous advocate. Then the queen spoke about dolls,
displaying an intimate knowledge not only of the nature,
habits, and performances of dolls in general, but of those
particular dolls which belonged to each and every one of her
guests, She knew their names, characters, and dispositions,
their favourite dresses, and those which their young mis-
tresses thought most becoming to them, and, in short,
proved herself to have so thoroughly studied’ the subject
in all its bearings, that the young ladies could not fail to
104 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

look up to her thenceforward as the very highest authority
upon all questions relating to Dolldom. On music, too, she
lightly touched, and showed that she was well acquainted
with all the troubles which young ladies have to go through
in learning their notes, playing their scales, and practising
daily until practice has made perfect. With all these
troubles she warmly and kindly sympathized, but at tho
same time pointed out (as Sybil’s mamma. had so often done)
that perseverance would overcome every difficulty, and that
it was well worth every girl’s while to take pains and learn
to do well that which would in after life prove the source
of so much pleasure and happiness both to herself and
others. Then she talked about riding, and when once this
subject had been started, all the children were loud in praise
of the ponies belonging to their respective homes. The
queen knew quite well about them all. She listened with
pleasure and interest to each child’s description of its own
particular favourite, and even told several anecdotes about
ponies which mightily amused the party. And oh! she
was delightful in her talk about dogs! She seemed to
know everything that could possibly be said about them,
from the great mastiff who was chained up in the kennel
which stood in a back-yard well known to most of the com-
pany present, and who would let no one go near him except
the children of the house, with whom he was always gentle
and quiet, down to the soft little Maltese dog, who had a
basket-house of his own by a certain school-room fire,
shivered if a breath of cold wind ever came near him, and
was habitually fondled and petted by everybody. In short,
there never was such a queen as this queen, to know every-
thing about subjects on which children liked to talk, and
to entertain her company with constant and amusing con-
versation. Sybil really forgot her hunger and thirst in the
pleasure and excitement of the whole thing. Never had
SYBIL’S VISION 105

she been present at so agreeable a tea-party, and never had
she encountered a hostess so amiable and clever. I wish I
could give you a longer and better account of all that passed
during that sociable meal, but I cannot do so, for I could
never get Sybil to tell me, possibly for the excellent and
all-sufficient reason that, with the best of wills to do so, she
could never recollect more of it herself. Neither could she
say for certain how long the party lasted, although she
thought it must have been for the best part of an hour,
judging by the number of times the little ewps were filled
and re-filled, and the many different subjects of conversation
which were started and more or less fully discussed. She
became quite accustomed to seeing her relations and friends
grown so much smaller, and indeed, though she had been so
much surprised at the first sight of them, the astonishment
did not seem to have been mutual, and, after a short time,
they had all gone on talking together in their natural and
usual manner, just as if she and they had all remained of
the same size as they formerly were, or had been all their
lives quite accustomed to the difference between them.
When they had all finished their tea, there was a little dis-
cussion as to what should be done next. Some wanted one
thing, and some another. Dancing had always been a
favourite amusement with most of the children, but when
this was proposed, the queen said at once that it was too
soon after tea to think of taking such violent exercise, and
that they must think of some quieter game. ‘“ Dumb
crambo,” “hunt the slipper,’ ‘capping verses,” ‘ conse-
quences,” and half-a-dozen other games were then succes-
sively proposed and rejected, until at last the queen herself
suggested a game of “forfeits.” This was immediately
accepted by all the party as the best thing that could be
done, and at it they went accordingly, with great earnest-
ness and spirit. The best way to play “forfeits” is sup-
106 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

posed to be that which commences with the game of “the
coach”; at least, this was the idea of the children who had
been assembled at the queen’s tea-table. One—who in this
case was the royal mistress herself—had to make up a story
about a coach, each of the children having previously chosen
some part of the coach, or its belongings, which he or she
would represent. Thus, Sybil was the box, Ethel the
wheels, somebody else the horses, another the reins, and so
on through the wholenumber of things which could properly
be said to belong to a stage coach, Then, when the queen
began her story, she had to introduce the names of all these
things, and whenever any one of them was mentioned, the
child who had chosen to represent it was obliged to jump
up from his or her place, turn round, and sit down again,
and if from carelessness or inattention this was not done,
the offender had a forfeit scored against his or her name.
So the game went merrily on for some time, until the queen
declared that there were now plenty of forfeits, and that
the real “ game of forfeits” was to begin. She chose Harry
Meridale to be the judge of forfeits, and accordingly he had
to kneel before her majesty with his eyes shut, whilst an
article was held over his head, belonging to the person who
had incurred each forfeit, for which he was to pronounce
the penalty. If the owner was a girl, the queen had to
say :—‘ Here’s a thing, and a very pretty thing, and what
is to be done to the owner of this very pretty thing?” If
a boy was the offender, the word “very” was left out, and
this was the only hint given to the judge. Several forfeits
were declared, and sentences given, amid much laughter.
One of the boys had to stand on his head in the middle of
the room and count ten, one young lady had to make a
verse of four lines about plum-cake, and another to say the
alphabet backwards from the letter “m.” In short, Harry
gave them all sorts of ridiculous things to do, until at last
SYBIL’S VISION 107

it came to Sybil’s turn to receivea sentence. This happened
to be the good old-fashioned task, so often imposed before :
“She shall kneel to the wittiest, bow to the prettiest, and
kiss the one she loves best.” Amid the peals of laughter
which usually followed such sentences, Sybil advanced
to do as she had been ordered. There was but one
rule to be followed in such a presence. She made a most
respectful bow to the queen, and then gracefully knelt
before her. She then turned to her own dear brother
Willy, and gave him a real good sisterly kiss. The result,
however, was rather astonishing to all parties concerned.
Whether the kiss was too violent, or Willy’s cheek was too
hard, I do not know, but this much is certain, that Sybil,
to her horror, felt that her whole head was loosened by the
shock—it reeled—it turned round—it came unscrewed—it
came off! And just as it was tumbling into Willy’s lap,
there came a buzzing sound in her ears, and—Sybil awoke !

There she was, sitting calmly and quietly in the dentist’s
chair, her mamma smiling down upon her with her own
sweet smile, and good Mr. Tronfield standing by, with a kind
and half-amused expression upon his face, as he encountered
Sybil’s wondering eyes.

“Tt is all over, my darling,” said her mamma. “ Four
teeth out, and it didn’t hurt you, did it 1”

“ But,” asked Sybil, somewhat anxiously, “where is the
queen, and where are all the others?”

? replied Mr. Tronfield, “is, in one sense,

“The queen,’
at Windsor, and in another, in the hearts of all her
people.”

“Ah!” said Sybil; “but I mean the Queen of the
Flowers ; where is she ?”

“That is more than I can tell you,” said Mr. Tronfield.

Sybil thought for a moment, and then said, very gravely :
“ How long did it take, please? I mean, how long have I
been sitting in this chair ?”
‘108 EVERY GIRW’S STORIES

“Exactly forty seconds, miss,” replied the gentleman
with the bag.

But you and I, dear readers, who have been with Sybil
‘all the time, and have seen what happened to her, know
very well, just as well as Sybil herself knew, that the
gentleman with the bag must have been talking arrant
nonsense,
THE STORY THAT MARGOTTE TOLD
By Geraupine Burr .

“T wit tell you the story,” said Margotte, pausing in her
knitting, as we leant together over the white palings of her
little garden. “ Yes, there zs a story, Madame—a story of
a wolf; but you have got it wrong, Madame, and I must
set you right.”

Picture a sunset in the Pyrenees, a glorious crimson
sky, tipping the distant peaks with pale pink, and deepen-
ing the purple shadows on the nearer mountains—the
mountains that enclose and over-top Margotte Nevaire’s
pretty home.

I had come for a quiet month to this picturesque,
secluded village, and, though my month was over, I was
tempted to linger day after day, for the sake of the sun-
shine and the mountains, and not least, perhaps, for the
sake of these two peasant girls, with whom I lodged.

Margotte was the youngest of the two by fifteen years—
the three boys who came between had died—and though it
is very long since we leant side by side over the white
palings, I can always call her to mind as she stood knitting
there.

She ‘was tall and strong, and finely made, with: a clear
white skin, and brown hair, waving in heavy masses under
her white starched caps. She had beautiful eyes, heavy-_
lidded, and dark-lashed, and a firm, sweet mouth ; such a

109
110 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

woman as you see sometimes amongst the desolate moun-
tains, as if God had given to them a grander soul, to
compensate for the blessings He denied.

Léontine was different, tall too, and active, but with
heavier movements, and more of firmness than of sweetness
in her scarred face. She had no girlish vanity in her glossy
hair, or the cap starched to such absolute perfection, for
so much of her youth and beauty had vanished with that
scar, a deep blue line from brow to chin, that no loving
arrangement of the hair, by Margotte’s deft fingers, could
hide.

So Margotte said to me that evening, dropping her
knitting into her apron pocket:

“T will tell you the story of the wolf, Madame ; Léontine
is out, and it is a grand story, a story I should like you to
hear.

“Tt was night,” said Margotte, “a cruel, cold winter
night such as we who live amongst the mountains have
terrible cause to dread, for it means hunger, and cold—
sometimes absolute famine. It means the children crying
for food when there is none to give them, and the wolves
howling in the distance. Ah! those wolves, Madame, how
they make one shudder with their monotonous howls, that
seem so near at first, and then die away into the far
distance. :

“Well, it was night, as I have said, and the baby was
asleep, as it might be here, and Léontine was knitting on
the hearth, and Marcelle, a friend of Léontine’s, was
chattering to her, kneeling on the stones, and the door was
on the latch.

“That was the mischief, you see, but Léontine was young
then, and Marcelle was a giddy, thoughtless chatterer, and
she had run in with her shawl over her head for an hour’s
talk. Léontine has told me of it so often, that I almost
THE STORY THAT MARGOTTE TOLD 111

seem to see the two girls crouching by the fire that sent
bright and flickering reflections on to the snow outside.

“ Suddenly, as they talked, there came distinctly to them
the howling of the wolves across the snow. Marcelle put
her hands over her ears and shuddered. Léontine knelt up
and stirred the fire. .

“* Come closer, my friend,’ she said, ‘it is a dreary sound.
Thank God we are safe here.’

“« Aye we safe, do you think?’ asked Marcelle, with
chattering teeth. ‘I dare not go home to-night. Will your
mother let me stay here, Léontine ?’

“«Surely,’ said Léontine.

“She was so brave, my sister, my dear, dear sister,
Madame, and so gentle ; she took Marcelle’s head upon her
knee, and put her knitting aside to soothe her terror.

“We are quite safe, Marcelle,’ she said, ‘and mother
will soon be back, It is a dreary night.’

“Tt was a dreary night, dark, and still, and terribly cold ;
the white flakes were falling slowly to the earth, and cover-
ing the mother’s footsteps on the path.

“ Léontine walked over to the window, and looked out ;
the firelight was dancing and flickering on the snow out-
side, and making a cheerful patch of ruddy light in the
darkness which would guide the mother’s steps for her
home-coming. Through the darkness the howling of the
wolves seemed nearer.

“¢ Ah, they are coming closer,’ said Marcelle, starting
upright. ‘Can you see them, Léontine? I am afraid.’

“ Léontine was leaning close to the glass, pressing her
face against it.

“© Yes, I see shadows,’ she said; ‘they are coming to the
light, Marcelle. No! it is only one shadow after all; we
must not frighten each other.’

“ She turned with a faint smile to Marcelle’s shuddering
112 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

face, and tried to draw the curtains with her trembling
hands, but the shadow on the snow was very near:

“Do not be afraid, my dear,’ she said, kneeling down
upon the hearth again, and drawing Mavrcelle’s cold hands
into her own strong ones ; ‘be brave—we are quite safe, you
know ; the door is strong, and God is so good, Mavrcelle.’

“But Marcelle was sobbing.

“ Her sobbing woke the baby, and it cried; little moan-
ing cries that fretted Léontine, and that brought the dark
shadow nearer to the door.

“Léontine rocked the baby, but could not hush its wail-
ing cries; she knelt beside the cradle singing her strange,
weird songs, in a voice that never trembled, and all the
time that foolish Marcelle was sobbing and trembling at
her feet.

“¢Hush for God’s sake,’ said Léontine, at last, lifting
her clear eyes, and trying to still the faltering of her voice.
‘You frighten me, Marcelle, and you keep baby fretful.
Mother will soon be home, and the night is not long, and
we are quite safe, thank God.’

“ But the words were still in her mouth, when she heard
a heavy shuffling in the snow outside, and a terrible howl
that seemed to shake the little cottage to its foundations.
Then—ah! think of it, Madame—the door—this door
against which you lean—was burst open, and out of the
darkness a great wolf came bounding in, and paused for a
minute on the threshold.

“ Léontine was upright in an instant, standing before the
cradle, Even Marcelle rose also, and stood shrieking on the
hearth.

“But the great, lean, hungry wolf came slinking on—
and it passed Léontine, and took the little baby from the
cradle,

“Téontine had stood as if rooted to the spot, with her








LER

Bie
eye

oT I aie

























and cast it at him.—P. 113

a faggot from the fire,

Marcelle had taken
THE STORY THAT MARGOTTE TOLD 113

burning eyes fascinated by the awful sight ; but now she
strode to the table, and took a knife. And yet she dared
not throw it, because of the baby, Madame.

«They seemed so helpless all of a sudden, those two girls,
while the great beast crept past them again, trotting to
the door. Marcelle had taken a faggot from the fire, and
cast it at him, but he only shook it off, and growled
savagely, bounding out into the snow.

“Ah, Madame; it was terrible—terrible; and yet, as
Léontine always says, God is good.

“For while Marcelle was crying by the empty cradle,
and the snow was sweeping into the room, and putting out
the fire, Léontine had sprung to the door, and had flung
herself to the ground, with her brave, white face not two
inches from the wolf’s glaring eyes; she stretched out her
hands, and caught him by his shaggy coat, twisting her
strong fingers into his matted hair. She still held her knife
firmly, but she dared not use it. =

“She succeeded in her wish, Madame, however ; the wolf
was surprised and angry; with a low, fierce growl, that
made Marcelle’s heart beat to suffocation, he dropped_ the
baby.

“ Téontine has told me often that she never knows how
she came living out of that terrible struggle ; she says she
remembers crying aloud to God to keep the baby safe, and
to take the life she offered up so willingly, instead. She
remembers striking with her knife at the great body that
fell upon her, blinding and suffocating her; then there
came to her ears a dim, faint sound, like music—and my
cries—J was ‘the baby, you have guessed, Madame—and
then silence—such silence as Léontine says she thinks will
be like the silence of death.

“But it was not death. Ah! no—there is Léontine,
you see, coming up with her pitcher from the well ; and

the wolf, the last wolf killed in St. Privat, lies buried not
I
114 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

a foot from where we stand; but Léontine will. carry her
trophy of victory to her dying day. Some people say that
her face would be very beautiful but for the scar; but, for
me, Madame, I think that it ¢s the scar that makes her face
so beautiful,”
HOW MOLLY MADE PEACK

By GERALDINE Burr

Rarru Foyte and Hugh Wyatt had long been enemies.
It all began with a dispute about the water which served
alike to turn Ralph’s mill-wheel and to brew Hugh’s great
vats of beer. Some little trifling argument about an un-
fair use of the stream had broken the pleasant friendship
that used to unite them, and now they were bitter enemies.
Of the two, Ralph was certainly the more unforgiving, and
it was natural it should be so. For when work was over
for the day, and he turned in at the gate of his little house
by the mill, he had no wife to grumble to, and no little ones
to divert his thoughts, so his mind was always dwelling on
the insults he fancied he had received from Hugh Wyatt,
and the ingratitude he had shown. Old Becky, who took
care of his house and cooked his meals, used to shake her
head grimly over her work, and say, “What a proud
stomach! Eh, it’ll take a deal o’ the Lord’s grinding to
bring out the good grain there!” but she never dared to say
a word to Ralph himself, who was so short and stern in
speech to every one, and who would not have listened for
a moment to what a poor old creature like Becky said.

When Hugh Wyatt went home it was different. His
wife was not fond of hearing about their neighbour's rough,
overbearing ways ; and whenever Hugh would come in full
of some fresh aggravation, she would put her hand over his

115
116 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

mouth and say, “ Poor man! only think how miserable he
must be nursing such a dark spirit of hatred. Let us pity
him, Hugh!” Then Hugh would shake off his vexation,
and play with his children, and forget for a time that he
had an enemy in the village.

“ T cannot forget that you and Ralph were lads at school
together,” the wife would say sometimes, when Hugh was
smoking his pipe and having a comfortable grumble after
the children were in bed. “ You were close friends for so
many years, that I can’t believe there’s no: good in him.
Believe me, it will come uppermost some day, and then we
shall be glad we said little to him now.”

“ Aye,” Hugh would answer, “we were always together
at school; and when Ralph saved up his earnings and
bought the mill and those meadows, nothing would please
him but I must give up the brewing and be partner with
him ; but my old father was dead against it, and so it came
to naught. It was just seven years ago, a bit before we
were married, Rose, that Ralph began all this nonsense
about the water, and a more ridiculous, selfish a

“ Well, well! it’s quite time, after seven years, that such
a silly quarrel should be made up, isn’t it, Hugh?” said the



wife, smiling at him over her sewing. “ And that reminds

me that I’ve been thinking of sending him something just

as a sign of our good-will, you know ; a dish of our honey-

comb—it really is quite a picture—or a basket of those

brown pears from the south wall. Think what it must be,

Hugh, night after night, to go in and shut the door on a

lonely hearth, and there to sit nursing one’s bad temper,
without a soul to speak it out to!”

“‘ He’s no need to quarrel if he don’t like it,” said Hugh,
sturdily ; “J’m quite ready to shake hands. Didn’t I tell
him so last Christmas, before we went to church, and what
did he do?—laughed and walked away, and banged his door
in my face!”
HOW MOLLY MADE PEACE 117

“ Never mind,” said Rose ; “how do you know but that
your kind word dropped into his heart, and stayed there,
after all? Perhaps he’s fighting a hard battle with himself
now, and longing to be able to give up his quarrel. And
then, we are so much happier than he is,” she added, softly,
glancing towards the inner room where the three little curly
heads lay sleeping.

“Well,” said Hugh, presently, “send the pears, or what-
ever you please, but I expect he’ll send them back again.”

So the next afternoon, when the children had come home
from school, and were playing in the garden while waiting
for tea, Mrs. Wyatt called the little girl, Molly, into the
house.

“T want you to take this little basket of pears to the
mill, my precious,” she said, brushing the soft dark curls
back from Molly’s wondering eyes. ‘ Master Foyle is sure
to be within just now, having his tea; so go and tap
at the door, and when he says ‘Come in,’ put the pears on
the table and say, ‘Mother sends you these, Master Foyle,
and hopes yowll find them to your liking.’ Now wait a
moment, while I put on a clean pinafore ; there, mother’s
own, trot away !”

Molly, who was a thoughtful little maid of six, considered
for a moment, and then nodding to her mother, took the
basket in both dimpled hands, and set off with all the
dignity of ari important errand. ‘Don’t tease, boys!”
she said, gravely, to Phil and little Hugh, who rushed to
her to ask where she was going; “I’ve got to go out for
mother, but I’ll soon be back.” '

The boys watched her start, but soon ran back to their
play, and Molly went steadily on with her basket, down"
the path alongside the river, where the great-boled elms
made such a pleasant shade overhead. Between the trees
Molly could see the barges casting long shadows on the
water, and the red clouds round the setting sun. _ Once she
118 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

stopped a moment to rest her basket on the bank and to
gather a posy of blue speedwell and ragged-robin. A black-
bird was whistling so clearly overhead, that Molly couldn’t
help fancying he had something to tell her. “I wish I
could understand you, blackbird,” she said, picking up her
basket and trudging on; “but I like to hear you all the
same.”

Presently she turned in at the mill-gate. What an ugly
garden, to be sure! no sweet-peas or red and white roses
here—not even a bush of lavender or rosemary, only stiff
rows of cabbages and turnips, with a large potato-patch
each side of the gate.

“Poor Master Foyle!” thought tender-hearted Molly,
“he will be glad of mother’s pears!”

So she went up the straight gravel-path to the porch
and knocked softly at the closed door. No one came, so
by and by Molly knocked louder, and then getting tired of
waiting, lifted.the latch, and with a beating heart went in.

The door opened straight into Master Foyle’s kitchen, and
Molly saw at a glance that no one was there, not even
a cat!

There was a small fire, carefully piled up under the great
swing-kettle, but showing more smoke than flame; the
shining pewters and tins were hung in their places against
the wall ; all the chairs were set back, and the deal-table
was scrubbed spotlessly clean, but where was old Becky ?

After standing at the door for a while to regain courage,
Molly ventured across the red-tiled floor to an inner room,
which she rightly supposed to be Becky’s bedroom. Yes,
there were the old woman’s sun-bonnet, and thick shoes, and
blue-spotted apron, but no living creature. Evidently
Becky had gone out for the day, perhaps to Northam, the
great town where there were shops and a fine market.
If she had gone in one of the miller’s drays she might not
he back till dark, Molly knew ; and how could she deliver
HOW MOLLY MADE PEACE 119

her mother’s message? It was clear that to wait till Master
Foyle came in would be the only way. Just as Molly had
made up her mind to do so, she spied the miller through
Becky’s narrow lattice-window which looked out upon the
mill. He was standing ona little platform which projected
over the mill door, watching the loading of one of his
wagons. Molly thought if she waited till the wagon
was gone, Master Foyle would surely come in for his tea,
so she seated herself on the window-ledge, and was quite
interested in watching the men bending under the heavy
sacks of flour, which covered their clothes and faces with
such soft white dust, and turned their beards as white as
grandfather’s.

When the dray was loaded very high, the four great
horses, which had been waiting as patiently as Molly, moved
slowly off with their burden.

Although there was nothing now going on in the mill,
Ralph Foyle didn’t come down the ladder, but stood leaning
on the handrail, looking down into the river.

“ How cross he looks,” thought Molly. ‘“ Well, perhaps
all that flour makes him thirsty, and he would like one of
these nice juicy pears ;”’ so the little maid went across the
yard to the foot of the ladder. “ Master Foyle!” she called
again and again, but the noise of the water, or his own
thoughts, prevented Ralph hearing the soft voice; then
Molly began to toil up the steps, and when she nearly
reached the top, Ralph turned round.

“What do you want, child?” he said, in a deep, stern
voice, which sounded awful in Molly’s ears. ‘‘ You've no
business here ; what do you want?”

Molly came up the last step rather breathlessly, and
stood beside him, grasping the handle of her basket firmly
with both hands, and gazing up into the dark face above
her,

“Please, sir, mother sends you these pears, and hopes
120 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

yowll find them to your liking,” said the faithful little
messenger, whose voice would tremble in spite of herself.
Ralph stared first at the basket and then at Molly’s face,
and a glimmering of the truth sent an angry flush to his
brown cheeks, as he noticed the likeness to Hugh Wyatt in
Molly’s brown eyes and square brow.

“What is your name, child?’ he said abruptly to the
frightened little one.

“Molly Wyatt, please, sir,” answered she, casting down
her eyes, in which the tears were gathering.

‘For a moment, as Ralph looked at the little frightened
face, he felt a strong: inclination to accept the peace-offer-
ing and give up the seven years’ quarrel. Something in
the child’s bearing and look appealed to his better nature ;
it seemed as if his boyhood had come back, and he was once
more the big school-boy, protecting little Hugh Wyatt, and
fighting his battles for him.

But alas! the evil spirit had been too long harboured in
Ralph’s heart to be driven out in a moment. Hadn’t Hugh
called him hard names in the market once, when their
quarrel was at its hottest? and who knew but his wife
might have some deep design in her mind when she sent
this child to him ?

So his face clouded over again, and he turned sharply
away td go down the ladder.

’ “Go home, child!” he said to Molly, who was preparing
to follow him; “go home and tell your mother that I can
buy pears when I want them.”

Molly still held out the basket towards Ralph with
trembling hands, and ventured to say, “ Mayn’t I put the
pears in the kitchen? Maybe Becky would like them!”

‘“ No, no—do as I bid you, child ; take them back!” and
in his irritation Ralph gave the basket a rough push.

Where Molly was standing the railing had been broken,
leaving a gap on one side-of the little platform.. Ralph’s






















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Ralph lays her gently down on the straw,—P. 121.
HOW MOLLY MADE PEACE 121

impatient movement startled her, and made her step back,
and in an instant, before Ralph could: interpose, she had
slipped over the edge, and fallen with a great splash into
the water below. For a moment Ralph stood still, horror-
struck ; then his senses returned, and he sprang down the
steps. Moored against the river-side was a boat loaded
with some trusses of straw; Ralph untied the rope, and
pushed off. A few strokes of the oars brought him to
where he hoped to see the child re-appear. Watching, as it
seemed to him in his agony of excitement, for an hour, he
at length saw the little bundle rise to the surface not far
from his boat.



Steady now—no hurry—balance yourself firmly—lean
over, and grasp the dripping garments. Yes, he has done
it, and with a great sob of relief he lifts Molly into the
boat. Buta fresh terror seizes him at the sight of the
child’s powerless limbs and closed eyes. He wipes the
water from her face and hair, and lays her gently down on
the straw, but still she does not move. Can those few
minutes in the water have been enough to kill her? He
vemembers tales he has heard of how easily a child’s life is
snuffed out, and an icy fear chills his blood, and makes him
breathe hard, as if he had been running. If Hugh Wyatt’s
child be indeed dead—killed by his hand—then in the
sight of God he is a murderer ;—yes, and in the sight of
his fellow-men too, for there are other boats about, and
several people have seen the fall and the rescue. There is
old Jack Patterson putting out in his boat ; what is it he
is saying? Ralph’s head is throbbing so that he can’t hear ;
almost mechanically he drives the boat along-side, and
gathering poor Molly in his arms, steps on the bank, and
crosses to his own door. He carries her in, and lays her on
Becky’s bed without a word of explanation.

“Eh, Master Foyle, what’s amiss?” cries the old woman,
who has returned from her marketing now, and who is as
122 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

much appalled at the look on Mark’s face as at the sight of
his dripping burden. “ Why, ’tis Mrs. Wyatt’s little lass!”
she cries, following him into the inner room. All Becky’s
motherly instinct is roused at the sight of the helpless
little figure, and she loses no precious time in asking ques-
tions. ‘“ Fetch a drop of brandy, master,” she says, “ while
I get her wet things off!’? Ralph gets the brandy and hot
water and blankets as Becky tells him, and then he goes
back into the kitchen and sits by the table with his face
hidden on his outstretched arms. : :

He seems, by a sudden flash of self-knowledge, to see
himself as he is in the eye of God, an evil, murderous,
revengeful man. The crust of seven years’ pride crumbles
away, the hard, unyielding spirit is broken at last ; and
when Becky comes in half-an-hour later, she finds Ralph
on his knees in an agony of shame and contrition.

“Master,” she says, laying her wrinkled hand on his
sleeve, “the little lass has opened her eyes—the Lord be
praised! Now hadn’t you best send for her mother?”

But it was in Ralph’s arms that Molly went home—arms
that trembled as if they had never been used to lift heavy
sacks about the mill-floor; and it was from Ralph’s own
lips that her mother first heard the danger that her darling
had been in. So Molly was the peace-maker after all. She
took a strange fancy to Ralph, and would have him come
and sit by her bed in the weeks of fever that followed ;
and when she got stronger, he must carry her about the
mill, where she was never tired of seeing the soft white
flour or the rushing water. So as he learnt to be patient
and humble, the evil spirit left him, and God gave him the
heart of a little child again,
























Feeding the Robins —P. 123.
THE CHIRP OF A ROBIN

By GERALDINE Burtt

As I sat looking at this robin picture, I fell to thinking
of all the bird stories I have heard, and one story in
particular came back to me, which has a moral to it—but
T shall not enlarge upon the moral, you must find it out
for yourselves.

First of all my story takes you to a large manufacturing,
smoky, dirty town, where, in the evenings, the men sat in
their shirt sleeves outside their doors, smoking in a sleepy,
sulky silence, or passed into the light that left a square of
brightness on the dirty pavement, and that came and went
as the door of the public-house swung to and fro.

People have such hard lives in these great busy towns,
where no Good Samaritan has time to dress his neighbours’
wounds ; where life drags on wearily enough sometimes,
until a Hand stills the beating heart, and the tired worker
looks up with a smile, and knows he shall rest.

But the children are the saddest sight; the soft baby
faces shrunk and withered with premature want and care,
the innocent lips pouring out curses as other children lisp
their prayers; the miserable homes, where the mother
grows hard and bitter, through the hardness of her life,
and the father’s advent is a terror. God grant the children
of such homes may find compensation in that “world
elsewhere.”

123
124 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

To a group of little ragged mortals sitting in their rags
and tatters in the gutter one dull winter morning, there
flew down a robin. He came twittering along the kerb-
stone with his scarlet breast puffed out and his head on
one side, as if he wished to see what they were doing. In
a minute the little ragamuftins, tumbling over one another
in the mud and snow, were still as statues, as the bird
came hopping on, lifting his head, and looking at them
with his round bright eyes.

“What is it?” asked one little fellow, clutching the
remnants of a dress that hung upon the person of a gaunt
child, who had her arm about him.

!’? Some one there had seen a robin
once ; but that was Mary Jane, with the tattered frock,

“ Why, it’s a robin

and she had lived in the country once—years ago, when
she was quite young.

“T do believe it’s hungry,” said Mary Jane. She put
her hand into her pocket as she spoke, and then drew it
quickly out. By and by, as the robin still stood singing,
she slipped it in again, and brought out a little piece of
bread.

She looked at it and sighed ; it was such a little picce!
but she crumbled it in her dirty hand, and scattered it on
the stones.

Pete stretched out his hands. ‘“ Why, Mary,” he said,
“you've given him your dinner.”

Mary lifted her face—such a curious, old, careworn face,
and yet such a child-like smile. ‘ He’s got no dinner,
Pete—and he’s got no home, and the snow’s coming.”

The robin hopped nearer, and picked up the crumbs
daintily, and the little urchins sat round him in the mud,
laughing softly, with chubby hands folded on their knees.
Mary Jane watched him hungrily, and the tears were in
her eyes, as she put her hand into her empty pocket ; but
she did not feel sorry that the robin had had her dinner.
THE CHIRP OF A ROBIN 125

Tho great stream of life flowed up and down the pave-
ment. A gleam of wintry light came suddenly across the
mud and sleet, and brought the women to their doors for
a minute with upturned faces, Some one called out that
the storm was passing, and a good job too, for her master
was out of work. Some man, in going by, idly stopped to
watch the robin, and sauntered on. Then a butcher’s boy
stood whistling, and threw a handful of mud, and the
robin flew away. The spell was broken, The children
turned their angry, eager faces, and poured out a torrent
of curses and reproaches, They went back to the mud
again, and forgot the robin, until a minute later they
heard his sweet chirrup and little song above them, and
there he was upon the lamp-post, singing.

Mary Jane clasped her hands about the post, and looked
up with her wistful eyes. ‘He ain’t angry,” she said,
with that smile still upon her face, ‘ Hark to him; he
don’t care one bit.”

That was how the robin came first to Mary Jane.
Perhaps he strayed from green fields, and built his nest
by some mistake in Love Lane; perhaps God led him
there, because there was a place that he could fill, because
there was one little empty life that he could satisfy.

For day by day the robin came into Love Lane, and
waited for the little figure in the doorway, and for the
crumbs that were a part of Mary Jane’s daily bread ; and
presently there came another robin, and when the snow
fell, two more, until a little company of robins sat singing
every day above the noise and dirt and misery of that
dreary street.

There was another lodger in Mary Jane’s house, an old
man, with a miserable, wicked face, who used to come out
and sun himself sometimes, and frighten the children with
his stick. When he saw the robins and heard their singing
he. seemed to get crosser and more wicked than ever, and
126 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

he would open his little window, and frighten them away,
and Mary Jane would put her apron over her head and
cry.

She grew so fond of them—so fond, that she would save
and beg little scraps froni the other children, so as to have
a meal for her little family, and sometimes she would go
without any dinner herself to keep it for them,

‘14 makes me so happy,” she said once simply, when
her mother scolded her ; and the woman, who had a kind
heart years ago, when Mary Jane had been a weak and
fretful baby, looked at her strangely for a minute, with a
half-sigh. “Be happy if you can, my girl,” she said, and
went away up-stairs again, leaving Mary Jane to dream
her dreams beside the lamp-post in the street.

It was a very cold winter, and very long, but people are
so busy in places like Love Lane, that they have hardly
time for sorrow or sickness. I don’t think any one noticed
that Mary Jane had a cough, or looked tired, or that she
grew listless, and difficult to please.

“Tt’s a hard winter,” her mother said, when she com-
plained, and once she stroked Mary Jane’s hair very gently
and said, “ Please God, the spring’ll be coming soon,” and
then the old man came tottering down the stairs and told
Mary that he would set the police on her if she kept on
with “they dratted birds,” screeching round the house,
and Mary crept out on to the doorstep, and sat in the
cheerless winter sunshine, while her mother’s word kept
ringing in her ears, “ Please God the spring will be coming
soon.” : ,

“The spring!” It sounded pleasant ; it sounded warm
and comfortable and happy. Could it be possible that
anything warm or happy could ever touch Love Lane
again ?

Mary Jane did not wake up next morning when. her
mother shook her, but lay with a smile on. her thin face,
THE CHIRP OF A ROBIN 127

almost as if it were spring with her, while the cold sharp
sunlight fell on the frosted glass of the frozen windows,
and made the bare little bed, and the quiet, child-like face
almost lovely.

The robins came waiting at the window-sill, and sung
and chirped a little for their crumbs, but Mary Jane’s
mother, who was crying as she “ redded up” the room,
shut down the window, as if the songs could disturb the
quiet sleeper.

“ Them’s Mary Jane’s birds,” she said to the next door
neighbour, who was helping her, and the woman went over
to the window and peered out at the little brown robins
hopping on the sill, with their bright eyes peeping here
and there for the kindly little hand that was lying folded
on the counterpane inside. But if any one had - been
watching in the street, they would have seen the upper
window open, and a cautious, lean old hand -come out,
and scatter crumbs upon the window-ledge.

The robins flew up to the window above the room where’
Mary Jane lay sleeping, and ate the crumbs, and sat singing
on the sill, while the old lodger stood inside, with a curious,
half-ashamed feeling at his heart.

“TJ couldn’t let them starve,” he kept saying to himself.
‘She had such a care for them, and she died so sudden.”

And still the robins come day by day to Love Lane for
their daily bread.
WILLOUGHBY

By GreraLpIne Burr

T READ an advertisement in the Zimes this morning that
startled me. It was the death, at Pau, of consumption, of
Ernest Elliot Willoughby, aged twenty-eight.

Ernest Elliot Willoughby! The name took me back years
and years—to a country village, and a great white house
that stood back from the road, with its beautiful shadowy
grove of elms, down whose vista you looked in spring time
through an arch of feathery green.

Tt took me back, too, toa humbler building on the village
green, where Willoughby and I and all the other squires’
sons learnt a little useful knowledge in holiday time from
the national school-master.

Of course we hated it—to come back, as we did, from
Rugby, and have to sib for an hour a day ona form with
ploughboys, and write in the national copy-books, and read
aloud for the edification of the harassed school-master, who
dreaded the holidays, I think, as much as we did.

There was no pride about us though, if that is any point
in our favour; it was the work itself we grumbled at, not
our companions, for there was not a lad in the village we
did not know, and with whom we had not fought, or birds’
nested, or scared crows since we had put off our baby-frocks
and taken to short jackets and collars. The Willoughbys
were the great people of the place, iron-masters for many

128
WILLOUGHBY 129

generations, and men, all of them, who had earned a name
for themselves that was respected and loved in the county.
They had great wealth and great influence, and all these many
talents of gold and silver, and personal influence and un-
flagging energy, which had been put out at interest for
so many years, were destined to descend into the keeping
of this only son, who died, I see, last week, of “ rapid
consumption.”

I remember him very well in those first holidays, when
we walked down sulkily together to the school behind his
father and the clergyman, like two miserable little rafts
being towed into harbour by an energetic tug. I remember
the village boys standing up as we entered, and staring as
we sat down on the extremity of our forms, Ernest in the
front row, with a thick-set, honest-faced boy beside him, and
a hateful copy-book in front.

After a few words to the schoolmaster the gentlemen left
us to his tender mercies, and our writing lesson began.
There was dead silence in the room except for the scratch-
ing of the pens, then I heard a sort of subdued scuffle on
the front form, and I saw that Ernest Willoughby was
standing up and looking straight down the line of bent
heads, and the rows of hot, red knuckles, The form was
twisted. Of course I knew what the boys had done—they
had risen simultaneously, when the master’s back was
turned, so that Ernest’s end might “dip” and let him
down. It was their idea of a joke probably, and Ernest
only saved himself by rising too. The form clattered, and
the master turned hurriedly, and said “Silence!” as if it
had spoken, but no one moved or answered.

After that one look Ernest sat down again as if nothing
had happened, and went on with his writing, but when his
head was bent I noticed the boy next him look furtively at
him, and then down at his own blotted book, as if he was

afraid of being detected, :
K
130 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

The hour crawled on, and the sunlight gleamed through
the dull windows on to each boy’s head in turn, and the
pens scratched, and the master walked up and down behind
us, tapping some knuckles, squaring elbows, forcing the
pens into their proper attitude in cramped fingers. I think
he was as glad as we were when the clock struck twelve, and
we all stood up.

“You can put your books away and go, boys.”

Of course I meant to go straight home, but Willoughby
did not, so I followed him to see what he was about.

He went out amongst the first lot of boys into the play-
ground, straight to the central tree, round which the sand
was scraped and roughened by so many feet. There he
threw off his cap and jacket, and planted his back against
the bruised bark, and turned upon the crowd about him.

“Now Um ready for a fair fight, Williams,” he said,
‘and as many more of you as like. Bully me if you
dare.”

They all stared. He had taken the matter of the form
so coolly that they thought he had not noticed their inten-
tion, or else they were surprised at the energy and fire in
his slight, childish figure. He was only nine years old, and
avery pretty boy, with a delicate colour, and curly hair, and
a round, soft face, and the boys he challenged were hardy
village lads of twelve or thirteen. But they did not laugh.
Jack Williams, the ringleader, and cock of the school, even
made a movement of unbuttoning his own coat to close with
him, but at that moment the little crowd was hustled on one
side, and the lad who had been Willoughby’s neighbour on
the form planted himself beside him,

“You'll do no such thing,” he cried, giving Jack a dig
with his strong elbow that sent him reeling. “ Cowards!
to set on and bully a plucky little chap like that. I saw
you in school, you great lubberly chaps! If you do—you
fight me,”






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Willoughby and Reuben under the playground tree.—P. 131.





WILLOUGHBY 131

“Oh, Reuben!” cried Willoughby, lifting his small fair
head on to a level with his champion’s shoulder, “I must
give him a thrashing.”

“ Nay—but he’ll thrash thee, master,” said Reuben.

“T don’t care a straw,” cried Willoughby. ‘He's twice
my size.”

“Nay, nay,” said Reuben, skaking his head doubtfully.
“Keep thy thrashings for a year or two longer, master ;
some one will need them then, I doubt. There’s none’ll
bully thee now. Eh! but thouw’s got a spirit!”

Willoughby put on his jacket slowly, and took his cap
from the hands of some officious partisan, and we stalked
away through the school-yard with Reuben guarding our
retreat, like two little panting tugs towing a disabled man-
of-war into port. These are the two boys of whom I write
my little sketch—both such fine fellows, and yet set so
utterly apart in life; Reuben, with everything against him
—hbirth, and education, and home training—yet with a
nature to which difficulties seemed only made to be overcome,
and a heart that was large enough to have no self, and to
be content. Willoughby with everything in his favour, and
yet across the gulf of social inequality that finer part of
each nature seemed to meet with a sudden flash, and strike
a fire, as flint and steel will do, whether in the King’s palace
or on the King’s highway.

That was the beginning of the friendship that strength-
ened and increased year by year between Willoughby
and Reuben. We grew accustomed in the holidays to
seeing the curly head side by side with Reuben’s on the
school form, or on the seat under the playground tree;
and, as years went by and Reuben left school and went
to work in the mines—as Willoughby lost his babyish
prettiness, and grew into a delicate, gentle, thoughtful
boy, there was still that attraction between them which
drew them steadily together—still that resemblance between




132 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

them that all single-minded and honest hearts bear to
one another.

At seventeen Willoughby left Rugby and came home,
He was a very handsome lad, with charming manners—a
youth of great promise, as his father’s friends said, and as
no doubt his father thought. It was quite touching to see
the pride of the old people in their darling—to see his
mother’s. wistful eyes turn involuntarily towards him so
often, and linger on him with a smile. “He could do any-
thing,” his father said, and when he came back from college
he should have his choice. His father always inclined, I
think, to a public life, and a seat in Parliament.

But Willoughby thought differently. He came back from
college in hard times, when there was a depression in trade,
and a.distant murmur of a breaking storm, Willoughby |
shut the door of public life upon himself, and elected to
stand by his father in the crisis that he knew was coming.
Old Mr. Willoughby demurred. He wanted a wider field
for his son’s abilities; he was ambitious for the lad who
seemed to have so little ambition for himself, but Ernest
put all his arguments aside. He was interested in the
mines ; he always had been. The times were stirring times, '
and a strong hand was needed at the helm. His father
was growing older, and a battle had no charm for him as it
had for the younger man, who forthwith settled down quietly
at the white house, and set steadily to work.

He saw. a good deal of Reuben, only there was a differ-
ence now—the difference between a master and one under
his orders—a ‘difference imperceptible at first, but that
strengthened and became more apparent as the distant storm
came nearer. Little by little grew “the little rift ” between
the old: companions and old friends; the strength in each
nature was maturing as they grew to manhood, and ‘was
setting them, alas! as far apart as might be on either side
of a great gulf—no social gulf that a word or touch could
WILLOUGHBY 133

bridge, nor that which lies between ‘the master and the
man. They were leaders on opposite sides in a great battle
—there one or other must fail. They were both young and
confident, and strong, and the struggle was growing nearer
every day—this eternal fight between capital and labour—
between poverty and riches.

| Ihave not time to tell you of the threatening storm that
lowered grimly over our quiet village, and over the white
house and its avenue of elms—of how Ernest Willoughby
walking down the little street day by day with his harassed
young face lifted, and his sensitive mouth closed in a firm
line, averting the storm by the personal love which all bore
him, yet knowing full well the overwhelming trouble against
which he bravely fought—how at last the smiles died out
before him, as if his shadow blotted out the light—and he
walked, conscious of the change, through sullen and averted
faces—how the silence grew to murmurs, the murmurs 'to
reproaches, the reproaches to a storm thab swept down upon
the white house one autumn night, led by a young man, with
lips compressed, and a determined face—very white and
still—but as strong and inexorable as the face he had seen
that morning, and passed in silence.

The storm of rough feet and hoarse voices’ came surging
on to the front of the quiet house, gathering force and
volume by the way. The roughest amongst them jested
about the young master, and said, with oaths, that he.
would never face them. ‘Not that he’s feared,” one’
added, ‘but we’s crush him, so.” And he made a gesture:
with his finger and thumb, as though he had crushed’ a
fly.

Reuben had been walking with resolute steps and a
bowed head, but when they came in sight of the house he
lifted it up, and drew his lips into a hard line. He was
terribly silent. He had a great purpose at stake, and also
something stirring within him that seemed to develop into
134 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

fear as he looked at the crowd of dark, rough faces, and
knew that the lifting of a finger would let loose a devil that
even he would have no power to control.

They stood in front of the silent house, whose darkened
windows and closed doors seemed to defy them, and then
there arose a tumult of cries and oaths and hoarse murmurs.
Shouts for “ Willoughby, coom out and face us, mon to
mon; gi’ us our due, or we’s on strike to-morrow. Ah!
ye’s feared.”

“T young master,” said a voice in the background.

But some one shouted hoarsely—“ Niver t’ young one.”

And at that moment, as if he had answered the call, the
door was flung wide open, and a figure stepped out into the
gusty night; standing for a minute with a background of
cheery light, and then shut out to face alone three hundred
rough, drunken men, who claimed their rights.

“ Ah!” said Reuben, with a shiver like a sigh, “ah,
thou’s got a spirit !”

But he was here to lead and control this surging mob,
not to sympathize with the masters ; so he made a resolute
step forward, and for a long, breathless pause, the two set
young faces confronted each other, the one on the top of the
steps the other at the bottom.

“ Ah, Reuben,” said Ernest Willoughby.

“Ay, master,” said Reuben, never flinching from the
tone that struck him like a whip. ‘“There’s nae good in
words, they’s nought. We’s here for a rise—or there’s a
strike to-morrow.”

“T have provided against that,” said Willoughby, in a
clear, low voice, that penetrated to the limits of the crowd.
« These are bad times for all; if you cannot trust me, and
bide patiently, then strike, if you must. I cannot afford a
rise.” :

He let his hands drop to his side, with a slight gesture,
as if to show that they were empty, he lifted his delicate
WILLOUGHBY 135

mobile face a little, and threw back his head, as if he ex-
pected a blow. But there was silence—there was some-
thing in his extreme quietude and his courage that awed
them, ;

Reuben took up the challenge.

“We dunno believe that,” he said.

There was a growl rising to a roar at these words, as if
they had been a signal; but before they saw what he had
done, Willoughby was down the steps on a level with
them.

“Have I ever told you a lie?” he cried fiercely, facing
them, with his slight figure quivering with anger and con-
tempt. “ How dare you tell me so to my face? I tell you
again that there is trouble here,” pointing to the silent
house, “as well as there,” lifting his hand towards the
lighted fires upon the hill-side. ‘Till times are better, I
cannot afford a rise; if you cannot afford to wait, go on
strike if you will, and see the women fretting and failing,
and the children crying for bread. Are you brave, and
yet not afraid to face so terrible a curse that you have.
dragged upon yourselves? Reuben, are you a man to lead
them into such misery as this?”

Willoughby must have been born an orator, he held them
all so still by the power of his eloquence—above all, per-
haps, by his flashing eyes, and the ringing beauty of his
voice.

Reuben lifted his head when the pause came.

“Thou’s never deceived us, master,” he said. ‘“ Well,
we’s wait.” }

All the better class of men seemed to agree by their
silence. The storm had broken now, and such clouds had
come in its train that they had no enthusiasm left, no con-
fidence, nothing but a sullen endurance; but they would
wait, the young master meant well, and he was no coward.
That for a moment thrilled them; but in that moment a
136 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

stone was flung in the background, and struck the wall
behind Willoughby’s head.

“Take that,” a voice cried ; “it’s what we’s owe you.”

In a minute Reuben had sprung on to the steps, and was
facing the crowd.

“Coward!” he cried, “to fling a stone withouten ye’s
known, dark deeds yor; if ye want to fight, fight me.”

Once more, as in the old old days, they stood together
facing a storm, only then it was a storm of foolish, fright-
ened boys—now it was sullen, despairing men. Reuben
had forgotten which side he was on, and only saw that there
was danger, and that Ernest was in the thick of it.

Theré was no answer to his challenge, but the deed was
evidently not popular ; in groups of three or four, or separ-
ately, the men turned silently away, and tramped back
through the pretty avenue that a half moon was lighting
up into a silver beauty. The gusty wind had died down,
and there was utter silence.

The two young men stood side by side, until, with a
certain dignity, Willoughby put out his hand and took
Reuben’s. :

“Thank you, Reuben,” he said.

“Tt was nowt,’ said Reuben. “Eh, master, but thou’s
true.”

“Thank you, Reuben,” he said again. Then he went on
slowly, “There are hard times coming, and we must work
shoulder to shoulder, or we shall fall. Reuben, God helping
me, I will do my duty.”

“ And I, master.”

So they parted, meeting afterwards wherever there was
want, or sorrow, or despair ; working, struggling, enduring
in the evil days that came upon them—leaving strength,
and comfort, and divinest pity in the footprints of their
feet, doing each his duty in his appointed place,

And the reward ?
WILLOUGHBY 137

Reuben is rising steadily by careful, patient, unwearying
work, to a place of trust and confidence—hiding, but not
forgetting the memory of many milestones that mark his
journey ; and Willoughby’s mother says that God will surely
bless so good a son—so beautiful a life.

And his mother is right, I feel sure, though God’s bless-
ings fall like sorrows sometimes on this lunperfect world,
for, as I said when I began my story, I see that Ernest
Elliot Willoughby died last week at Pau.
JOHN’S REVENGE
By GrraLpine Burr

“Wet, I suppose it’s all over,” said Mrs. Gidden,
pushing her chair back from the fire and rising with a
clatter. ‘ve worked for him willingly—I’ve loved him,
for all your hard words, Mary; but I’ve done with him
now. A prison for him, and the workhouse for us—that’s
what God’s given us after seven hard years—and you preach
of patience, Mary,” she went on, drawing her handkerchief
over her eyes, that flashed out a hard and bitter scorn
through her hot tears! ‘“ Patience—when the children are
starving, and we've to be a by-word in the village.”

The other woman, who was standing by the window with
her arms raised and crossed upon the glass, and her forehead
leaning on them, stood still and silent. “ Patience—
patience,” her heart kept saying; “there is a way out of
every sorrow, however hard it may be to find it.” She
raised her bent head and looked out listlessly at the spring
sunlight coming and going in flickering light and shade on
the village green, at the little white cottages, with the wall-
flowers in the neat gardens, this sleepy nest in a half-for-
gotten corner of the hurrying, bustling world, that had
been the home of her childhood and her youth, and where
she had been so happy.

There was the sting! For twenty-six years she had
been living in Paradise, and now the gates were shut. It

138
JOHN'S REVENGE 139

seemed to her, standing with drooping head by the dead
ashes on the hearth, that she would never be happy any
more. But she was a slow woman, with an infinite capacity
for love and faith that raised her far above the surroundings
of her narrow life. She could not take it all in at once,
she could not talk, and weep, and scold, all in a breath, like
her brother’s wife, or conjure up pictures of future misery
and want; she could only realize in a dazed, hopeless
fashion that sorrow and disgrace had crossed the threshold
of their home, and that Jobn was in prison !

“John never did it,” she said aloud, still with her eyes
turned to the village green ; “why, Katharine, I know, but
I forgot! John go out like that by night and burn down
his master’s ricks just because of a hard word! Why,
woman—woman—don’t you know our John?”

But John’s wife was notas true to him as the sister who
had known and loved him so long. Katharine shook her
head.

‘“Where’s the use?” she said, sobbing, “isn’t it proved
against him, and isn’t he in prison? What does anything
else matter? And me, who was used to comforts,” and she
flung her apron over her head and fell to weeping again.

But Mary was smiling ; it had all grown clear to her at
last, and she knew what to think. ‘Things had sorted
themselves,” as she said, and she lifted her head with a
certain dignity that was a pathetic defence of “ John,” in
face of the law that had found him guilty and the prison
that had swallowed him up.

She could not free him, it was true, but she could have
faith in him and God, who rights all wrongs.

But. this simple creed did not suit John’s wife. Since
the law had made him guilty anda prisoner, the shame was
there, if not the sin, and in the eyes of the world at least,
so Katharine argued, they generally went together. Mary
Gidden might dream of an Arcadian future when they
140 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

should so shield “ John” from scorn that he would forget the
time in which he had chafed and fretted like an eagle in a
cage, but Katharine confronted her with petulant, passionate
cries for the necessaries of life, or else she would have her
revenge.

“What was the use if he was innocent,” she asked, with
half sulky acquiescence, “ if nobody believed it?”

John Gidden had been convicted of arson on circumstantial
evidence, but still evidence that no man in hig senses could
doubt. He had been working for Farmer Bates for some
time, and the morning of the fire they had had words.
Every one knew John had a bit of a temper, and in the
evening John had been caught running close by the stack,
“going to call the engines,” he said. The farmer laughed
grimly when this came out in evidence. Even the en-
lightened jury, who, contrary to orders, made no effort to
clear their minds of all the previous talk and gossip in the
village public-house, who, indeed, if they had done so would
have left their minds perfectly empty and vacant, saw that
things looked bad for John, so they brought him in guilty,
but recommended him to mercy. The judge failed to see
on what ground, but as Farmer Bates had spoken for him,
and did not wish to see the prisoner hardly dealt with—
well! He gave him the lightest penalty he could inflict—
thirteen months’ imprisonment with hard labour. “Remove
the prisoner,”

So the prisoner was removed without a word. One or
two spoke as he passed, and some tried to take his hands,
but he did not seem to see or hear anything. His head was
lifted and his eyes were looking straight ahead, as if he saw
some difficulty to be overcome but did not see his way.
Katharine was led crying out of court, with her baby
huddled up in her arms, and anger and despair gnawing at
her heart. Mary was leaning forward with both hands on
the back of the seat in front of her, with a dazed, pained look




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JOHN’S REVENGE 141

in her gentle eyes. They had to touch her to bring her
back to the world again.

“Tt? all over—poor John,” her neighbour said. ‘Come,
Mary lass, best be away home with that poor creature.
Youre stronger nor she,”

Mary came down obediently—white, delicate, nervous
almost to pain, The neighbour was quite right who called
her stronger than the coarse, handsome, petulant woman
who was creeping homewards with the heavy burden of her
sleeping baby on her bosom.

Now it was all over, as she said, only the end had a

different meaning to these two women : to one it meant the
end of the romance of her life, the beginning of shame, and
suffering, and disgrace ; to the other it was only the end of a
long waiting, the beginning of another weary year, and she,
like Patience, was willing to wait.
_ There was so much to be done to keep them from the
workhouse. Katharine roused herself at the necessity, and
put her shoulder bravely to the wheel for the sake of the
hungry children ; but in the evenings, when her work was
done, she was ready enough to blame John, and fate, and
Farmer Bates, in her high, shrill voice, that grated painfully
on Mary’s ears.

“You know John did not do it?” she asked once when
the voice had been raised more than usual, and Katharine
was the centre of a gaping, eager group of idle women.

“T don’t know,” said Katharine ; “ he might as well have,
anyway, for all folks think—But there! John always was
a fool, always with a finger in other folk’s pies.”

But the end of the year came at last, and with it a
spring day, when the two women trudged over to the little
country town to meet John coming out of jail, Katharine
walked in a slouching, defiant manner, half ashamed to
walk beside her husband down the village street. If it had
not been for Mary she would have kept indoors, away from
142 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

those curious, idle folks; but Mary’s placid face was radiant
with his coming, and, when she met him, her outstretched
hands were eloquent. They saw him a long way off, coming
by the canal side, in the glad sunshine, with his head lifted,
and his tall, well-built figure looking so homelike to her
longing eyes. Katharine fell to weeping at the sight, and
hid her face on Mary’s arm, holding her back with a
half cry—“ Oh, what will folks say, Mary? I can’t abide
it.”

She was glad to see him—more glad than she knew ; but
this fear of what the world would say outbalanced her love
a hundredfold. After the first minute, when they turned
to walk together down the muddy road, Katharine’s voice
grew fretful again, and the tears came scalding to her
eyes.

John did not answer her reproaches, He had a smile
about his mouth that had come there with his recovered
freedom, and the smile irritated Katharine more than any
volume of words would have done.

“You have no feelings, John,” she said petulantly.
“ You'd just as lief be in prison as not,”

Now it happened that John did particularly feel the
prison life, as men brought up to out-door work must
naturally do, and he had pined for his work and his freedom
asa bird might pine inacage. The smile died from his
lips slowly as he turned and looked at his wife with
that quiet, far-away gaze that she called dull,

“We'd best be getting home, Kate,” he said, and then
he looked over her bent head at Mary, standing still and
silent beyond, and their eyes met.

Mary understood.

“You'll have your revenge, John,” said Katharine
presently, trudging on breathlessly by his side. ‘“ You'll
not bear it like a fool, But there, you’re as weak as
weak,”
JOHN’S REVENGE 143

There were a great many children playing by the canal _
side, one little mite of a thing in charge of a girl, who was
lingering and loitering to talk to a man who leant smoking
against a gate, face, who stocd with one little foot kicking the mud and
pebbles into a black stain on her white frock, and one
hand in her mouth, while she gazed with round brown
eyes at the scrambling crowd of screaming children on
the bank.

“That’s Azs child,” said Katharine, pointing with her
upraised finger at the little white figure in the path,

They all stood for a minute watching, and John sighed ;
then he moved on.

What happened next was always a dim and confused
memory to Mary, from which one sound alone rang out
with a terrible, agonizing distinctness—a sharp, clear,
pitiful cry, that fell like a hush on the noisy, turbulent
group of children, gathering in an awe-struck silence to the
bank, over which the white figure had slipped and fallen ;
then she was vaguely conscious of John’s stride forward,
and of Katharine clinging to his arm with a sob.

“OQ John, John, don’t besuch afool! It’s his, I tell you
—his 1”

John moved on, but he turned and looked at his wife, all
the greatness of his patient, noble nature thrusting back
the bitterness of hers. She shrank away, quivering almost
as much as if he had struck her, and the next instant he
was in the water, and had caught at a white dress and a
clutching hand, that sank, sank, sank away out of their
sight.

How bright and beautiful the day was, how full of life
and beauty the sunshine dancing on the ripples that he
made as he swam to land with the burden in his arms!
How still the whole world had grown suddenly about that
little group! Mary, on her knees upon the bank, was
144 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

leaning down to take the baby from him, and there was a
smile, like light, upon her face.

“ John’s revenge,” she said to herself once; and then
John called her in a gasping voice, and the ripples widened
into circles of light, and the hum of whispering voices
came faintly to her, and it seemed as if the heart of the
great world began to beat again,

But when she rose, with the dripping burden gathered
to her breast, and putaside the short, soft hair, and touched
the clenched hands, a sudden conviction struck her like a
knife, and sent a chill to her heart, She looked up with
dim eyes, and seemed to see nothing but a desolate home, a
despairing mother, an empty cradle, and a silent room,
while, in her arms there lay the still, cold figure that had
been the mainspring of so many lives, the soul of that
desolate home.

“It is quite dead,” she said, lifting her dim eyes to John,
as he leant over them. ‘There is nothing to be done—
nothing.”

“Verily I will repay.” Farmer Bates was a rough,
coarse, passionate man, with a spite of long standing
against John Gidden, and he had not felt sorry when
circumstantial evidence picked out his enemy as the
destroyor of his ricks, nor had he troubled himself much
to hunt up counter evidence which might have been
forthcoming ; he thought he was doing a very gracious
thing when he asked for a mitigation of the penalty.
And now it was John who laid this little cold, still
figure down in the sunlight on the parlour sofa, and
told him, in his slow, gentle voice, that seemed so
strong to trust in and to lean upon, that this was the
child of his old age, the life of his life, through whom
he had looked on into a golden future, and prophesied of
love and gladness.

* All dreams ! dreams !”’

Nat
JOHN’S REVENGE 145

“John,” said Katharine, touching him, as they walked
silently homewards, “it’s like a vengeance—that.”’

She said it timidly, afraid of the calm, sad look he turned
on her. ‘“ Well,” she went on petulantly, “ what business
was it of yours?—all for nought too. There were a heap
of folks there.”

“But John was first,” said Mary, eagerly. ‘“ He couldn’t
do less; you wouldn’t have had him stay by and watch.”

“Td have had him think of his own first,” said Katharine
sharply. ‘“ Half drowning himself for a child that was
drowned first ; but there! John always was a fool.”
OUR BABY—A SKETCH

By Grraupine Butt

I am going to tell you a little story that is sad in a cer-
tain way ; so if you do not care for sad stories, fold up the
page and find amusement further on. I am going to tell
you of our Baby—just the sweetest, dearest, roundest-faced
baby in the world. And yet she was not our very owh
either, only a little orphan child whom we had taken from
her dying mother to make one of the noisy group about our
hearth.

She was just two years old, with a round face and round
eyes and a mouth one cannot describe, and she had a pretty
laugh, and gentle ways without any shyness. I, who was the
mother of boys only, was pleased to see this little maiden
amongst my somewhat noisy tribe, and the house seemed
brighter somehow for her coming. The boys were so good
to her, and so proud of her, as she toddled after them in the
long summer holidays ; and they carried her out nutting,
and swung her, and romped with her, until she grew tired
of play, and made Robin carry her in to bed. They used
to measure her against the lilies too, and make believe she
grew, as they did, in a night. Robin was nine years old,
and he went to a boarding-school a long way off—a curious,
silent, over-thoughtful boy, but he was very fond of our
baby. Max and Fred would be good to her too, for a time,

but Robin was most patient, and it touched me sometimes
146






































Our Baby.—P. 146.
OUR BABY—A SKETCH 147
to see the golden hair nestled down against my Robin’s
curls, and the soft arms round his neck. 2

“ She is so dear, mother,” he said once. “ I wish we had
always had our Baby in the house.”

That was what we called her from the first, in our love
and pride ; that is what we call her now, when we softly
speak her name ; that is what she will be to Robin, I think,
all his life, though he has babies of his own by this time.

Well, the summer wore on, and the holidays were draw-
ing to an end, and school began to loom in the distance,
and to tinge all our talks a little as we sat by the open
drawing-room window with our Baby picking up the dying
rose-leaves in the rose-garden.

Robin would generally wander out after a time and help
her gather them, or dodge her round the bushes home ;
and sometimes I felt so very thankful for the good her
presence in the house had done, to Robin above all.
Silent on every other topic, he was always ready to talk of
her, and he grew closer to my heart in this love we shared.
So T looked on into the future until my mind ached, and
smiled at the home my fancy conjured up.

“ Mothet,” Robin broke in upon my reverie one evening,
“J think home is jollier than ever these holidays.”

“ Because of that,” I said, pointing to the little figure
that was standing on tip-toe to smell a china rose.

He nodded, smiling a little, and reddening; then the
little feet came over the lawn and stood between us, and
Robin, smiling still, stooped awkwardly, and kissed her
once or twice.

I was glad he did it, because I thought he looked so mucli
better and more manly with his arm round her and that
smile upon his face than I had ever fancied him before.

The next day we all went out into the meadows for our
last holiday, and we took our lunch and books and fishing-
rods, and even a little kitten, “ Miminy,” that Baby could
148 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

not bear to leave behind; and all the long morning we
roamed about the meadow, and made daisy-chains, and
romped until even the boys grew tired, and I was half
asleep. I was awakened suddenly by a touch upon my arm
—awakened to the consciousness of Robin’s haggard eyes
bending past me with a look in them that haunts me yet—
a dumb agony of despair that froze the words upon my lips.
I, too, looked where his hand pointed. And there, on a
narrow plank of wood that made an unsteady bridge over a
branch of the river Wye, I saw our Baby. She was coming
towards us; with a triumphant smile on her baby lips, and
the little kitten creeping miserably before her, clinging
with every claw to the narrow foothold.

- She was not frightened, knowing no cause for fear ; but
we dared not startle her, and I. think Robin never knew
a moment of more terrible agony than when he knelt,
on that summer’s day, clutching at my hand, and waiting.

Such a moment of agony, and yet only a moment after
all, for the little foot slipped, and for a second we saw the
frightened eyes and the little outstretched hands. Then,
“Go, Robin!” I said hoarsely, and never saw that he had
gone.

Even now I cannot write you down quite easily the story
of how ow Baby died. Robin dived, and dived again,
beside the bridge, until he brought up at last the child we
had loved so well, with a little mark upon her forehead,
where she had struck the plank in falling. The kitten fell
first, Robin said, and she had tried to save it ; and now our
home would be darker than it had been, and we would never
measure her against the lilies any more. But still our
summer was a happier onethan if we had never known her ;
our lives were better lives, I think, than if ow Baby had
never lived and died amongst us. . And Robin is a better
man, I know, because of the golden hair that so long ago
lay closely to. his cheek.
OUR BABY—A SKETCH 149

We have many little relics of her presence—an empty
crib, unused little shoes, and broken toys. And when
people say that she was taken away in mercy from a world
that would have been a hard world to her, we answer no-
thing ; but we thank God for the dumb life that spoke so
eloquently to us, for though she had no speech like ours, and
never could have learnt our human tongue, yet somehow
we always knew her meaning, and somewhere, beyond the
stars, we hear her still.
MY HERO

By Jann Burt
‘©So brave when the waves and thunder mect.”—2. JL

“ On, Uncle Jake, you might tell us a story !”

Uncle Jake laughed. ‘ Well, what is it to be about?”
he asked.

“Tt must be about the sea, of course,” said Tom Anson.

“ And it must be exciting,” said my brother Harry, who
was lying at full-length on the hearthrug at Uncle Jake’s feet,

« And it must be pretty,” put in Elsie.

«Something exciting, and pretty, and about the sea,”
said Uncle Jake. “ Have you any more suggestions to
make, young people?”

“T have only one thing to beg of you,” said Molly, my
eldest sister, “and that is that you will not use any nautical
language, for I cannot understand it; I don’t even know
the .difference between the mizzenmast and the yardarm,
whatever that is, and no amount of reading or hearing
about it will help me.”

“ How do you suppose that I am to tell an exciting story
about the sea and not use what you call nautical language,
Molly?” said Uncle Jake, laughing. “ However, I will try,
if you will all be quiet and let me think.” He sat looking
into the fire for a few minutes, stroking Elsie’s head softly
as it lay on his knee.

“What soft hair you have, Elsie,” he said, presently.

150
MY HERO 151

« Ah, that reminds me! Did I ever tell you about the one
and only shipwreck that I ever was in?”

“No, Uncle Jake,” said Molly, who had drawn a chair
up to Tom Anson’s side ; “I never even knew you had been
ina shipwreck. Tell us about it.”

I spoke next. “Uncle Jake,” I said, “why did Elsie’s
hair remind you of a shipwreck ?”

“ Wait till I have told my story, Madge, and then you
will see,” he answered.

“ Well, do begin, Uncle Jake,” said Harry, “or you will
never finish before twelve o'clock.”

It was New Year’s Eve, 1878, and we were all sitting
round the fire waiting for twelve o’clock to strike. We
were feeling rather sad, for next week Molly was to marry
Tom Anson, and go out to India with him; so it had been
a relief to us all when Uncle Jake came in to see us,

“Well,” he said, “it was just thirty years ago it
happened, I had got my first ship, and very proud I was
of it; Thad called it the iste, after your aunt, children,
and I think that, except her, I loved nothing likeit. About
an hour or two before we sailed I was sitting in my cabin,
when I heard a man’s voice outside asking if the captain
was aboard? One of the men said, ‘ Yes, he was;’ and then
T heard the stranger ask if he could see me. Then I heard
a knock at the door, and the mate, coming in, said there
was a man wished to speak to me, and would I see him? I
said, ‘Yes,’ but very crossly, I am afraid, for I was very
busy, and I had had half-a-dozen men aboard, wanting to
borrow money from me, and wanting to sail with me, and
all sorts of things. So it was not in the pleasantest temper
that I turned to look at the stranger. He was the oddest
figure I ever set eyes on, and I have seen many strange-
looking men in my day. He was tall, but he stooped so
much that he did not look above the middle height ; he had
on the most ragged suit of clothes I think I ever saw, and
152 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

he was very ugly; but still there was something about the
way in which he walked and spoke which impressed me
strangely. It seemed to me that, in some far distant time,
he had been more accustomed to command than to serve. I
sat waiting for him to speak for a few minutes, but, as he
said nothing, I turned to him.

“¢Do you want anything ?’ I asked.

“¢Yes, sir; I heard you were in want of a new hand,
and I wished to know if you would take me.’

“¢T am afraid you are mistaken,’ I said; ‘we are quite
full, and the ship sails in two hours.’

“ «But I could be quite ready in two hours, sir,’ he said
—‘ quite, I assure you, and I will take any place, and do
any work ; I may not look strong, sir,’ he added, spreading
out his thin hands, ‘but I can work as hard as any one—
indeed, I can, sir.’

“Through all his humility there was a tone of command
in his voice, and he looked so sad standing there, trying to
speak without coughing, that though I could see he was not
strong enough to work, I hesitated.

“¢T don’t know,’ I said; ‘ we really do not want an extra
hand ; have you ever served before ?—for I can tell you, it
is no light work aboard a merchantman.’

“¢T can work, sir, I assure you,’ he said, eagerly. <‘T
can, indeed !’

«¢What makes you so anxious to come?’ I asked,
curiously, for. he interested me strangely; I always did take
a fancy to out-of-the-way sort of people, you know. He
looked at me intently for a minute or two with those stead-
fast grey eyes of his, and then he drew a long breath.

“J think I can trust you, sir,’ he said; ‘would you
listen to my story? it is not a long one, and I think, if you
knew it, you would let Dolly and me come, sir.’

“ My patience fairly gave way at this; him I might have
stood—hbut a girl! The very idea of my taking a woman
MY HERO 1538

aboard made me almost laugh, despite my vexation. What
would the men say 1—it was utterly impossible.

“ no women here.’

“¢Ttis not ashe, sir,’ he said, with a faint smile. ‘It
is my son-—I always call him Dolly, after his mother—but
his real name is Theodore. But, if you will wait, sir, I
will tell you all about myself and him too, When I was a
young man at college—for I was a gentleman once, sir,
though T don’t look like it now—I had plenty of money to
spend, and I did spend it, as what young fellow will not?
I wish now that I had been a little more careful. Well,
sir, when I was there, I met my wife. What if she did
serve behind a counter?’ he said, turning fierce all of a
sudden, ‘She was as true a lady as any of them, and they
need not have treated her as if she were the dirt under their
feet—as they did, and broke her heart between them—God
forgive them! You see, sir,’ he went on, resuming his
pleading tones, ‘she was so pretty, my Dorothy was! and
she loved me so, that I could not help but love her, and a
gift from God she was indeed to me, for she was the first
one who ever seemed in the least proud or fond of me ; for
my mother died at my birth, sir, and my father could never
bear the sight of me afterwards, and the two aunts who
brought me up were very hard. My father did not oppose

?





my marriage ; he said I had never been a true Desmond

“¢Desmond!’ I cried, ‘are you one of them?’ He
turned on me in terror.

“<¢¥Forget it, sir,’ he said, ‘forget I ever told you; I
never meant to—indeed I did not—you will never tell any
one, sir, will you?’

«No, I will not,’ I said, ‘although it grieves me sorely
to see my old friend’s son in this condition.’ He did not
answer me; so after waiting a minute, to see if he would
speak, I said—‘ Well, and the end of it was


154 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

“¢The end of it was, sir, that she died—as surely
murdered by my father as if he had done it with his own
hands ; for when she heard, a year after our marriage, that
he had left every penny of money away from me, and
that I was a beggar, the child was born, and she died.’

“He leant his head on his folded arms for a minute or
two, and there was silence, for I am not ashamed to confess
that I did not dare to speak, for my voice was so unsteady.
In a minute he raised his head, and spoke again.

“¢ Yes, the child was given me at any rate. I was
disappointed at first that it was not a girl; but I gave him
the name of Theodore, and I always called him Dolly, as I
used to call my wife in the old days when we were happy.
T have only one thing more to say, sir, and that is that
Dolly is blind, and has been so all his life, and he is
weak and ailing, and the doctors say that the only thing
that will save his life is a sea voyage, and he cannot
go without me, sir; and so if you would take us, you
would save two lives, for I think that if Dolly died, I
should too.’

‘Still I hesitated ; and on seeing that I was not prepared
to give in, Desmond spoke again. I looked up in surprise
at the change in his tone; it was low and stern, and his
face was white and set, as if it was a great effort to him to
speak at all.

“<¢Captain Neville,’ he said, ‘I am going to do that for
my child’s sake, which I would do for no other living
creature ; I am going to make one last appeal! God alone
knows how hard it is for me to make it, and if it fails T
can do no more. Captain Neville, for your old friend’s—
for my father’s sake—I ask you to have pity on me and°
on my son!’

“T could hold out no longer now. I gave him my
hand.

“<«You have conquered,’ I said; ‘for the sake of the
MY HERO 155

father I loved, I welcome the son; you can come with us;
you had better go at once and fetch the child.’

“God bless you, sir,’ he said, brokenly.

«“¢Then I shall expect to see you again in two hours’
time, I said, looking at my watch, for I had to write to
Elsie, and time was passing.

“¢ One thing more,’ he said, playing nervously with the
handle of the door. ‘You will not let the men know that
T am not like them, sir; and you will treat me the same as
the others?’ Then, as I hesitated, ‘You must do as I say,
sir, or I cannot come.’

‘Tt was the old habit of command, that had evidently
been unlearnt with difficulty, the way which had made the
girl Dorothy leave her home for him ; it was the tone I had
often obeyed in the father, when we had been lads at school
together, and I obeyed it now in his son.

“<¢T will do as you wish,’ I said, ‘but I think it is
foolish,’

«¢Thank you, sir,’ he answered, and turning the handle
of the door, he left the cabin. I went up, and found my
first-mate. ‘Jackson,’ I said, ‘there is a man coming
aboard—another hand—I don’t think that he is strong,
but just find him something to do.’

“¢We do not need another hand, sir,’ said the man ;
‘but I am sure to be able to find some work for him. What
is his name ?’

“TJ hesitated a moment. ‘I do not know,’ I said, ‘ask
him when he comes.’ .

“The man looked surprised ; but he only said :

“¢Very well, sir.’

“¢ And, Jackson,’ I said, speaking fast, for I was rather
afraid of what the man, who had been my teacher for years,
would say to me, ‘he is bringing his son with him—a little
boy, and he is blind.’

“*Of course, if you say it, sir, he must come,’ said
156 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Jackson ; ‘but what will be the use of a blind boy, I can-
not say.’

“T turned away, having no answer to make, for as
Jackson said, what was the use of a blind boy?

“ Anyhow, he was coming, and there was an end. of it!
At last it was time to start, and I went up on deck to see
that all was right before sailing; at the head of the
companion-ladder I met the mate.

« «Has the man come yet?’ I asked.

“¢ Yes, sir, and the blind boy, too,’ he said, grimly,

“<< Jackson,’ I said, ‘you will keep an eye on the lad, and
not let the men tease him too much.’

“<«He must rough it, sir, if he comes with us; but T
will see to him sometimes ; he is a taking little fellow.’

“This was a great admission from Jackson, who was
not famous for praising any one over much, and I knew,
by the way he spoke, that he would do what he could for
the child. A short time afterwards, going down again to
my cabin, I heard the sound of music, and looking into the
forecastle, I saw Dolly !—seated on a pile of rope, with
wide-open blue eyes, with that painful look in them that
ig peculiar to the blind, and with soft brown hair, like
Elsie’s here, falling over his white face, on which there was
an expression of perfect content ; he was playing a violin.
He stopped playing as I entered, and spoke in the sweetest
voice I ever heard—‘ Who is there?’ he asked.

« suppose, are Dolly?’

“¢ Ves, sir,’ he sxid, standing up, ‘I am Dolly.’

«¢ What are you sitting here for, Dolly?’ T said. * You
will be much better up on deck—it is so hot here.’

“¢ Father said I was to stay here, sir.’

“¢ But, why?’ I asked.

“¢T don’t know, sir,’ he said, ‘T never asked him.’

“ «Do you never ask the reason of what he does then ?”’
MY HERO 157

“He smiled brightly. ‘Oh no, sir,’ he said, ‘ you know
father can see, and so of course he can tell what is best ; he
is sure to come and fetch me when he can.’

“¢Well, Dolly,’ I said, ‘when your father comes, tell him
that you may sit in my cabin whenever you like; it is
cooler than here at any rate; only do not say anything to
the other men.’

“¢Thank you, sir,’ he said.

“ Some little time after, I saw my friend of the morning,
leaning against the bulwarks—I mean the side of the ship,
Molly—and I went up to him.

“Took here,’ I said, touching his arm, ‘what do you
want to be called ?’

“He sprang up from his leaning position.

“¢ Davies, sir,’ he said.

“Well, Davies, I want to know why you kept that
child, pointing to Dolly, who was sitting at his feet, ‘ shut
up in that hot forecastle all this afternoon. It cannot be
good for him.’

“Dolly, said Davies, ‘just go a little further off, I
want to speak to the Captain.’

“«¢Can he go by himself ?’ I asked.

“© Oh yes, sir, I have taken him round once or twice, and
so he will be able to find his way quite easily, and it is so
still he can come to no harm.’ ’

“The child had risen without a word, and was making
his way slowly round the deck. Davies watched him till
he was too far off to hear, and then he turned to me.

“¢T do not like him to be up on deck, when I can’t be
by him, for the men use bad language, and are very rough,
and I do not want Dolly to get like them.’

“Well, I don’t know but that you are right ; but you
will make him ill keeping him down there.’

“Better that he should be ill in his body, than in his
soul, sir,’ said the man, gravely.
158 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

«“« Anyhow,’ I said, ‘you had better bring him to my
cabin, it is not so hot there.’

«“ «Thank you, sir,’ he said, ‘Dolly will like that!’

“T turned away ; but when I was about half-way down
the deck, I looked back at him again; he was leaning over
the ship’s side as before, and Dolly was playing softly on
the violin. After that, Dolly used often to come to my
cabin, sometimes sitting for hours together, doing nothing
but dreaming. I asked him one day, when he had’ been
sitting thus for a long time, what he was thinking of, and
he said at once, ‘Oh, father, of course ;’ at other times,
playing softly on the violin; and sometimes, but very
rarely, talking. He had a very quaint way of saying
things ; but I suppose he had been infected with his father’s
love of silence, for he rarely if ever said anything unless [
spoke to him first, and he generally answered me in mono-
syllables, unless it was of his father I spoke. On that
subject, and on that subject alone, he would talk for any
length of time.

“¢What do you think your father is like?’ I asked him
one day.

“¢T don’t think I know,’ he said. ‘He has brown eyes—
sad eyes, I think they are sometimes, when he looks out
over the sea; for one day he told me that they looked like
my violin sounded when I played like this,’ and he drew the
bow across the violin, and played a few chords. It was
wonderful, children! Iam not musical, as you know, but
when he played those few notes, I felt just as I did when
his father’s eyes met mine!

“¢ You are quite right,’ I said, ‘ that is as like as sound
can be to anything that you can only see.’

“¢ Ah, then it is true!’ he said ; ‘his face is beautiful—
I knew it was !—he said one day that when I saw him I
should be disappointed; but if it is like ¢hat I shall
not be.’
























































































































































































































































































































Dolly was playing softly on the violin.—P. 158.
MY HERO 159

*©¢ Dolly,’ I said, ‘do you think that your sight is coming
back to you?’

“¢ Why, it says so in the Bible,’ said Dolly, ‘“ the blind
receive their sight” in heaven.’

“¢QOh, in heaven,’ I said, rather startled to hear him
talking of it so quietly.

“¢ Yes, in heaven,’ repeated Dolly, ‘and father will look
beautiful there, will he not ?’

“¢Ves, certainly he will,’ I said, and here our conversa-
tion ended.

“Tt was quite curious the power those two had over every
one on board. All the lightest pieces of work were given
to Davies, and it was an understood thing that any one who
had done their work first should help him with his, and
still, though he always spoke cheerfully of the time when
he should be quite strong, he gradually grew weaker, till
T often wondered what I should do with Dolly when he
died, for that he would ever live to see the land I did not
believe.

“One night, the 29th of September, Elsie’s birthday it
was, I remember, we had our first storm; it raged for two
days and nights, and on the second night we struck, It
would be no use my telling you how it happened, for I could
not do so, except in what Molly calls nautical language, and
I doubt if you could understand me; but you will under-
stand this much at least: when I went down to the hold to
see the extent of the damage, I found that a great piece of
rock had come right through the boat, and could be seen
inside. So it was no use trying to do anything to the ship,
for if we got her off the rock she would sink before we could
fill up the hole, so our only hope was in the boats, which I
ordered out at once.”

“But, Uncle Jake,” said Harry, who being @ middy in
Her Majesty’s navy, thought he knew everything about
ships, “how is it possible that a rock could do that {—the
160 EVERY GIRL’S STORLES

boat must have been lifted right over it, and then dropped
on the top of it!”

“Right you are, my lad, and that is just what we did
do,” said Uncle Jake. “If the wave which had lifted us on
to the top of that rock had been a little larger, and had not
broken quite so soon, we should have gone clear over the
rock, and no harm done; but as it was, there we were,
stuck like a beetle on a pin, so, as I said before, our only
hope was in the boats. Still there was no immediate fear
of drowning, for the land was not very far off, and the only
danger was that we had not enough room in the boats to
carry us all at once, and before they could come back again
to the ship she might go to pieces. As there were sixteen
men, and Dolly, besides myself, who of course could rot,
and Jackson, who would not, leave the vessel, the question
was, who was to be the third to be left behind to almost
certain death 1—for the boats would only hold eight in each.
IT nearly said that Davies should be left so—I had almost
said—wicked did it seem to me, to try and save his life,
which could not last much longer anyhow, at the expense
of that of one of those strong healthy men; but I thought
of Dolly’s love for his father, and of what his grief would
be if he were left behind, and said nothing. Besides, I had
no right to say that one man’s life was more worth saving
than another’s, so I waited, and let them draw lots in their
own way. I almost thought that. Davies had drawn the
fatal lot, as I saw the blank look of despair on his face, as
he looked, first at his own and then at Dolly’s slip of paper.
Seeing me watching him, he came over to where I was
standing.

“ blank, and he does not know it; so can I give him my
place ?’ :

“<< Of course, if you like to, my man,’ I said.

«¢Thank you, sir,’ he said, as gratefully as if L had given
MY HERO 161

him a chance of saving his life, instead of taking that
chance away.

“ By this time the first boat was nearly loaded ; but the
second had only one man in it, a surly fellow, whom no one
cared much for, Williams by name.

«“¢ Williams,’ shouted Davies, ‘bring the boat alongside,
till I put the child in.’

«What should you put the child here for?’ growled
Williams; ‘we want no blind brats, that can’t do any
work. Come yourself, for you are some good, though not
much.’

“ Davies’s face turned white, but he spoke in the old
tone of command, so long repressed.

“< Bring that boat alongside at once, or Dll shoot you
dead,’ he said, drawing a pistol from his belt.

“The man looked in his face, and saw that he meant it,
and then sulkily obeyed.

“¢ Father,’ said Dolly, ‘are you coming?’

“« Presently,’ he said. ‘Kiss me, Dolly !’

“Dolly threw his arms round his neck.

“Come quickly, father,’ and then his father lifted him
up in his arms, and put him into the boat.

«Williams, I called out, ‘fill the boat as quickly as you
can, and start, she will not last much longer,’ and then we
turned away together. At last Jackson came up to me:

“¢ All the men are aboard but we three, sir, and there is
room for one more ; take the place and go. You are young
and healthy, and it is harder for you to die than for us.
Take it, sir.’

“No, thanks, Jackson,’ I said, ‘I will stay by the old
ship ; you go, there’s a good fellow.’

“No, sir, if you stay, I do; but we'll put that Davies
aboard. Here, Davies,’ he called out, as the man came up,
‘you are to get into that boat at once, for they cannot

wait.’
M
162 EVERY GIRT’S STORIES

«<¢ Why, I gave my place to Dolly.’

«“ ¢ Never mind, they will make room for you in this boat.
Come along, the quicker you go, the more chance there is of
our all being saved.’

«God bless you!’ said Davies, ‘I cannot say no for the
child’s sake.’

“¢Of course not,’ I said; ‘be quick—it is all right.’

«The other boat that Dolly had been put into had already
gone, so we went down to the ship’s side, and watched the
other start.

«© We will come back as fast as we can, Captain,’ called
out one of the men.

“<< All right,’ I said, ‘she won't last much longer.’

“They pulled away from the ship, and I turned back
with Jackson. At that moment I heard the faint sound of a
violin !

“« ‘Hark ! what is that?’ said Jackson.

“ heart. ‘He has been left behind.’

“ T rushed down the companion-ladder, and guided by the
sound, went straight to my cabin, and there, sitting on the
ground, with his violin in his arms, was Dolly !

«“€Dolly !’ I said, ‘how did you get here?”

«Ts that you, Captain Neville?’ he said, looking up,
quietly. ‘I thought you had all gone in the boats.’

«“¢ But how did you get here?’ I said. ‘I left you in
the boat.’ ;

«“¢Oh yes; but Williams told me that I had got father’s
place, and that if I stayed father would be drowned, and so
T told him not to tell father that I had got out, and I came
and hid myself down here, for fear any one should find me ;
but I am sorry there was not room for you, Captain Neville,
for I should like you to be saved.’

“But, Dolly,’ I said, ‘how could you get up the side of
the ship, without being able to see? ‘
MY HERO 1638

«Williams lifted me up on to the deck,’ he said, ‘and
you were all over at the other side, watching the other boat ;
so I was quite safe then; one man saw me, and asked me
what I was doing, and I told him that I was going down to
your cabin to look for something I had left behind, and he
told me that I had better be quick or I might be left behind
myself, and that would not be pleasant, and then he left
me, and [ came straight down here.’

“<«But why should your father’s life be saved at the
expense of yours, Dolly 2’ I said, for I loved the child, and
it did seem hard that this young life should be given as the
price of that other worn-out one.

“¢Why, of course he ought to be saved first!’ said
Dolly ; ‘he can see, you know, and people love him so!’

“¢Well, perhaps you may not be drowned after all,’ I
said, trying to speak cheerfully, for the child’s calmness
almost frightened me, it was so unnatural. ‘Come up on
deck, and I will watch for the boats.’

“¢Very well,’ acquiesced Dolly. ‘But I am afraid,’ he
added, ‘that father will be sorry when he knows I’m dead.
Captain Neville, would you write him a letter for me?’

“Ves, I said. ‘What shall I write?’

“* First put— Dear father,” ’

«« Yes,’

“¢ Please don’t be sorry that I am dead, for you know
I shall have gone to heaven to mother ; I will give her your
love, for I know you would have sent it.

“«¢ Your loving little

© ¢ Dolly.’

‘“‘He wrote his name himself, whilst I guided his fingers ;
for he said that father would like to see his writing. Then
he took his violin, and began playing softly. I wondered
whether I should speak to him, but he seemed so happy that
I did not like to disturb him, and my thoughts soon
164 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

wandered away to Elsie, whom I never expected to see
again, and I quite forgot the little figure at my feet, till I
was roused by the sound of a sob.

“
« ¢Té is only,’ said Dolly, with a burst of tears, ‘that I
am so lonely, and I am afraid of the cold water ; and oh, [
do so wish that father was here to hold me.’

«Dolly dear,’ I said, lifting him on to my knee, ‘T will
hold you, if that will comfort you, and it will not be very
hard to die, if we are together, and it is nice to think that
father is safe, is it not? And, besides, the boats may be
back in time even yet.’

«“«Thank you, Captain Neville,’ he said, ‘that is nice !’
—then, after a pause—‘Captain Neville, will you kiss
me?’

“T stooped and kissed the little white face lifted to
mine, and then there was silence between us, till in the
distance, steadily nearing us, I saw the boat.

‘“¢ Jackson,’ I said, ‘there is the boat! Be ready. We
are nearly safe now, Dolly !’ I added.

“ But, even as I spoke, we heard a great crash, as the
vessel was raised high by the force of the waves, and then
dashed once more upon the rocks. Even as we sank I
remembered Dolly, and I turned and caught hold of the
child’s long silky hair. I felt it slipping through my
fingers, and held on frantically; but when I came up,
fortunately near the boat, Dolly was gone. I was picked
up directly, as was aiso Jackson ; but though we searched
long, we could find no trace of Dolly. Just as we were
turning home, however, in despair, I saw something floating
close beside the boat—it was Dolly’s violin.

“¢Give it to me, and I will give it to his father,’ I said.
‘Does he know that Dolly was not in the boat 2’

“<¢Tt is no use keeping it for him, sir,’ said one of the
men; ‘when he saw that Dolly had not. come, he just
MY HERO 165

dropped down dead, sir—heart disease, I think they said

it was,’”

There was a long pause before my uncle spoke again, and
then he said: Y

“Well, Elsie, what do you think of my story? Why,
child, are you crying ?”

“Yes, I am,” said Elsie; “hard /—why did you make
him die, Uncle Jake?”

“Dear, it is not a made-up story, and he did really die.
And you need not be sorry for Dolly, for he can see now,
Elsie !”’

There was a long silence, which was broken by Molly’s
gentle voice :

“We have all been so sorry for Dolly,”
we have nearly forgotten that Uncle Jake was the greatest
hero of all. The others drew the lots and failed ; but Uncle
Jake never even tried to draw.”

she said, ‘‘ that

“Nonsense, Molly,” said Uncle Jake, ‘ Jackson never
drew either ; and Dolly gave up his place to his father.”

“Of course,” added Harry, “ the commanding-officer must
be the last to leave his ship; you know nothing about it,
Molly.”

“Well, I can’t help it,” said Molly. “I told you I did
not understand the ways of seamen; but if J was aboard a
ship that was going down, if I could escape I would,
commanding-oflicer or not ; and so Uncle Jake is, and will
continue to be, a hero in my eyes.”
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET

By THE CoUNTESS D’AULNOY

(TRANSLATED BY J. R. PLANCHE)

Oncxr upon a time there was a king and a queen who had
an only daughter. Her beauty, her sweet temper, and her
wit, which were incomparable, caused them to name her
Gracieuse. She was the sole joy of her mother, who sent
her every day a beautiful new dress, either of gold brocade,
or of velvet, or of satin, She was always magnificently
attired, without being in the least proud, or vain of her
fine clothes. She passed the morning in the company of
learned persons, who taught her all sorts of sciences, and
in the afternoon she worked beside the queen. At luncheon
time they served up to her basins full of sugar-plums, and
more than twenty pots of preserves; so that she was
universally considered the happiest princess in the world!

There was in this same court an exceedingly rich old
maid, called the Duchess Grognon, and who was horrible
in every respect. Her hair was as red as fire, her face of
an alarming size, covered with pimples; she had but one
blear eye left, and her mouth was so large you would have
said she could eat everybody up, only, as she had no teeth,
people were not afraid of it; she had a hump before and
behind, and limped with both legs. Such monsters envy
all handsome persons, and consequently she hated Gracieuse

mortally, and retired from Court to avoid hearing her
166
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 167

praises. She took up her abode in a neighbouring: chateau
that belonged to her, and when any one who paid her a
visit. spoke of the perfections of the princess, she would
scream out‘in a rage, “It is false! it is false! She is not
charming! I have more beauty in my little finger than
she has in her whole body!”

Now it happened that the queen fell ill and died. The
Princess Gracieuse felt as if she should die also of grief for
the loss of so good a mother, and the king deeply regretted
his excellent wife. For nearly a twelvemonth he remained
shut up in his palace, till at length the physicians, alarmed
at the consequence to his health, insisted on his going out
and amusing himself.

One day he went hunting, and the heat being very great,
he entered a large chiteau that he saw near him, for shelter
and refreshment. As soon as the Duchess Grognon (for it
was her chateau) heard of the king’s arrival, she hastened
to receive him, and informed him that the coolest place in
the mansion was a large vaulted cellar, exceedingly clean,
into which she requested he would descend. The king
followed her, and entering the cellar he saw two hundred
barrels placed in rows one above the other. He asked her
whether it was only for herself she kept such a stock.
“Yes, Sire,” she replied, “ for myself alone: but I shall be
delighted if your majesty will do me the honour to taste
my wines. Here is Canary, Saint Laurent, Champagne,
Hermitage, Rivesalte, Rossolis, Persicot, Fenouillet ;1

" Saint Laurent is a wine of Provence, celebrated by Madame de
Sevigné in her letters. 2Rivesaltc, a Muscat wine, grown in the
vicinity of a small town of that name in Roussillon. Rossolis was a
liqueur so called from the plant Ros Solis, or rosée du soleil (sun
dew). It was so great a favourite with Louis XIV. that a particular
sort was called Rossolis du Roi. Persicot and Fenowillet were also
liquers, The first a sort of noyau, and the other brandy flavoured
with fennel; the principal manufactory for which was in the Isle
de Rhé.
168 EVERY GIRL'S STORIES

which do you prefer, Sire?” “ Frankly,” said the king,
“I hold that champagne is worth all the other wines put
together.” Grognon immediately took a small hammer,
struck a cask two or three times, “tap,” “tap,” and out
came a million of pistoles. “ What does this mean?” she
exclaimed with a smile, and passing to the next cask she
hit that, “tap,” “tap,” and out rolled a bushel of double
Louisd’ors. “I don’t understand this at all,” she said,
smiling still more significantly. On she went to another
barrel and rapped, “tap,” “tap,” and out ran so many
pearls and diamonds that the floor of the cellar was covered
with them. “Ah!” she cried, “I can’t comprehend this,
Sire. Somebody must have stolen my good wine and put
in its place these trifles.” “Trifles!” echoed the king,
perfectly astonished ; “do you call these trifles, madam ?
There is treasure enough here to buy ten kingdoms, each
as big as Paris!”1 “ Well,” said the duchess, “ know that
these barrels are all filled with gold and jewels, and I will
make you master of all, provided you will marry me.”
“Oh,” said the king, who loved money beyond anything,
“J desire nothing better !—I’ll marry you to-morrow if you
please.” “ But,” continued she, “I must make one more
condition, I must have the same power over your daughter
as her mother had. She must obey my will and pleasure,
and you shall leave her entirely to my management.”
“ Agreed,” said the king, “there is my hand upon it.”
Grognon placed her hand in his, and leaving the treasure-
vault together, she presented him with the key of it.

The king immediately returned to his palace. Gracieuse,

1 “Dix Royawmes grands comme Paris.” I am inclined to think
that the word royauwmes (kingdoms) was used advisedly in lieu of
villes (cities), in compliment to the Grand Monarque, and at the
expense of the petty princes of Germany and Italy, so continually
opposed to him (particularly in the League of Augsburgh, 1687), some

of whose entire dominions were not much larger than the metropolis
of France.
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 169

hearing her royal father’s voice, ran to meet him, embraced
him, and inquired if he had had good sport. “TI have
taken,” said he, “a dove alive.’ ‘Ah, sir,” said the
princess, “ give it to me, I will feed and make a pet of it.”
“That may not be,” replied the king, “for to speak
plainly, I must tell you that I have seen the Duchess
xvognon, and that I am going to marry her.” “Oh,
heavens !” exclaimed Gracieuse, “can you call her a dove ?
She is more like a screech-owl!” ‘Hold your tongue,”
said the king, becoming angry ; “I command you to love
and respect her as much as if she were your mother. Go
and dress yourself immediately, for I intend to return this
very day to meet her.” The princess, who was very obedi-
ent, went immediately to her dressing-room. Her nurse
saw tears in her eyes—“ What is the matter, my little
darling?” she asked, “you are crying!” “Alas! my
dear nurse,” answered Gracieuse, “who would not weep?
The king is going to give me a step-mother, and to complete
my misfortune, she is my most cruel enemy,—in one word,
the hideous Grognon! How shall I ever bear to see her in
the beautiful beds which the queen, my dear mother, so
delicately embroidered with her own hands! How can I
ever caress a malicious old ape who would have put me to
death !’? ‘My dear child,” replied the nurse, “you must
have a spirit as high and noble as your birth. Princesses
like you should set the greatest examples to the world ;
and what finer example can there be than that of obedience
to a father and sacrificing one’s self to please him? Promise
me, therefore, that you will not manifest your antipathy to
Grognon.” The poor princess had much difficulty in sum-
moning up resolution to promise; but the prudent nurse
gave her so many excellent reasons, that at length she
pledged her word to put a good face on the matter, and
behave courteously to her step-mother. She then proceeded
to dress herself in a gown of green and gold brocade, her
170 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

long fair hair falling in wavy folds upon her shoulders, and
fanned by the passing breezes, as was the fashion in those
days, and crowned with a light wreath of roses and jasmine,
the leaves of which were made of emeralds. In this attire,
Venus, the mother of the loves, would have looked less
beautiful, notwithstanding the air of melancholy which she
could not altogether banish from her countenance.

But to return to Grognon. The ugly creature was exces-
sively occupied with her toilette. She had one shoe made
half a cubit higher in the heel than the other, in order to
appear less lame, a boddice stuffed upon one shoulder to
conceal the hump on its fellow. A glass eye, the best she
could procure, to replace the one she had lost. She painted
her brown skin white, dyed her red hair black, and then
put on an open robe of amaranth-coloured satin faced with
blue, and a yellow petticoat, trimmed with violet ribbon.
She determined to make her entsée on horseback, because
she had heard it was a custom of the queens of Spain.

Whilst the king was giving his orders, and Gracieuse
awaiting the moment of departure to meet Grognon, she
descended alone into the palace gardens, and strolled into
a little gloomy grove, where she sat down upon the grass.
“At length,” she said, “I am at liberty, and may cry as

!?? and

much as I please, without any one to check me
accordingly she sighed and wept so excessively, that her
eyes appeared like two fountains in full play. In this sad
state she no longer thought of returning to the palace, when
she saw a page approaching, dressed in green satin, with a
plume of white feathers in his cap, and the handsomest
countenance in the world. Bending one knee to the ground,
he said, “ Princess, the king awaits you.” She was struck
with surprise at the beauty and grace of the young page,
and, as he was a stranger to her, she supposed he was in
the service of Grognon. “How long is it,” said she,
“since the king admitted you into the number of his


The Prince took the bridle and led the spirited animal.—P. 171.
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET l71

pages?” “Iam not the king’s page, madam,” he replied ;
“T am yours, and will be yours only.” “Mine!” exclaimed
Gracieuse, much astonished, “and I not know you!” “ Ah,
princess!” said he, “hitherto I have not dared to make
myself known to you, but the misfortunes with which you
are threatened by this marriage of the king oblige me to
speak to you sooner than I should have done. I had
resolved to leave time and attention to declare to you my
passion.” “How! a page!” said the princess; “a page
has the assurance to tell me he loves me !—This, indeed,

17? « Be not alarmed, beautiful

completes my degradation
Gracieuse,” said he, with the most tender and respectful
air; “I am Percinet, a prince sufficiently well known for
his wealth and his science, to relieve you from all idea of
inequality in birth and station. In merit and person I
eagerly admit your superiority. I have loved you long ; I
have been often near you in these gardens without your
perceiving me. The Fairy power bestowed upon me at my
birth has been of great service in procuring me the pleasure
of beholding you. I will accompany you everywhere to-day
in this habit, and, I trust, not altogether without being of
service to you.” The princess gazed at him while he spoke,
in a state of astonishment from which she could not recover.
“Té is you, then, handsome Percinet!” said she to him ;
“it is you whom I have so much wished to see, and of whom
such surprising things are related! How delighted [am
that you desire to be my friend! I no longer fear the
wicked Grognon, since you take an interest in my fortunes.”
A few more words passed between them, and then Gracieuse
repaired to the palace, where she found a horse ready saddled
and caparisoned, which Percinet had placed in the stables,
and which it was supposed must be intended for her. She
mounted it, and, as it was a very spirited animal, the page
took the bridle and led it, turning every minute towards the
princess that he might have the pleasure of beholding her.
172 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

When the horse which had been selected for Grognon
appeared beside that of Gracieuse, it looked like a draught
jade, and the housings of the beautiful steed so blazed with
jewels that those of the other could not be compared to
them. The king, who was occupied with a thousand things,
took no notice of it; but the nobles had no eyes but for
the princess, whose beauty was their admiration, and for
her green page, who was prettier than all the other Court
pages put together.

They met Grognon on the road in an open caléche, looking
more ugly and ill-shapen than an old gipsy. The king and
the princess embraced her. They led forward her horse,
that she might mount, but seeing the one Gracieuse was
upon she exclaimed, “How! Is this creature to have a
finer horse than I? I had rather never be a queen, and
return to my precious castle, than be treated in this

manner !”

The king immediately commanded the princess
to dismount, and to beg Grognon would do her honour to
ride her horse. The princess obeyed without a murmur.
Grognon neither looked at her nor thanked her. She was
hoisted up on the beautiful horse, and looked like a bundle
of dirty clothes. Eight gentlemen held her for fear she
should fall off. Still she was not satisfied, but muttered
threats between her teeth. They inquired what was the
matter with her. ‘The matter is,” said she, “that, being
the mistress, I chose that the green page shall hold the
rein of my horse as he did when Gracieuse rode it.” The
king ordered the green page to lead the queen’s horse.
Percinet looked at the princess, and she at him, without
speaking a word. He obeyed, and all the Court set forward,
the drums and trumpets making a desperate noise. Grognon
was in raptures. Notwithstanding her flat nose and her
wry mouth she would not have changed persons with
Gracieuse.

But at the moment when they were least thinking of it,
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 173

lo, and behold, the fine horse began to bound, to rear, and
at length ran away at such a pace that no one could stop
him. Off he went with Grognon, who held on by the saddle
and by the mane, screaming with all her might. At length
she was thrown with her foot in the stirrup. She was
dragged for some distance over stones and thorns into a
heap of mud, where she was almost smothered. As every-
body had ran after her as fast as they could, they soon
came up to her: but her skin was scratched all over, her
head cut open in four or five places, and one of her arms
broken. Never was a bride in a more miserable plight.
The king seemed in despair. They picked her up in
pieces like a broken glass. Her cap was on one side, her
shoes on the other. They carried her into the city, put her
to bed, and sent for the best surgeons. Ill as she was, she
never ceased storming. ‘“ Gracieuse has played me this
trick,” said she; “I am certain she only chose that fine
but vicious horse in order to make me wish to ride it, and
that it might kill me. If the king does not give me
satisfaction for this injury I will return to my precious
chateau and never see him again as long as I live!” The
king was informed of the rage of Grognon. As his ruling
passion was avarice, the mere idea of losing the thousand
barrels of gold and diamonds made him shudder, and was
sufficient to drive him to anything. He ran to the filthy
invalid, flung himself at her feet, and protested she had
only to name the punishment Gracieuse deserved, and that
he abandoned the princess to her resentment. She professed
herself satisfied, and said she would send for her.
Accordingly the princess was told Grognon wanted her.
She turned pale and trembled, being well assured it was
not to caress her, She looked about everywhere for Per-
cinet, but he did not appear, and sadly she proceeded to
Grognon’s apartment. Scarcely had she entered it when
the doors were closed, Four women, who resembled as
174 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

many furies, threw themselves on her by order of their
mistress, and tore all her fine clothes from her back.
When her shoulders were bare, these cruel demons could
not endure their dazzling whiteness. They shut their eyes
as though they had been looking for a. long time on snow.
“Come, come, courage!” cried the pitiless Grognon from
out her bed. “Flay me that girl, and leave her not the
least morsel of that white skin she thinks so beautiful.”
In any other emergency Gracieuse would have wished for
the handsome Percinet: but being nearly naked she was
too modest to desire his presence, and so prepared herself
to suffer everything like a poor innocent lamb. The four
furies were each armed with an alarming handful of birchen
twigs, and they had besides large brooms out of which they
could pull fresh ones, so that they beat her without mercy,
and at every blow Grognon called out, “ Harder ! harder !
you spare her!” There is no one who would not suppose,
after that, but that the princess was flayed alive from head
to foot. They would be mistaken, however : for the gallant
Percinet had bewitched the eyes of these women. They
imagined they had birch-rods in their hands, but they had
only bunches of feathers of all sorts of colours, and from
the moment they began to flog her, Gracieuse observed the
fact and ceased to be afraid, saying to herself, ‘« Ah, Per-
cinet, you have most generously come to my assistance !
What should I have done without you?” ‘The flagellants so
fatigued themselves that they could no longer lift their arms,
They huddled her into her clothes and turned her out of
the room with a thousand abusive epithets. She returned
to her own chamber, pretending to be very ill, went to bed,
and ordered that no one should stay near her but her nurse,
to whom she related her adventure. She talked herself to
sleep, the nurse left her, and on awaking she saw in a
corner of the room the green page whose respect prevented
him from approaching her, She assured him she should
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 175

never forget, as long as she lived, her obligations to him.
She conjured him not to abandon her to the fury of her
enemy, but begged he would leave the room, as she had
always been taught that it was not correct to remain alone
with young gentlemen. He replied, that she should see
the respect he entertained for her ; that it was but just, as
she was his mistress, that he should obey her in all things,
even at the expense of his own happiness, and thereupon
he left her, after advising her to continue feigning
indisposition in consequence of the ill usage she had
received.

Grognon was so gratified to learn that Gracieuse was in
such a condition, that she got well in half the time she
would otherwise have done, and the marriage was celebrated
with great magnificence. But as the king was aware that
Grognon preferred, above everything, to be extolled for her
beauty, he had her portrait painted, and commanded a
tournament in which six of the best knights in his court
should maintain against all comers that Queen Grognon
was the loveliest princess in the world.

A great many foreign knights appeared in the lists to
maintain the contrary. The baboon herself was present at
all the encounters, seated in a grand balcony hung with
cloth of gold, and had the pleasure of seeing the skill of
her champions successful in her bad cause. Gracieuse,
placed behind her, attracted every eye, and Grognon, as
silly as she was vain, imagined that no one could look at
anybody but her.

There was scarcely any one left to dispute the beauty of
Grognon, when a young knight presented himself bearing
a portrait in a diamond box. He declared that he would
maintain Grognon was the ugliest of all old women, and
that she whose portrait was in the box was the fairest of
all young maidens. So saying, he charged the six knights
and unhorsed every one of them. Six others presented
176 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

themselves, and so on to the number of four-and-twenty,
all of whom he overthrew. Then opening his box, he told
them that, by way of consolation for their defeat, he would
show them the beautiful portrait. Every one instantly
recognized it to be that of the Princess Gracieuse.

The victorious knight made her a profound obeisance,
and retired without making himself known, but she had
not the least doubt it was Percinet. Grognon was nearly
suffocated with passion ; her throat swelled to such a degree
that she could not utter a word. She made signs that it
was Gracieuse she was enraged at, and as soon as she could
speak she began to rave like a mad woman. “ How!” she
exclaimed. ‘ Dare to dispute with me the palm of beauty ?
To bring such disgrace upon my knights! No, I cannot
endure it, I must have vengeance or death!” Madam,”
said the princess, “I protest that I had not the least hand
in anything that has happened. I am ready to attest with
my blood, if it be your pleasure, that you are the handsom-
est person in the world, and that I am a monster of
ugliness.” “ Ah, you can joke, can you, my little darling ? fe
replied Grognon, “but I will have my turn before long.”
The king was informed of the rage of his wife, and that the
princess was dying with terror, and implored him to have
pity on her, as, should he leave her to the mercy of the
queen, she would do her a thousand mischiefs. He was
perfectly unmoved by the appeal, and simply answered, “I
have given her to her step-mother. She may do as she
pleases with her.”

The wicked Grognon waited impatiently for night to
arrive. As soon as it was dark she ordered tke horses to
be put to her travelling carriage. Gracieuse was forced
into it, and under a strong escort she was conveyed to a
large forest a hundred leagues distant, through which no-
body dared pass, as it was full of lions, bears, tigers, and
wolves. When they had reached the middle of this terrible
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 177

wood they made the princess alight, and left her there
regardless of her piteous supplications. «TI do not ask you
to spare my life,” she cried, “I only request immediate
death. Kill me, and spare me all the tortures I must suffer
here!” They were deaf to her entreaties. They did not
even deign to answer her, and, galloping off, left the lovely
and unfortunate maiden alone in the forest. She hurried
on for some time without knowing whither she was going,
how running against some tree, now falling, now entangled
in the bushes, till at length, overwhelmed with anguish, she
threw herself on the ground unable to rise again. “ Per-
cinet!” she cried, twice or thrice, “Percinet! Where are
you? Is it possible you can have abandoned me?” As
she ‘uttered the last words, she suddenly beheld the most
surprising thing in the world. It was an illumination so
magnificent that there was not a tree in the forest on which
there were not several chandeliers filled with wax lights,
and at the far end of an avenue she perceived a palace built
entirely of crystal, which blazed like the sun. She began
to imagine Percinet had some hand in this new enchantment,
and felt her joy a little mingled with fear. “I am alone,”
she said, “the prince is young, amiable, in love, and I owe
him my life! Ah! It is too much!—Let me fly from
him !—Better for me to die than love him!” So saying,
she managed to rise from the ground, notwithstanding her
weariness and weakness, and without casting another look
towards the splendid palace, she hurried off in an opposite
direction, so distressed and so bewildered by the various
feelings which agitated her, that she did not know what
she was doing.

At that moment she heard a noise behind her, Fear
seized her. She thought it was some wild beast who was
about to devour her, She looked back, trembling, and
beheld Prince Percinet as handsome as they paint the God
ot Love. “You fly me, my princess!” said he. “You

N
178 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

fear me when I adore you! Is it possible you can know so
little of my respect as to suppose me capable of failing in
it to you? Come! come, without fear, into the fairy palace.
T will not enter it if you forbid me. You will find there
the queen my mother, and my sisters, who already love you
tenderly from my account of you.” Gracieuse, charmed by
the humble and engaging manner in which her young lover
addressed her, could not refuse to enter with him a little
sledge, painted and gilt, and drawn by two stags at a
prodigiously swift pace, so that in a very short time he
conducted her to a thousand points in the forest, each of
which appeared to her admirable. It was throughout as
light as day. There were shepherds and shepherdesses
gallantly dressed who danced to the sound of flutes and
bag-pipes. In other spots, by the side of fountains, she
saw village swains and maidens feasting and singing gaily.
“T thought this forest was uninhabited,” said she to the
prince ; “but it seems full of happy people.” “ From the
moment you set foot in it,” replied Percinet, “this gloomy
solitude became the abode of pleasure and mirth. The
loves accompany you and flowers grow beneath your feet.”
Gracieuse feared to enter into such a conversation: she
therefore requested him to conduct her to his mother, the
queen. He immediately ordered the stags to proceed to
the fairy palace. As she approached it she heard most
exquisite music, and the queen with two of her daughters
met her, embraced her, and led her into a large saloon, the
walls of which were of rock-crystal. She observed, with
great astonishment, that all her own history to that very
day was engraved upon the walls, even the promenade she
had just made with the prince in the sledge, and the exe-
cution of the work was so fine that the master-pieces of
Phidias and all that Greece ever could boast were not to be
compared to it. “You have very diligent artists,” said
Gracieuse to Percinet ; “ every action, every gesture of mine
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 179
is instantly sculptured.” “Because I would not lose the
recollection of the slightest circumstance relating to you,
my princess,” replied he. . “ Alas, in no place am I happy
or contented!” She made him no answer; but thanked
the queen for the manner in which she had received her.
A grand banquet was served up, to which Gracieuse did
justice, for she was delighted to have found Percinet in lieu
of the bears and lions she had dreaded to meet in the forest.
Although she was very tired, the prince persuaded her to
pass into a saloon dazzling with gold and painting, in which
an opera was performed before her. The subject was the
Loves of Cupid and Psyche, and it was interspersed with
dances and allusive songs. A young shepherd came forward,
and sang the following words :

Gracieuse, beloved thou art,

And by such a loving heart,

Love’s own god, were he to woo thee,

Could not give a fonder to thee !

Hast thou one thyself more hard,

Than rugged bear or spotted pard ?

None so fierce the forest rove,

But obey the power of love ;

All things to his sceptre bow,

Cold and cruel only thou !
Gracieuse blushed at being so directly addressed by name
before the queen and the princesses. She told Percinet that
it was painful to her to have such a subject publicly alluded
to. “It recalls to me a maxim,” she continued, “ which I
perfectly approve.

-Be sparing of thy confidence, and know
That silence can a charm on love bestow ;
The world ’s a wayward judge, and oftentimes
The purest pleasures will denounce as crimes.”
The prince requested her pardon for having done anything

that was displeasing to her, and the opera ended: the two
princesses, by order of the queen, conducted Gracieuse to
180 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

her apartments. Never was anything so magnificent as
the furniture, or so elegant as the bed and bed-chamber
appropriated to her. She was waited on by four-and-twenty
maidens attired as nymphs, the eldest was but eighteen,
and each a miracle of beauty. As soon as she was in bed
a strain of exquisite music wooed her to sleep ; but wonder
prevented her closing her eyes. “ All I have seen,” said
she to herself, “is enchantment! How greatly is so
amiable and gifted a prince to be feared! I cannot fly
these scenes too soon!”—and yet the idea of leaving them
caused her considerable pain. To quit so magnificent a
palace to place herself in the power of the barbarous
Grognon !—The sacrifice was great—one might at least
hesitate : on the other hand, she found Percinet so engaging
she feared to remain in a palace of which he was the master.
As soon as she rose in the morning they brought her
dresses of every colour, sets of jewellery of every fashion,
laces, ribbons, gloves, silk stockings, all in the most
marvellous taste. Nothing was wanting! Her toilet was
of chased gold; she had never been so perfectly dressed,
and had never looked so beautiful. Percinet entered the
room in a dress of green and gold (green was his colour
because Gracieuse was fond of it). All those we have heard
boasted of as the best-formed and most amiable of men
would have lost by comparison with this young prince.
Gracieuse told him she had not been able to sleep; that
the recollection of her misfortunes tormented her, and that
she could not help dreading the consequences. “ What can
alarm you, madam?” said he; “you are sovereign here—
you are here adored—would you abandon me for your cruel

enemy?” “If I were my own mistress,”

she replied, “ I
would accept your proposal; but I am accountable to the
king, my father, for my actions, and it is better to suffer
than fail in my duty.” Percinet said everything in the
world he could think of to persuade her to marry him; but
GRACTEUSE AND PERCINET 181

she would not consent, and it was almost in spite of herself
that she was induced to remain one week, during which he
invented a thousand new pleasures for her entertainment.
She often said to the prince, “I should much like to know
what is passing in Grognon’s court, and how she has glossed
over her conduct to me?” Percinet told her he would send
his squire to ascertain, who was an intelligent person. She
replied that she was convinced he had no need of any one
to inform him of what was going on, and that therefore he
could tell her immediately if he chose. “Come then with
me,” said he, “into the great tower, and you shall see for
yourself.” Thereupon he- led her to the top of an exceed-
ingly high tower which was all of rock-crystal, like the rest
of the chateau. He told her to place her foot on his, and
her little finger in his mouth, and then to look in the
direction of the city. She immediately perceived that the
wicked Grognon was with the king, and that she was saying
to him, “That wretched princess has hanged herself in the
cellar ; I have just seen her, she is a most horrible sight—
she must be buried immediately, and you will soon get over
so trifling a loss.” The king began to weep for the death
of his daughter. Grognon turned her back upon him, re-
tired to her apartments, caused a log of wood to be dressed
up in a cap, and well wrapped in grave-clothes, put into a
coffin, and then by order of the king there was a grand
funeral, which was attended by everybody, weeping and
cursing the cruel step-mother, whom they accused of having
caused the death of the princess. All the people went into
leep mourning, and she heard the lamentations for her loss,
and that they whispered to one another, ‘ What a pity that
this lovely young princess should perish through the eruel-
ties of such a wicked creature !—She ought to be cut to
pieces and made into a pie!” The king could neither eat
nor drink, and cried ready to break his heart !

Gracieuse, seeing her father so afflicted, exclaimed, “ Ah,
182 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

Percinet, I cannot allow my father to believe any longer
that Iam dead. If you love me, take me back to him.”
All he could urge was in vain; he was compelled to obey,
though with great reluctance. ‘My princess,” said he,
“you will regret more than once leaving this fairy palace ;
for, as to myself, I dare not think you will regret me.
You are more unmerciful to me than Grognon is to you.”
It was of no use talking; she would go. She took leave
of the prince’s mother and sisters, entered the sledge with
him, and the stags started off. As she left the palace she
heard a great noise. She looked back; it was the entire
building which had fallen and lay broken into a thousand
fragments. ‘ What do I see?” she cried; ‘the palace
destroyed “My palace,’ replied Percinet, ‘shall be
amongst the dead. You will never re-enter it till after you

1?

are buried.” ‘You are angry,” said Gracieuse, endeavour-
ing to appease him. “But am I not, in fact, more to be
pitied than you?”

On arriving at the city, Percinet caused the princess,
himself, and the sledge to be invisible. Gracieuse ascended
to the king’s apartment and flung herself at his feet.
When he saw her, he was frightened and would have run
away, taking her for a ghost. She stopped him, and assured
him she was not dead ; that Grognon had caused her to be
carried off into the wilderness ; that she had climbed up a
tree, where she had lived upon wild fruits ; that they had
buried a log of wood in her place, and ended, by begging
him, for mercy’s sake, to send her to one of his castles,
where she might no longer be exposed to the fury of her
step-mother.

The king, scarcely able to credit her story, had the log
of wood taken wp, and was astounded at the malice of
Grognon, Any other monarch would have ordered Grognon
to be buried alive in its place; but he was a poor weak
man, who hadn’t courage enough to be really in a passion.
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 183

He caressed his daughter a good deal, and made her sup
with him. When Grognon’s creatures ran and told her of
the return of the princess, and that she was supping with
the king, she began to rave like a mad woman, and rushing
to him, told him there must be no hesitation about it; he
must. either abandon that cheat to her, or see her, on the
instant, take her departure never to return as long as she
lived, That it was mere folly to believe that the girl was
the Princess Gracieuse. It was true she resembled her
slightly, but that Gracieuse had hanged herself; that she
had seen her with her own eyes, and that if any credence
was given to the story of that impostor, it would be an
unpardonable want of respect to, and confidence in her.
The king without another word gave up to her the unfor-
tunate princess, believing, or feigning to believe, that she
was not his daughter.

Grognon, transported with joy, dragged her, with the
help of her women, into a dungeon, where she had her
stripped. They took away her costly garments and threw
over her a rag of coarse cloth, putting wooden shoes on her
feet and a hood of drugget on her head. They barely gave
her straw enough to lie upon, and a little black bread to
eat.

In this. distress, she began to weep bitterly, and to regret
the fairy palace; but she dared not call on Percinet for
succour, feeling that she had treated him too unkindly, and
not being able to believe he loved her enough to come again
to her aid. In the mean while, the wicked Grognon had
sent for a fairy who was little less malicious than herself.
“T have here in my power,’ she said, “a little hussy
who has offended me, I want to punish her, by giving her
such difficult tasks to execute that she will not be able to
perform them, and so that I may break her bones without
giving her a right to complain. Help me to find a new
torment for her every day.” The fairy told her she would
184 EVERY GIRIS STORIES

think of it, and that she should see her again the next
morning. She kept her word. She brought a skein of
thread as big as four grown-up people, so finely spun that
it would break if you breathed on it, and so tangled that
it was in a bundle without beginning or end. Grognon,
delighted, sent for her beautiful prisoner, and said to her—
“There, my good little gossip, set your great powers at work
to wind off this skein of thread ; and rest assured that if
you break the least bit of it, you are lost, for I will flay
you alive, myself! Begin whenever you please; but it
must be wound off before sunset.” With that she shut
her up in a room under three locks.

The princess was no sooner left alone than, examining
the enormous skein and turning it over and over, breaking
a thousand threads in trying to find one to begin with, she
became so confused that she ceased attempting to unravel
it; and, flinging it into the middle of the room, “ Go,”
she cried, “fatal thread, thou wilt be the cause of my death !
Ah, Percinet ! Percinet! if my cruelty has not completely
offended you, I implore you to hasten—not to save me, but
only to receive my last farewell.” Thereupon she began to
weep so bitterly, that even one who was not a tender lover
must have been touched by it. Percinet opened the door
as easily as if he had had the key in his pocket. “Tam
here, my princess,” said he to her, “always ready to serve
you. Lam not capable of deserting you, notwithstanding
the poor return you make to my affection.” He struck the
skein three times with his wand; the broken threads were
immediately rejoined, and two more taps unravelled it with
most astonishing perfection. He inquired if there was any
other service he could render her, and whether she would
never call on him but when she was in trouble. ‘Do not
reproach me, handsome Percinet,” said she; “I am already
sufficiently miserable.” “But, my princess, it is in your
own power to liberate yourself from the tyranny of which
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 185

you are the victim. Come with me. Complete our mutual
happiness. What do you fear?” “That you do not love
me well enough,” replied she. “I would have time to be
convinced of your affection.” Percinet, exasperated by her
suspicions, bowed and disappeared.

The sun was just about to set; Grognon awaited the
moment with the greatest impatience. At length she
anticipated it, and came with her four furies, who accom-
panied her everywhere. She put the three keys into the
three locks, and said as she opened the door, “T’ll wager,
now, that this idle beauty hasn’t wagged one of her ten
fingers. She would much rather have slept to improve her
complexion.” As soon as she entered, Gracieuse presented
her with the ball of thread quite perfect. She had nota
word to say, except that Gracieuse had soiled it—that she
was a dirty creature ; and for that gave her two such slaps
on the face, that the roses and lilies of her cheeks turned
blue and yellow. ‘The hapless Gracieuse bore patiently an
insult she was not in a position to resent. They took her
back to her dungeon, and locked her up carefully. Grognon,
vexed that she had not succeeded with the skein of thread,
sent for the fairy, and loaded her with reproaches. “ Find
out something,” she said, ‘so difficult that she cannot
possibly accomplish it.” The fairy departed, and the next
day returned with a great barrel full of feathers. There
were some of all sorts of birds—nightingales, canaries,
greenfinches, goldfinches, linnets, redwings, parrots, owls,
sparrows, doves, ostriches, bustards, peacocks, larks, part-
ridges ;—I should never have finished if I attempted to
name them all, These feathers were so mixed together,
that the birds themselves could not have recognized their
own. ‘Here,” said the fairy to Grognon, “is what will
try the skill and patience of your prisoner. Order her to
pick out these feathers, and put the peacock’s, the nightin-
gale’s, and every other sort, each by themselves in separate
186 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

heaps. It would be a task for a fairy.” Grognon was
ready to die with joy, picturing to herself the perplexity of
the wretched princess. She sent for her, threatened her as
before, and shut her up with the barrel in the chamber
under three locks, ordering her to finish her work by sunset.

Gracieuse took out some of the feathers; but finding it
impossible to distinguish the different kinds, threw them
back again into the barrel ;—then took them out again,
and made several attempts to sort them, but perceiving
the task was impossible, “Let me die,” she cried, despair-
ingly. “It is my death they seek, and death will end my
misfortunes. I will not again call Percinet to my assistance.

23» Sam

Tf he loved me he would have been already here.’
here, my princess,” exclaimed Percinet, rising out of the
barrel in which he had concealed himself. “I am here to
extricate you from the difficulty you arein. Can you doubt,
after so many proofs of my affection, that I love you more
than my life?’’—Immediately he gave the barrel three taps
with his wand, and the feathers came out by millions and
sorted themselves into little heaps all round the room.
« What do I not owe you, my lord?” said Gracieuse. ‘“ But
for you I must have perished. Rest assured of my entire

!” The prince tried everything to persuade her

gratitude
to make a firm resolution in his favour. She still asked
for time, and though with considerable violence to his own
feelings, he granted her request.

Grognon arrived, and was so thunderstruck by what she
saw, that she was at her wit’s end how further to torment
Gracieuse. - She did not omit to beat her, however, saying
that the feathers were ill arranged. She sent for the fairy,
and flew into a violent passion with her. The fairy knew
not how to answer her; she was perfectly confounded. At
length she told Grognon that she would employ all her skill
in making a box which should bring her prisoner into great
trouble if she ventured to open it; and a few days after-
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 187

wards she brought a box of a tolerable size. ‘“ Here,” said
she to Grognon, “ order your slave to carry this somewhere.
Forbid her particularly to open it. She will not be able
to resist it, and you will be satisfied.” Grognon followed
her instructions implicitly. “Carry the box,” said she to
Gracieuse, “to my fine chateau, and place it on the table
in my closet: but I forbid you, under pain of death, to
look at what it contains.” Gracieuse set off with her
wooden shoes, her cloth dress, and her woollen hood. All
who met her exclaimed, “That must be a goddess in dis-
guise!” for nothing could conceal her marvellous beauty.
She had not walked far before she felt tired. In passing
through a little wood, on the skirt of a pleasant meadow,
she sat down to take breath. She placed the box on her
knees, and suddenly felt an inclination to open it. ‘ What
can happen to me?” said she; “I won’t take anything out
of it, but only see what there is in it.” She thought no
more of the consequences, but opened the box, and immedi-
ately out came a quantity of little men and women, fiddlers,
musical instruments, little tables, little cooks, little dishes,
—in fact, the giant of the party was not bigger than one’s
finger. They skipped about the meadow, divided themselves
into several groups, and began the prettiest ball that ever
was seen. Some danced, others cooked, others feasted, the
little fiddlers played admirably. Gracieuse, at first, was
somewhat amused by so extraordinary a sight; but after
she had rested a little, and wanted to get them back into
the box, not one of them would obey her. The little
gentlemen and ladies ran away. The fiddlers followed their
example. The cooks, with their stewpans on their heads
and their spits on their shoulders, seampered into the wood
when she entered the meadow, and into the meadow again
when she entered the wood. ‘“O thoughtless curiosity !”
said Gracieuse, weeping, “thou wilt be too favourable to
my enemy. The only misfortune LT could have avoided has
188 + EVERY GIRLS STORIES

been brought on me by my own folly. Oh, I cannot
sufficiently blame myself! Percinet!” she cried, ‘“ Per-
cinet! If it be possible you can still love such an imprudent
princess, come and help me in this, the most unfortunate
occurrence in my life!” Percinet did not wait to be called
thrice. She saw him appear instantly in his splendid green
dress. “If it were not for the wicked Grognon,” said he,
“ beautiful princess, you would never think of me.” “Oh,
think better of my sentiments,” she replied ; “I am not so
insensible to merit, nor so ungrateful for benefits conferred
on me. It is true I try your constancy; but it is to
reward it when I am convinced.” Percinet, more happy
than he had ever been before, tapped the box thrice with
his wand, and immediately the little men and women,
fiddlers, cooks, and roast-meat, were all packed into it as
neatly as if they had never been out of it. Percinet had
left his chariot in the wood. He begged the princess to
make use of it to go to the rich chateau. She had much
need of the carriage in the state she was in, so making her
invisible, he drove her himself and enjoyed the pleasure of
her company,—a pleasure which my chronicle asserts she
was not indifferent to at the bottom of her heart; but she
carefully concealed her sentiments.

She arrived at the rich chateau, and when she demanded
in the name of Grognon to be shown into the queen’s closet,
the governor burst into a fit of laughter. ‘ What,” said he,
“do you imagine that you are to leave your sheep to be
admitted into so beautiful a place? Be off with you wher-
ever you like; never did wooden shoes tread those floors.”
Gracieuse begged him to write a line stating his refusal.
He did so, and quitting the rich chateau she found the
amiable Percinet awaiting her, who drove her back to the
palace. It would be difficult to write down all the tender
and respectful things he said to her on the road in the hope
of persuading her to put an end to his unhappiness. She
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 189

promised him that if Grognon played her another wicked
trick she would consent.

When her vile step-mother saw her return she flew at
the fairy, whom she had detained, and scratched, and would
have strangled her, if a fairy could have been strangled.
Gracieuse presented her with the governor’s letter and the
box. She threw both into the fire, without deigning to
open either, and if she was to be believed herself, she would
have willingly flung the princess into it also; but she did
not long postpone her punishment. She had a great hole
dug in the garden as deep as a well; over it they placed a
large stone. She then went to walk in the garden, and said
to Gracieuse and those who accompanied her, “Here is a
stone under which I am informed there is a treasure, come,
let us lift it quickly.” Each lent a helping hand ; Gracieuse
amongst the rest. This was exactly what Grognon wanted.
As soon as the princess was on the brink of the pit, Gro-
gnon pushed her violently into it, and the others let the
stone fall again on the top of it. This time the case was
indeed a hopeless one. How was Percinet to find her in the
bowels of the earth? She perfectly comprehended the diffi-
culty of her position, and repented having so long delayed
marrying him, “How terrible is my fate!” she cried ;
“T am buried alive!—the most dreadful of all deaths!
You are revenged for my hesitation, Percinet ; but I feared
you were of the same inconstant nature as other men, who
change as soon as they are sure they are beloved. I wished
to be convinced of your constancy ; my prudent suspicions
are the cause of my present condition. If I could still
hope you would regret my loss, my fate would be less
painful.” She was thus giving vent to her anguish when
she saw a little door open, which had escaped her attention
in the darkness, and through it perceived the light of day,
and gardens filled with flowers, fruits, fountains, grottos,
190 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

statues, bowers, and summer-houses. She did not hesitate
to enter it. She advanced up a grand avenue, wondering
what would be the end of this adventure. Almost at the
same moment she perceived the fairy palace. She had not
much difticulty in recognizing it, independently of the facts
that one varely finds a building entirely of rock crystal,
and that she perceived all her recent adventures were en-
graved in it. Percinet appeared with the queen his mother,
and his sisters. “Refuse no longer, lovely princess,” said
the queen to Gracieuse ; “it is time to make my son happy,
and to relieve you from the deplorable life you lead under
the tyranny of Grognon.” The grateful princess fell on
her knees before her, and told her she placed her fate in
her hands, and that she would obey her in all things. That
she had not forgotten the prophecy of Percinet at the time
she left the fairy palace, when he said to her that that very
palace would be amongst the dead, and that she would
never re-enter it till after she had been buried. That she
had the greatest admiration for his wisdom, and no less for
his worth, and that she accepted him for her husband.
The prince in his turn knelt at her feet; and at the same
instant the palace rang with shouts and music, and the
marriage was celebrated with the greatest magnificence.
All the fairies for a thousand leagues round appeared with
sumptuous equipages ; some came in cars drawn by swans,
others by dragons, others on clouds, others in globes of
fire. Amongst them appeared the fairy who had assisted
Grognon to torment Gracieuse. When she recognized the
princess, never was any one so surprised. She conjured
her to forget the past, and promised she would take every
means of atoning for the misery she had made her suffer.
Actually, she would not stay for the banquet; but, re-
ascending her car drawn by two terrible serpents, she flew
to the king’s palace, sought out Grognon, and wrung her
GRACIEUSE AND PERCINET 191

neck before the guards or her women could interfere to
prevent her.

Envy, thou mean but most malignant foe

Of all on earth, good, beautiful, and great ;
"T'was thy foul hand that aim’d each cruel blow
At Gracieuse, and fann’d the fiendish hate

Of hideous Grognon. What had been thy fate,
Sweet princess, if thy fond and faithful guard,
Thy Percinet, had not been ever there !

O, well did he deserve the rich reward

Of constancy,—the crown the Gods prepare
For all-enduring, pure, unseltish-Love to wear.
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER

By Manta EpcEeworrit

CHAPTER I
The Contests of Vanity are the Death of Common Sense

Lronarp LupGare was the only son and heir of a London
haberdasher, who had made some money by constant attend-
ance to his shop. ‘Out of debt out of danger’ was the
father’s old-fashioned saying. The son’s more liberal
maxim was, “Spend to-day and spare to-morrow.”
Whilst he was under his father’s eye it was not in his
power to live up to his principles, and he longed for the
time when he should be relieved from his post behind the
counter, a situation which he deemed highly unworthy of a
youth of his parts and spirit. To imprison his elegant
person behind a counter in Cranbourne-alley was, to be sure,
in a cruel father’s power, but this tyranny could not extend
to his mind; and whilst he was weighing minnikin pins,
or measuring out penny ribbon, his soul, leaving all these
meaner things, was expatiating in Bond Street or Hyde
Park. Whilst his fingers mechanically adjusted the scales,
or carelessly slipped the yard, his imagination was gallop-
ing a fine bay with Tom Lewis, or driving Miss Belle
Perkins in a gig.

Now, Tom Lewis was a dashing young citizen, whom old
192
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 193

Ludgate could not endure; and Miss Belle Perkins, a
would-be fine lady, whom he advised his son never to think
of for a wife. But the happy moment at length arrived
when our hero could safely show how much he despised
both the advice and the character of his father; when he
could quit his nook behind the counter, throw aside the
yard, assume the whip, and affect the fine gentleman ; in
short, the happy moment came when his father died.
Leonard now shone forth in all the glory which the
united powers of tailor, hatter, and hosier could spread
around his person. Miss Belle Perkins, who had hitherto
looked down upon our hero as a reptile of Cranbourne-alley,
beheld his metamorphosis with surprise and admiration.
And she, who had formerly been heard to say ‘she would
not touch him with a pair of tongs,”
gave him her envied hand at a ball at Bagnigge Wells.
Report further adds, that at tea Miss Belle whispered, loud
enough to be heard, that since his queer father’s death,

now unreluctantly

Leonard Ludgate had turned out quite a genteeler sort of
person than could have been expected.

“ Upon this hint he spake.” His fair one, after assum-
ing all proper and becoming airs upon the occasion,
suffered herself to be prevailed upon to call, with her
mother and a friend, at Mr. Ludgate’s house in Cranbourne-
alley, to see whether it could be possibly inhabited by a lady
of her taste and consequence.

As Leonard handed her out of her hackney-coach, she
exclaimed, “Bless us, and be we to go through the shop,
before we can get to the more creditabler apartments?”

“T am going to cut a passage off the shop, which [ve
long had in contemplation,” replied our hero, “ only I can’t
get light into it cleverly.”

“Oh! a lamp in the style of a chandaleer will .do vastly
well by night; which is the time one wants one’s house to

put the best foot foremost, for company ; and by day we
0
194 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

can make a shift, somehow or other, I daresay. Anything’s
better than ¢rapesing through a shop ; which is a thing I’ve
never been used to, and cannot reconcile myself to by any
means.”

Leonard immediately acceded to this scheme of the
dark passage by day, and the chandaleer by night ; and he
hurried his fair one through the odious shop to the more
ereditabler apartments. She was handed above, about, and
underneath. She found every particle of the house wanted
modernizing immensely, and was altogether smaller than
she could ever have conceived beforehand. Our hero,
ambitious at once to show his gallantry, spirit, and taste,
incessantly protested he would adopt every improvement
Miss Belle Perkins could suggest ; and he declared that
the identical same ideas had occurred to him a hundred and a
hundred times, during his poor father’s life-time: but he could
never make the old gentleman enter into anything of the
sort, his notions of life being utterly limited, to say no
worse. ‘He had one old saw, for ever grating in my ears,
as an answer to everything that bore the stamp of gen-
tility, or carried with it an air of spirit. Hey, Allen!”
continued our hero, looking over his shoulder at a young
man who was casting up accounts, “Hey, Allen; you
remember the old saw ?”

«Yes, sir,” replied the young man, “if you mean, ‘ Out
of debt out of danger :’ I hope I shall never forget it.”

“T hope so too; as you have your fortune to make, it is
very proper for you : but for one that has a fortune ready
made to spend, I am free to confess I think my principle
worth a million of it: and my maxim is—‘ Spend to-day
and spare to-morrow.’ Hey, ladies?” concluded Leonard,
appealing with an air secure of approbation to his fair
mistress and her young companion.

“Why, that suits my notions, I must own candidly,”
said Belle, ‘but here’s one beside me, or behind me—where
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 195

are you, Lucy?” pursued the young lady, addressing her-
self to her humble companion : “here’s one, who is more of
your shopman’s way of thinking than yours, I faney—‘ Out
of debt out of danger’ is just a sober saying to your mind,
ain’t it, Lucy ?”’

Lucy did not deny the charge. “Well, child,” said Miss
Perkins, “it’s very proper for you that have no fortune of
your own to spend.”

“It is indeed,” said Lucy, with modest firmness ; “ for
as I have none of my own, if it were my maxim to spend
to-day and spare to-morrow, I should be obliged to spend
other people’s money, which I never will do as long as I
can maintain myself independently.”

“How proud we are!” cried Miss Perkins, sarcastically.
Leonard assented to the sarcasm by his looks; but Allen
declared he liked proper pride, and seemed to think that
Lucy’s was of this species.

An argument might have ensued, if a collation, as Mr.
Ludgate called it, had not appeared at this critical moment.
Of what it consisted, and how genteelly and gallantly our
hero did the honours of his collation, we forbear to relate .
but one material circumstance we must not omit, as on this
perhaps, more than even on his gentility and gallantry,
depended the fortune of the day. In rummaging over a
desk to find a corkscrew, young Ludgate took occasion to
open and shut a pocket-book, from which fell a shower of
bank-notes. What effect they produced upon this fair one
and on her mother can be best judged of by the event.
Miss Belle Perkins, after this domiciliary visit, consented to
go with our hero on Sunday to Kensington-gardens, Monday
to Sadler’s Wells, Tuesday on the water, Wednesday to the
play, Thursday the Lord knows to what ball, Friday to
‘Vauxhall, and on Saturday to the altar !

Some people thought the young lady and gentleman
rather precipitate; but these were persons who, as the
196 EVERY GIRS STORIES

bride justly observed, did not understand anything in
nature of «a love-match. Those who have more liberal
notions, and a more extensive knowledge of the human
heart, can readily comprehend how a lady may think a man
so odious at one minute that she could not touch him with
a pair of tongs, and so charming the next that she would
die a thousand deaths for him, and him alone. Imme-
diately after the ceremony was performed, Mr. and Mrs.
Ludgate went down in the hoy to Margate, to spend their
honeymoon in style. Their honeymoon, alas ! could not be
prolonged beyond the usual bounds. Even the joys of Margate
could not be eternal, andthe day came too soon whenour happy
pair were obliged to think of returning home. Home! With
what different sensations different people pronounce, and
hear that word pronounced! Mrs. Leonard Ludgate’s
home in Cranbourne-alley appeared to her, as she scrupled
not to declare, an intolerable low place after Margate.
The stipulated alterations, her husband observed, had been
made in the house, but none of them had been executed to
her satisfaction. The expedient of the dark passage was
not found to succeed: a thorough wind, from the front and
back doors, ran along it, when either or both were left
open toadmit light ; and this wicked wind, not content with
running along the passage, forced its way up and down-
stairs, made the kitchen chimney smoke, and rendered
even the more ereditabler apartments scarcely habitable.
Chimney doctors were in vain consulted; the favourite
dark passage was at length abandoned ; and the lady, to
her utter discomfiture, was obliged to pass through the
shop.

To make herself amends for this mortification, she
insisted upon throwing down the partition between the
dining-room and her own bed-chamber, that she might have
one decent apartment at least fit for a rout. It was to no
purpose that her friend Lucy, who was called in to assist
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 197

in making up furniture, represented that this scheme of
throwing bed-chamber and dining-room into one would be
attended with some inconveniences—for instance, that Mr.
and Mrs. Ludgate would be obliged, in consequence of this
improvement, to sleep in half of the maid’s garret or sit up
ul night. This objection was over-ruled by Mrs. Ludgate,
whose genius, fertile in expedients, made everything easy
by the introduction of a press-bed in the dining-room, in
the shape of a sofa, The newly-enlarged apartment, she
observed, would thus answer the double purposes of show
and utility; and, as soon as the supper and card-tables
should be removed, the press-bed might be let down. She
asserted that the first people in London manage in this way.
Leonard could not contradict his lady, because she had a
ready method of silencing him, by asking how he could
possibly know anything of life who had lived all his days,
except Sundays, in Cranbourne-alley? Then, if any of his
father’s old notions of economy by chance twinged his
conscience, Belle very judiciously asked how he ever came
to think of her for a wife? ‘Since you have got a genteel
wife,” said she, “it becomes you to live up to her notions,
and to treat her as she and her friends have a right to
expect. Before I married you, sir, none of the Perkinses
were in trade themselves, either directly or indirectly ; and
many’s the slights and reproaches I’ve met with from my
own relations and former acquaintances, since my marriage,
on account of the Ludgates being all tradesfolks ; to which
[ always answer—that my Leonard is going to wash his
hands of trade himself, and to make over all concern in the
haberdashery line and shop to the young man below stairs,
who is much better suited to such things.”

By such speeches as these, alternately piquing and
soothing the vanity of her Leonard, our accomplished wife
worked him to her purposes. She had a rout once a week ;
and her room was so crowded that there was scarcely a
198 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

possibility of breathing. Yet, notwithstanding all this,
she one morning declared, with a burst of tears, she was
the most miserable woman in the world, And why ?—
because her friend, Mrs. Pimlico, Miss Coxeater that was,
‘had a house in Weymouth-street ; whilst she was forced to
keep on being buried in Cranbournealley. Mr. Ludgate
was moved by his wife’s tears, and by his own ambition,
and took a house in Weymouth-street. But, before they
had been there six weeks, the fair was again found all
bathed in tears. And why? “Because,” said Belle,
“because, Mr. Ludgate, the furniture of this house is as
old as Methusalem’s; and my friend, Mrs. Pimlico, said
yesterday that it was a shame to be seen: and so, to be
sure, ib is compared with her own, which is spick and span
new. Yet why should she pretend to look down upon me,
in point of furniture or anything? Who was she, before
she was married? Little Kitty Coxeater, as we always
called her at the dancing-school ; and nobody ever thought
of comparing her, in point of gentility, with Belle Perkins !
Why, she is as ugly as sin! though she is my friend, I
must acknowledge thé: and if she had all the clothes in the
world, she would never know how to put any of them on;
that’s one comfort. And, as everybody says, to be sure she
never would have got a husband but for her money. And,
after all, what sort of a husband has she got? A perfumer,
indeed !—a man with a face like one of his own wash-
balls, all manner of colours. I declare, I would rather
have gone without to the end of my days than have
married Mr, Pimlico.”

““T cannot blame you there, my dear,” said Mr. Ludgate ;
“for to be sure My. Pimlico, much as he thinks of himself
and his country house, has as little the air of —— the air of
fashion as can be well conceived.”

Leonard Ludgate made an emphatic pause in this speech ;
and surveyed himself in a looking-glass with much com-
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 199

placency, whilst he pronounced the word fashion. He
indeed approved so much of his wife’s taste and discernment
in preferring him to Mr. Pimlico, that he could not at this
moment help inclining to follow her judgment respecting
the furniture. He acceded to her position, that the
Ludgates ought to appear at least no shabbier’ than the
Pimlicos. The conclusion was inevitable: Leonard, accord-
ing to his favourite maxim of “Spend to-day and spare to-
morrow,’ agreed that they might new-furnish the house
this year, and pay for it the next. This was immediately
done; and the same principle was extended through all
their household affairs, as far as the tradesmen concerned
would admit of its being carried into practice.

By this means, Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate were not for some
time sensible of the difficulties they were preparing for
themselves. They went on vying with the Pimlicos, and
with all their new acquaintances and new neighbours, who
were many of them much richer than themselyes; and of
this vain competition there was no end. Those who
estimate happiness, not by the real comforts or luxuries
which they enjoy, but by comparison between themselves
and their neighbours, must be subject to continual mortiti-
cation and discontent. Far from being happier than they
were formerly, Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate were much more
miserable after their removal to Weymouth-street. Was
it not better to be the first person in Cranbourne-alley than
the last in Weymouth-street? New wants and wishes
continually arose in their new situation. They must live
like other people. Everybody—that is, everybody in
Weymouth-street—did so-and-so, and therefore they must
do the same. ‘They must go to such a place, or they must
have such a thing, not because it was in itself necessary or
desirable, but because everybody—that is, everybody of
their acquaintance—did or had the same. Even to be
upon a footing with their new neighbours was a matter of
200 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

some difficulty, and then, merely to be upon an equality,
merely to be admitted and suffered at parties, is awkward
and humiliating. Noble ambition prompted them continu-
ally to aim at distinction. The desire to attain Il poco pix
(the little more) stimulates to excellence, or betrays to ruin,
according 40 the objects of owr ambition. No artist ever
took more pains to surpass Raphael or Correggio than was
taken by Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate to outshine Mr. and Mrs.
Pimlico. And still what they had done seemed nothing ;
what they were to do occupied all their thoughts. No
timid economical fears could stop or even startle them in
the road to ruin. Faithful to his maxim, our hero denied
himself nothing. If, for a moment, the idea that anything
was too expensive suggested itself, his wife banished care
by observing, “We need not pay for it now. What signi-
fies it, since we need not think of paying for it till next
year?” She had abundance of arguments of similar
solidity, adapted to all occasions. Sometimes the thing in
question was such a trifle it could not ruin anybody, “Tis
but a guinea! ’Z%s but a few shillings!” Sometimes it
was a sort of thing that could not ruin anybody, because
«is bub for once and away!” Z's but is a most danger-
ous thing! How many guineas may be spent upon Tis
but in the course of one year in such a city as London !

CHAPTER IT
'The Hope of the Spendthrift is in Procrastination
Baroarss, excellent bargains! were also with our heroine
admirable pleas for expense. “We positively must buy
this, my dear, for it would be a sin to let such a bargain
slip through one’s fingers. Mrs. Pimlico paid twice as
OUT OF DEBL OUT OF DANGER 201

much for what is not half as good. ’Twould be quite a
shame to one’s good sense to miss such a bargain !”

Mrs. Ludgate was one of those ladies who think it is
more reasonable to buy a thing because it is a bargain,
than because they want it ; she further argued, “ If we don’t
want it, we may want it;” and this was a satisfactory plea.

Under the head bargains we must not forget cheap days.
Messrs. Run and Raftle advertised a sale of old shop goods,
with the catching words, cheap days / Everybody crowded
to throw away their money on cheap days, and, amongst the
rest, Mrs, Ludgate.

One circumstance was rather disagreeable in these cheap
days: ready money was required, and this did not suit
those who lived by the favourite maxim of the family.
Yet there was a reason that counterbalanced their objection
in Mrs. Ludgate’s mind: “Mrs. Pimlico was going to
Messrs. Run and Raftle’s, and what would she think if I
wasn’t to be there? She would think, to be sure, that we
were as poor as Job.” So, to demonstrate that she had
ready money to throw away, Mrs. Ludgate must go to the
cheap days.

“ Belle,” said her husband, “ready money’s a serious
thing.”

“Yes, Leonard ; but when nothing else will be taken,
you know, one can’t do without it.”

“ But, if one has not it, I tell you, one must do without,”
said Leonard, peevishly.

“Lord, Mr. Ludgate, if you have not it about you, can’t
you send to Cranbourne-alley, to Mr. Allen, for some for
me? "Lis but a few guineas I want, and *twould be a
shame to miss such bargains as are to be had for nothing
at Run and Raftle’s. And these cheap days are extraor-
dinary things. It can’t ruin anybody to spend a guinea or
two once and away, like other people.”

At the conclusion of her eloquent speech, Mrs. Ludgate
202 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

rang the bell, and without waiting for any assent from her
husband but silence, bade the foot-boy run to the shop, and
desire Allen to send her ten guineas immediately.

Mr. Ludgate looked sullen, whistled, and then posted
himself at the parlour-window, to watch for the ambassa-
dor’s return, “I wonder,” continued Mrs. Ludgate, “1
wonder, Leonard, that you let Allen leave you so bare of
cash of late! It is very disagreeable to be always sending
out of the house this way for odd guineas. Allen, I think,
uses you very ill; but [am sure [ would not let him cheat
me, if I was you. Pray, when you gave up the business of
the shop to him, was not you to have half the profits for
your good-will, and name, and all that?”

SEAYECS sha

“And little enough! But why don’t you look after
Allen, then, and make him pay us what he owes us?”

“T’ll see about it to-morrow, child.”

“About how much do you think is owing to us?”
pursued Mrs. Ludgate.

“ T can’t tell, ma’am.”

“TJ wish then you'd settle accounts to-morrow, that I
might have some ready money.”

The lady seemed to take it for granted that her having
ready money would be the necessary and immediate conse-
quence of settling accounts with Allen. Her husband
could have put her right in this particular, and could have
informed her that not a farthing was due to him—that, on
the contrary, he had taken up money in advance, on the
next half-year’s expected profits; but Mr. Ludgate was
ashamed to let his wife know the real state of his affairs.
Indeed, he was afraid to look them in the face himself.
* Here’s the boy coming back!” cried he, after watching
for some time in silence at the window.

Leonard went to the street door to meet him, and Belle
followed close, crying, ‘‘ Well! I hope Allen has sent me
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 208

the money?” “I don’t know,” said the breathless boy ;
“T have a letter for my master here, that was written
ready, by good luck, afore I got there.”

Leonard snatched the letter, and his wife waited to see
whether the money was enclosed.

“The rascal has sent me no money, I see, but a letter,
and an account as long as my arm.”

“No money!” cried Belle. ‘“That’s using us very
oddly and ill indeed, and I wonder you submit to such
conduct! I declare I won’t bear it! Go back, I say,
Jack ; go, run this minute, and tell Allen he must come up
himself ; for J, Irs. Ludgate, want to speak to him.”

“No, my dear, no nonsense! don’t go, Jack. What
signifies you sending to speak with Allen? What can you
do? How can you settle accounts with him? What
should women know of business? I wish women would
never meddle with things they don’t understand.”

«Women can understand well enough when they want
money,” cried the sharp lady ; “and the short and the long
of it is, Mr. Ludgate, that I will see and settle accounts
with Allen myself, and bring him to reason, if you won't,
and this minute, too.”

“Bless me! Upon my faith, Allen’s better than we
thought: here’s bank-notes within the account,” said Mr.
Ludgate.

« Ay, I thought he could not be so very impertinent as
to refuse, when J sent to him myself. But this is only one
five pound note: I sent for ten. Where is the other? i

“T want the other for myself,” said her husband.

‘The tone was so peremptory, that she dared not tempt
him further; and away she went to Messrs. Run and
Rafile’s, where she had the pleasure of buying a bargain of
things that were of no manner of use to her, and for which
she paid twice as much as they were worth. These cheap

days proved dear days to many.
204. EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Whilst Mrs. Ludgate spent the morning at Messrs. Run
and Rafile’s, her husband was with Tom Lewis, lounging
up and down Bond-street. Tom Lewis, being just one step
above him in gentility, was invited to parties where Ludgate
could not gain admittance, was bowed to by people who never
bowed to Leonard Ludgate, could tell to whom this livery
or this carriage belonged, knew who everybody was, and
could point out my lord this, and my lady that, in the park
or at the play. All these things made him a personage of
prodigious consequence in the eyes of our hero, who looked
upon him as a mirror of fashion. Tom knew how to take
advantage of this admiration, and borrowed many a guinea
from him in their morning walks. In return, he intro-
duced Mi. Ludgate to some of his friends, and to his club.

New occasions, or rather new necessities, for expense
occurred every day, in consequence of his connection with
Lewis. Whilst he aimed at being thought a young man
of spirit, he could not avoid doing as other people did. He
could not think of economy! That would be shabby! On
his fortune rested his claims to respect from his present
associates ; and therefore it was his constant aim to raise
their opinion of his riches. For some time extravagance
was not immediately checked by the want of money ;
because he put off the evil day of payment. At last, when
bills poured in upon him, and the frequent calls of trades-
men began to be troublesome, he got rid of the present
dithculty by referring to Allen. “Go to Allen; he must
settle with you: he does all my business,”

Allen sent him account after account, stating the sums
he paid by his order. Ludgate thrust the unread accounts
into his escritoire, and thought no more of the matter.
Allen called upon him, to beg he would come to some settle-
ment, as he was getting more and more, every day, into
his debt. Leonard desired him to have an account, stated
in full, and promised to look over it on Monday ; but
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 205

Monday came, and then it was put off till Tuesday ; and so
on, day after day.

The more reason he had to know that his affairs were
deranged, the more carefully he concealed all knowledge of
them from his wife. Her ignorance of the truth not only
led her daily into fresh extravagance, but was, at last, the
cause of bringing things to a premature explanation. After
spending the morning at Messrs. Run and Rafile’s, she
returned home with a hackney-coach full of bargains, As
she came into the parlour, loaded with things that she did
not want, she was surprised by the sight of an old friend,
whom she had lately treated entirely as a stranger. It
was Lucy, who had in former days been her favourite com-
panion. But Lucy had chosen to work, to support herself
independently, rather than to be a burthen to her friends ;
and Mrs. Ludgate could not take notice of a person who
had degraded herself so far as to become a workwoman at
an upholsterer’s. She had consequently never seen Lucy,
since this event took place, except when she went to Mr.
Beech, the upholsterer’s, to order her new furniture, She
then was in company with Mrs. Pimlico ; and when she
saw Lucy at work in a back parlour, with two or three
other young women, she pretended not to know her. Lucy
could scarcely believe that this was done on purpose, and
at all events she was not mortified by the insult. She was
now come to speak to Mrs. Ludgate about the upholsterer’s
bill.

“Ha! Lucey, is it you?” said Mrs. Ludgate, as soon as
she entered. “I’ve never seen you in Weymouth-street
before! ‘How comes it you never called—if it was only to
see our new house? I’m sure, I should always be very
happy to have you here—when we've nobody with us; and
T’m quite sorry as I can’t ask you to stay and take'a bit of
mutton with us to-day, because I’m engaged to dine in
Bond-street with Mrs. Pimlico’s cousin, pretty Mrs. Paget,
206 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

the bride whom you've heard talk of, no doubt. So you'll
excuse me if I run away from you to make myself a little
decent ; for it’s horrid late!”

After running off this speech, with an air and a volubility
worthy of her betters, she set before Lucy some of her
bargains, and was then retreating to make herself decent ;
but Lucy stopped her, by saying :

“My dear Mrs. Ludgate, I am sorry to detain you, but
Mr. Beech, the upholsterer, knowing I have been ac-
quainted with you, has sent me to speak to you about his
bill; he is in immediate want of money, because he is
fitting out one of his sons for the East Indies.”

“Well? but his son’s nothing to me! I sha’n’t think of
paying the bill yet, I can assure him; and you may take
it back and tell him so.”

“But,” said Lucy, “if I take back such an answer, I
am afraid Mr, Beech will send the bill to Mr. Ludgate ;
and that was what you particularly desired should not be
done.”

“Why no ; that’s what I can’t say I should particularly
wish, just at present,” said Mrs. Ludgate, lowering her
tone : “ because, to tell you a bit of a secret, Lucy, I’ve
ran up rather an unconscionable bill, this year, with my
milliner and mantua-maker ; and I would not have all them
bills come upon him all in a lump, and on a sudden, as it
were ; especially as I laid out more on the furniture than
he counts. So, my dear Lucy, I'll tell you what you must
do: you must use your influence with Beech to make him
wait a little longer. I’m sure he may wait well enough ;
and he shall be paid next month.’

Lucy declared that her influence, on the present occasion,
would be of no avail; but she had the good-nature to add—
“Tf you are sure the bill can be paid next month, I will
leave my two years’ salary in Mr. Beech’s hands till then ;
and this will perhaps satisfy him, if he can get bills from
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 207

other people paid, to make up the money for his son. He
said thirty guineas from you on BECOuR would do, for the
present ; and that sum is due to me.”

“Then, my dearest Lucy, for Heaven’s sake, do leave it
in his hands! You were a good creature to think of it:
but you always were a good creature.”

“Your mother used to be kind to me when I was a
child ; and I am sure I ought not to forget it,” said Lucy,
the tears starting into her eyes; “and you were once kind
to me; I do not forget that,” continued Lucy, wiping the
tears from her cheeks. “But do not let me detain you:
you are in a hurry to dress, to go to Mrs, Pimlico’s.”

“ No—pray—I am not in a hurry now,” said Mrs.
Ludgate, who had the grace to blush at thisinstant. ‘“ But,
if you must go, do take this hat along with you, I assure
you, it’s quite the vage; I got it this morning at Run
and Raflle’s, and Mrs. Pimlico and Mrs. Paget have got the
same.”

Lucy declined accepting the hat, notwithstanding this
strong and, as Mrs, Ludgate would have thought it, irre-
sistible recommendation.

“Now, you must have it: it will become you a thousand
times better than that you have on,” cried Mrs. Ludgate,
insisting the more the more Lucy withdrew ; ‘and besides,
you must wear it for my sake. You wont !—Then I take
it very ill of you that you areso positive ; for I assure you,
whatever you may think, I wish to be as kind to you now
as ever, Only, you know, one can’t always, when one lives
in another style, be at home as often as one wishes.”

Lucy relieved her ci-devant friend from the necessity of
making any more awkward apologies, by moving quickly
towards the door.

“Then you won’t forget,” continued Mrs. Ludgate,
following her into the passage; ‘you won't forget the ugP
you are to do for me with Beech.”
208 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

“ Certainly I shall not. I will do what I have promised ;
but I hope you will be punctual about the payment next
month,” said Lucy, “because I believe I shall be in want
of my money at that time. It is best to tell you exactly
the truth.”

“Certainly! certainly! You shall have your money
before you want it, long and long; and my only reason for
borrowing it from you at all is, that I don’t like to trouble
Mr. Ludgate till he has settled accounts with Allen, who
keeps all our money from us in a strange way ; and, in my
opinion, uses Leonard exceedingly ill and unfairly.”

« Allen!” cried Lucy, stopping short. “Oh, Belle! how
can you say so? how can you think so? But you know
nothing of him; else you could not suspect him of using
any one ill, or unfairly, much less your husband, the son of
his old friend,”

“ Bless me! how she runs on! and how she colours! I
am sure, I didn’t know I was upon such tender ground !
L did not know Allen was such a prodigious favourite !”

“JT only do him justice in saying that I am certain he
could not do an unfair or unhandsome action.”

“1 know nothing of the matter, I protest ; only this—
that short accounts they say make long friends; and I
hope I sha’n’t affront anybody by saying it would be very
convenient if he could be got to settle with Mr. Ludgate,
who, I am sure, is too much the gentleman to ask anything
from him but his own ; which, indeed, if it was not for me,
he’d be too genteel to mention. But, as I ‘said before,
short accounts make long friends ; and, as you are so much
Allen’s friend, you can hint that to him.”

“{ ghall not hint, but say it to him as plainly as
possible,” replied Lucy ; “and you may be certain that he
will come to settle accounts with Mr, Ludgate before night.”

“Lam sure I shall be mighty glad of it, and so will Mr.
Ludgate,” said Belle ; and thus they parted.
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 209

Mrs. Ludgate, with triumph, announced to her husband,
upon his return home, that she had brought affairs to a
crisis with Allen; and that he would come to settle his
accounts this evening. The surprise and consternation
which appeared in Mr. Ludgate’s countenance convinced
the lady that her interference was highly disagreeable,

CHAPTER III

The Thoughtless are astonished at the Misfortunes their own
Conduct insures

ALLEN came punctually, in the evening, to settle his
accounts. When he and Leonard were by themselves, he
could not help expressing some astonishment, mixed with
indignation, at the hints which had been thrown out by
Mrs. Ludgate.

“Why, she knows nothing of the matter,” said Lud-
gate. “DPve no notion of talking of such things to one’s
wife: it would only make her uneasy; and we shall be
able to go on, some way or other. So let us: have another
bottle of wine, and talk no more of business for this
night,”

Allen would by no means consent to put off the
settlement of accounts, after what had passed. “Short
accounts,” said he, “as Mrs. Ludgate observed, make long
friends.”

It appeared, when the statement of affairs was com-
pleted, that Allen had advanced above three hundred.
pounds for Leonard; and bills to a large amount still
remained unpaid.

Now it happened that Jack, the foot-boy, contrived to go

in and out of the room several times, whilst Mr. Ludgate
P
210 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

and Allen were talking; and he, finding it more for his
interest to serve his master’s tradesmen than his master,
sent immediate notice to all whom it might concern that
Mr. Ludgate’s affairs were in a bad way, and that now or
never must be the word with his creditors. The next
morning bills came showering in upon Leonard whilst he
was at breakfast, and amongst them came sundry bills of
Mrs. Ludgate’s. They could not possibly have come at a
more inauspicious moment. People bespeak goods with
one species of enthusiasm, and look over their bills with
another. We should rather have said, people spend with
one enthusiasm, and pay with another ; but this observation
would not apply to our present purpose, for Mr. and Mrs.
Ludgate had never yet experienced the pleasure, or the
pain, of paying their debts ; they had hitherto been faithful
to their maxim of—Spend to-day and pay to-morrow.

They agreed well in the beginning of their career of
extravagance; but the very similarity of their tastes and
habits proved ultimately the cause of the most violent
quarrels. As they both were expensive, selfish, and self-
willed, neither would, from regard to the other, forbear.
Comparisons between their different degrees of extravagance
commenced; and once begun, they never ended. It was
impossible to settle, to the satisfaction of either party,
which of them was most to blame. Recrimination and
reproaches were hourly and daily repeated ; and the lady
usually ended by bursting into tears, and the gentleman by
taking his hat and walking out of the house. !

In the mean time the bills must be paid. Mr. Ludgate
was obliged to sell the whole of his interest in the shop in
Cranbourne-alley ; and the ready-money he received from
Allen was to clear him from all difficulties. Allen came to
pay him this sum. “ Do not think me impertinent, Mr.
Ludgate,” said he, taking him kindly by the hand, “but I
cannot for the soul of me help fearing for you. What will
OUT OF DEBE OUT OF DANGER 211

you do when this money is gone? and go it must, at the
rate you live, in a very short time.”

“You are very good, sir,” replied Leonard, coldly, “ to
interest yourself so much in my concerns; but I shall live
at what rate I please. Every man is the best judge of his
own affairs.”

After this repulse, Allen could interfere no further. But
when two months had elapsed from the date of Mrs. Lud-
gate’s promised payment of the upholsterer’s bill, Lucy
resolved to call again upon Mrs. Ludgate. Lucey had now
a particular occasion for the money: she was going to be
married to Allen, and she wi



shed to put into her husband’s
hands the little fortune which she had hardly earned by
her own industry. From the time that Allen heard her
conversation, when Belle came to view the house in Cran-
bourne-alley, he had been of opinion that she would make
an excellent wife: and the circumstances which sunk Lucy
below Mrs. Ludgate’s notice, raised her in the esteem and
affection of this prudent and sensible young man. He did
not despise her—he admired her for going into a creditable
business to make herself independent, instead of living as
an humble companion with Mrs. Ludgate, of whose conduct
and character she could not approve.

When Lucy called again upon Mrs. Ludgate, to remind
her of her promise, she was received with evident confusion.
She was employed in directing Mr. Green, a builder, to
throw out a bow in her dining-room, and to add a balcony
to the windows ; for Mrs. Pimlico had a bowand a balcony,
and how could Mrs. Ludgate live without them?

“Surely, my dear Mrs. Ludgate,” said Lucy, drawing
her aside, so that the man who was measuring the windows
could not hear what was said,—“ Surely you will think of
paying Mr. Beech’s bill, as you promised, before you go
into any new expense ?”

“Hush! hush! don’t speak so loud. Leonard is in the
bo

12 EVERY GIRL'S STORIES

6
next room ; and I would not have him hear anything of
Beech’s bill just when the man is here about the balcony,
for anything in the world!”

Lucy, though she was good-natured, was not so weak as
to yield to airs and capricious extravagance ; and Mrs.
Ludgate at last, though with a bad grace, paid her the
money, which she had intended to lay out in a very
different manner. But no sooner had she paid this debt
than she considered how she could prevail upon Mr. Green
to throw out the bow, and finish the balcony, without paying
him for certain alterations he had made in the house in
Cranbourne-alley, for which he had never yet received one
farthing. It was rather a dificult business, for Mr. Green
was a sturdy man, and used to regular payments. He
resisted all persuasion, and Mrs. Ludgate was forced again
to have recourse to Lucy.

“Do, my dear girl,” said she, “lend me only twenty
guineas for this positive man ; else, you see, I cannot have
my balcony.” This did not appear to Lucy the greatest of
wll nisfortunes.

“But is it not much more disagreeable to be always in
debt, and danger, than to live ina room without a balcony ?”
said Lucy.

“Why, it is disagreeable, certainly, to be in debt, because
of being dunned continually ; but the reason I am so
anxious about the balcony is that Mrs. Pimlico has one,
and that’s the only thing in which her house is better than
mine. Look just over the way: do you see Mrs. Pimlico’s
beautiful balcony ?”

Mrs. Ludgate, who had thrust her head far out of the
window, pulling Lucy along with her, now suddenly drew
back, exclaiming, ‘Lord, if here is not that odious woman ;
I hope Jack won’t let her in.” She shut the window
hastily, ran to the top of the stairs, and called out, “Jack !
I say, Jack! don’t let nurse in for your life.”
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 213

“Not if she has the child with her, ma’am?” said Jack.

“No, no, I say!”

“Then that’s a sin and a shame,” muttered Jack, “to
shut the door upon your own child.”

Mis. Ludgate did not hear this reflection, because she
had gone back to the man, who was waiting for directions
vbout the balcony ; but Lucy heard it distinctly. ‘Ma’am,
nurse would come in, for she says she saw you at the window ;
and here she is, coming up the stairs,” cried the foot-boy.

The nurse came in with Mrs, Iudgate’s child in her
arms.

“Tndeed, madam,” said she, “the truth of the matter is,
L can’t and won't be denied my own any longer: and it is
not for my own sake I speak up so bold, but for the dear
babe that I have here in my arms, that can’t speak for
itself, but only smile in your face, and stretch out its arms
to you. I, that am only its nurse, can’t bear it; but I
have little ones of my own, and can’t see them want. I
can’t do for them all; if I’m not paid my lawful due, how
can I? And is it not fit IT should think of my own flesh
and blood first? So I must give up this one. I must !—I
must!” cried the nurse, kissing the child repeatedly, “I
must leave her to her mother.”

The poor woman laid the child down on the sofa, then
turned her back upon it, and hiding her face in her apron,
sobbed as if her heart would break. Lucy was touched
with compassion; the mother stood abashed: shame
struggled for a few instants with pride; pride got the
victory, ‘The woman’s out of her wits, I believe,” cried
Mrs, Ludgate. “Mr. Green, if you'll please to call again
to-morrow, we'll talk about the baleony. Lucy, give me
the child, and don’t you fall a-crying without knowing why
or wherefore. Nurse, I’m surprised at you! Did not T
tell you I'd send you your money next week ?”

“Oh, yes, madam; but you have said so this many a
214 EVERY GIRS STORIES

week ; and things are come to such a pass now, that my
husband says I shall not bring back the child without the
money.”

“What can I do?” said Mrs. Ludgate.

Lucy immediately took her purse out of her pocket, and
whispered, “T will lend you whatever you want to pay the
nurse, upon condition that you will give up the scheme of
the baleony.”

Mrs. Ludgate submitted to this condition ; but she was
not half so much obliged to Lucy for doing her this real
service as she would have been if her friend had assisted
her in gratifying her vanity and extravagance. Lucy saw
what passed in Mrs, Ludgate’s mind, and nothing but the
sense of the obligations she lay under to Belle’s mother
could have prevented her from breaking off all connection
with her.

But Mrs. Ludgate was now much inclined to court Luey’s
acquaintance, as her approaching marriage with Mr. Allen,
who was in good circumstances, made her appear quite a
different person. Mrs. Allen would be able, and she hoped
willing, to assist her from time to time with money. With
this view, Belle showed Lucy a degree of attention and
civility which she had disdained to bestow wpon her friend
whilst she was in an inferior situation. It was in vain,
however, that this would-be fine lady endeavoured to draw
the prudent Lucy out of her own sphere of life: though
Lucy was extremely pretty, she had no desire to be ad-
mired ; she was perfectly satisfied and happy at home, and
she and her husband lived according to old Ludgate’s
excellent maxim, “Out of debt out of danger.”

We shall not weary our readers with the history of all
the. petty difficulties into which Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate’s
foolish extravagance led them. The life of the shabby
genteel is most miserable! Servants’ wages unpaid, duns
continually besieging the door, perpetual excuses, falsehoods
out OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 215

to be invented, melancholy at home, and forced gaiety
wbroad! Who would lead such a life? Yet all this Mr,
and Mrs. Ludgate endured, for the sake of outshining Mr,
and Mrs. Pimlico.

It happened that one night, at a party, Mrs. Ludgate
caught a violent cold, and her face became inflamed and
disfigured by red spots. Having to go to a ball in a few
days, she was very impatient to get rid of the eruption ;
and in this exigency she applied to My. Pimlico, the
perfumer, who had often supplied her with cosmetics, and
who now recommended a beautifying lotion, This quickly
cleared her complexion ; but she soon felt the effects of
her imprudence: she was taken dangerously ill, and the
physician who was consulted attributed her disease entirely
to the preparation she had applied to her face. Whilst she
was ill, an execution was brought against Mr. Ludgate’s
goods, Threatened with a jail, and incapable of taking
any vigorous measures to avoid distress, he went to consult
his friend, Tom Lewis. How this Mr. Lewis lived was
matter of astonishment to all his acquaintance: he had
neither estate, business, nor any obvious means of support-
ing the expense in which he indulged.

“What a happy dog you are, Lewis,” said our hero;
“how is it that you live better than I do?”

” said

“You might live as well as I, if you were inclined,
Lewis.

Our hero was all curiosity ; and Lewis extracted from



him an oath of secrecy. A. long pause ensued.

“Have you the courage,” said Lewis, “to extricate
yourself from all your difficulties at once?”

“To be sure I have; since I must either go to jail this
night, or raise two hundred guineas for these cursed
fellows !”

“You shall have it in half-an-hour,”

will follow my advice.”

said Lewis, “if you
216 EVERY GIRIS STORIES

*Tell me at once what I am to do, and I will do it,”
cried Leonard. “TI will do anything to save myself from
disgrace, and from a, jail.”

Lewis, who now perceived that his friend was worked up
to the pitch he wanted, revealed the whole mystery. He
was connected with a set of gentlemen, ingenious in the
arts of forgery, from whom he purchased counterfeit bank-
notes at a very cheap rate. The difficulty and risk of
passing them was extreme; therefore the confederates
were anxious to throw this part of the business off their
hands. Struck with horror at the idea of becoming an
accomplice in such a scheme of villainy, Leonard stood pale
and silent, incapable of even thinking distinctly. Lewis
was sorry that he had opened his mind so fully. “Re-
member your oath of secrecy!” said he.

“T do,” replied Ludgate.

“ And remember that you must become one of us before
night, or go to jail.”

Ludgate said he would take an hour to consider of the
business, and here they parted ; Lewis promising to call at
his house before evening to learn his final decision.

“And am I to come to this?” thought the wretched
man. ‘Would to heaven I had followed my poor father’s
maxim! but it is now too late.”

Mr. Ludgate, when he arrived at home, shut himself up
in his own room, and continued walking backwards and
forwards, for nearly an hour, in a state of mind more
dreadful than can be described. Whilst he was in this
situation, some one knocked at the door. He thought it
was Lewis, and trembled from head to foot. It was only
a servant with a parcel of bills, which several tradesmen,
hearing that an execution was in the house, had hastened
to present for payment. Among them were those of Mr.
Beech, the upholsterer, and Mrs. Ludgate’s milliner and
mantua-maker ; which, having been let to run on for above
oUT OF DEBE OUT OF DANGER 217

two yearsand a half, now amounted to a sum that astonished
and shocked Mr. Ludgate. He could not remonstrate
with his wife, or even vent his anger in reproaches, for she
was lying senseless in her bed.

Before he had recovered from this shock, and whilst the
tradesmen who brought the bills were still waiting for their
money, Lewis and one of his companions arrived. Lewis
came to the point immediately. He produced bank-notes
sufficient to discharge all his debts; and proposed to lend
him this money, on condition that he would enter into the
confederacy, as he had proposed: ‘“ All that we ask of you
is to pass a certain number of notes for us every week.
You will find this to your advantage; for we will allow
you considerable percentage, besides freeing you from your
present embarrassments.”

The sight of the bank-notes, the pressure of immediate
distress, and the hopes of being able to support the style of
life in which he had of late appeared, all conspired to tempt
Ludgate. When he had, early in life, vaunted to his
young companions that he despised his father’s old maxim,
while he repeated his own, they applauded his spirit. They
were not present at this instant, to pity the wretched state
into which that spirit had betrayed him.

But our hero had yet much greater misery to endure. It
is true, his debts were now paid; and he was able to
support an external appearance of affluence: but not one
day, not one night, could he pass without suffering the
horrors of a guilty conscience, and all the terrors which
haunt the man who sees himself in hourly danger of detec-
tion. He determined to keep his secret cautiously from
his wife: he was glad that she was confined to her bed, at
this time, lest her prying curiosity should discover what
was going forward. ‘The species of affection which he had
once felt for her had not survived the first six months of
their marriage; and their late disputes had rendered this
218 EVERY GIRLS STORTES

husband and wife absolutely odious to each other. Each
believed, and indeed pretty plainly asserted, that they could
live more handsomely asunder: but, alas! they were united
for better and for worse.

Mrs. Ludgate’s illness terminated in another eruption on
her face. She was extremely mortified by the loss of her
beauty ; especially as Mrs. Pimlico frequently contrasted
her face with that of Mrs. Paget, who was now acknowledged
to be the handsomest woman of Mrs. Pimlico’s acquaintance.
She endeavoured to make herself of consequence by fresh
expense. Mr. Ludgate, to account for the sudden payment
of his debts, and the affluence in which he now appeared to
live, spread a report of his having had a considerable legacy
left to him by a relation, who had died in a distant part of
England. The truth of the report was not questioned ;
and for some time Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate were the envy of
their acquaintance. How little the world, as it is called,
can judge by external appearances of the happiness of those
who excite admiration or envy!

“What lucky people the Ludgates are!’ cried Mrs.
Pimlico. The exclamation was echoed by a crowded card-
party, assembled at her house. “ But then,’ continued
Mrs. Pimlico, “it is a pity poor Belle is so disfigured by
that scurvy, or whatever it is, in her face. I remember
the time when she was as pretty a woman as you could
see; nay, would you believe it, she had once as fine a com-
plexion as young Mrs. Paget !”

These observations circulated quickly, and did not escape
Mrs. Ludgate’s ear. Her vanity was deeply wounded ; and
her health appeared to be but a secondary consideration in
comparison with the chance of recovering her lost com-
plexion. Mr. Pimlico, who was an eloquent perfumer,
persuaded her that her former illness had nothing to do
with the beautifying lotion she had purchased at his
shop; and to support his assertions, he quoted examples
OUT OF DERT OUT OF DANGER 219

of innumerable ladies, of high rank and fashion, who were
in the constant habit of using this admirable preparation.

The vain and foolish woman, notwithstanding the warn-
ings which she had received from the physician who
attended her during her illness, listened to the oratory of
the perfumer, and bought half-a-dozen bottles of another
kind of beautifying lotion. The eruption vanished from
her face, after she had used the cosmetic; and as she did
not feel any immediate bad effects upon her health, she
persisted in the practice for some months. The consequence
was at last dreadful: she was found one morning speechless
in her bed, with one side of her face distorted and motion-
less, During the night she had been seized with a paralytic
stroke. Ina few days she recovered her speech; but her
face continued totally disfigured.

This was the severest punishment that could have been
inflicted on:a woman of her feelings. She was now
ashamed to show herself abroad, and incapable of being
contented at home. She had not the friendship of a
hushand, or the affection of children, to afford her con-
solation and support. Her eldest child was a boy of about
five years old, her youngest four. They were as fretful and
troublesome as children usually are whose education has
been totally neglected ; and the quarrels between them and
Jack, the foot-boy, were endless, for Jack was alternately
their tutor and their playfellow.

Besides the disorder created in this family by mischievous
children, the servants were daily plagues. Nothing was
ever done by them well, or regularly; and though the
master and mistress scolded without mercy, and perpetually
threatened to turn Jack or Sukey away, yet no reformation
in their manners was produced; for Jack and Sukey’s
wages were not paid, and they felt that they had the power
in their own hands; so that they were rather the tyrants
than the servants of the house.
220 EVERY GIRL'S STORIES

CHAPTER IV
The End of Vice is Shame and Misery

Mrs. Lupeatrr’s temper, which never was sweet, was
soured to such a degree by these accumulated evils, that
she was insufferable. Her husband kept out of the way as
much as possible: he dined and supped at his club, or at
the tavern ; and during the evenings and mornings he was
visible at home but for a few minutes. Yet, though his
time was passed entirely away from his wife, his children,
and his home, he was not happy. His life was a life of
perpetual fraud and fear. He was bound by his engage-
ments with Lewis to pass, for the confederates, a certain
number of forged notes every day. This was a perilous
task! His utmost exertions and ingenuity were continually
necessary to escape detection ; and after all, he was barely
able to wrest, from the hard hands of his friends, a sufficient
profit upon his labour to maintain himself. How often did
he look back with regret to the days when he stood behind
the counter in his father’s shop. Then he had in Allen a
real friend ; but now he had only in Lewis a profligate and
unfeeling associate. Lewis cared for no one but himself ;
and he was as avaricious as he was extravagant: greedy of
what belonged to others, prodigal of his own.

One night Leonard went to the house where the con-
federates met, to settle with them for the last parcel of
notes he had passed. ‘Lewis insisted upon being paid for
his services before Ludgate should touch a farthing. Words
ran high between them. Lewis, having the most influence
with his associates, carried his point ; and Leonard, who
was in want of ready money, could supply himself only by
engaging to pass double the usual quantity of forged notes
during the ensuing month, Upon this condition he obtained
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 221

the supply for which he solicited. On his return home he
locked up the forged notes as usual in his escritoire.

It happened, the very next morning, that Mrs. La Mode,
the milliner, called upon Mrs. Ludgate. The ruling passion
still prevailed, notwithstanding the miserable state to
which this lady was reduced. Even palsy could not deaden
her personal vanity: her love of dress survived the total
loss of her beauty ; she became accustomed to the sight of
her distorted features, and was still very anxious to wear
what was most genteel and becoming. Mrs. La Mode had
not a more constant visitor.

“How are you, Mrs. Ludgate, this morning?” said she.
“ But I need not ask, for you look surprising well. I just
called to tell you a bit of a secret, that I have told to
nobody else: but you, being such a friend and a favourite,
have a right to know it. You must know, I am going
next week to bring out a new spring hat ; and I have made
one of my girls bring it up to consult you before anybody
else, having « great opinion of your taste and judgment :
though it is a thing that must not be mentioned, because
it would ruin me with Mrs. Pimlico, who made me swear
that she should have the first sight.”

Flattered by having the first sight of the spring hat,
Mrs. Ludgate was prepossessed in its favour; and when
she tried it on, she thought it made her look ten years
younger. In short, it was impossible not to take one of
the hats, though it cost three guineas, and was not worth
ten shillings.

“ Positively, ma'am, you must patronize my spring hat,”
said the milliner.

Mrs, Ludgate was decided by the word patronize ; she
took the hat, and desired that it should be set down in her
pill: but’ Mrs. La Mode was extremely concerned that she
had made a rule—nay, a vow—not to take anything but
ready money for the spring hats ; and she could not break
222, EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

her vow, even for her favourite Mrs. Ludgate. This was
at least a prudent resolution in the milliner, who had lately
received notice from Mr. Ludgate, not to give his wife any
goods upon credit, for that he was determined to refuse
payment of her bills. The wife, who was now in a weak
state of health, was not able, as formerly, to fight her
battles with her husband upon equal terms. To cunning,
the refuge of weakness, she had recourse; and she con-
sidered that, though she could no longer outscold, she could
still outwit her adversary. She could not have the pleasure
and honour of patronizing the spring hat without ready
money to pay for it. Her husband, she knew, had always
bank-notes in his escritoire; and she argued with herself
that it was better to act without his consent than against
it. She went and tried, with certain keys of her own, to
open Leonard’s desk ; and open it came. She seized from
a parcel of bank-notes as many as she wanted, and paid
Mrs. La Mode with three of them for the spring hat.
When her husband came home the next day, he did not
observe that he had lost any of the notes ; and as he went
out of the house again, without once coming into the
parlour where his wife was sitting, she excused herself to
ler conscience, for not telling him of the freedom she had
taken, by thinking it would do as well to tell him of it
to-morrow. ‘ A few notes, out of such a parcel as he has
in the desk locked up from me, can’t signify; and he’ll
only bluster and bully when I do tell him of it; so let him
tind it out when he pleases.”

The scheme of acting without her husband’s consent in
all cases where she was morally certain that if she asked
she could not obtain it, Mrs. Ludgate had often pursued
with much success. A few days after she had bought the
spring hat, she invited Mrs. Pimlico, Mrs. Paget, and all
her genteel friends to tea and cards. Her husband, she
knew, would be out of her way at his club, or at the tavern.
OUT OF DEBL OUL OF DANGER 993

Mrs. Pimlico, and Mrs. Paget, and all their genteel friends,
did Mrs. Ludgate the honow to wait upon her on the
appointed evening ; and she had the satisfaction to appear
upon this occasion in the new spring hat, while her friend,
Mrs. Pimlico, whispered to young Mrs. Paget, “ She patronize
the new spring hat! What a fool Mrs. La Mode makes of
her! A death’s-head in a wreath of roses! How frightfully
ridiculous !”

Unconscious that she was an object of ridicule to the
whole company, Mrs. Ludgate sat down to cards in un-
usually good spirits, firmly believing Mrs. La Mode'’s
comfortable assertion, “that the spring hat made her look
ten years younger.” She was in the midst of a panegyric
upon Mrs. La Mode’s taste, when Jack, the foot-boy, came
behind her chair, and whispered that three men were below,
who desired to speak to her immediately.

“Men! Gentlemen, do you mean?” said Mrs. Ludgate.

“No, ma’am, not gentlemen.”

“Then send them away about their business, dunce,”
said the lady. ‘Some tradesfolks, I suppose ; tell them I
am engaged with company.”

“ But, ma’am, they will not leave the house without
seeing you or Mr. Ludgate.”

“Let them wait, then, till Mr. Ludgate comes in. |
have nothing to say to them. What’s their business,
pray ?”

“Tt is something about a note, ma’am, that you gave to
Mrs, La Mode the other day.”

“What about it?” said Mrs. Ludgate, putting down her
cards. :

“They say it is a bad note.”

“Well, Pll change it ; bid them send it up.”

“They won’ part with it, ma’am ; they would not let
it out of their hands, even to let me look at it for an

instant.”
224. EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

“What a riot about a pound note,” said Mrs. Ludgate,
rising. from the card-table; “TIl speak to the fellows
myself.”

She had recourse again to her husband’s desk, and,
armed with a whole handful of fresh bank-notes, she went
to the strangers. They told her that they did not want,
and would not receive, any note in exvhange for that which
they produced ; but that, as it was a forgery, they must
insist upon knowing from whom she had it. There was an
air of mystery and authority about the strangers which
alarmed Mrs. Ludgate; and, without attempting any
evasion, she said that she took the note from her husband’s
desk, and that she could not tell from whom he received it.
The strangers declared that they must wait till Ma. Ludgate
should return home. She offered to give them a guinea to
drink, if they would go away quietly, but this they refused.
Jack, the foot-boy, whispered that they had pistols, and
that he believed they were Bow-street officers.

They went into the back parlour to wait for Mr, Ludgate,
and the lady, in extreme perturbation, returned to her
company and her cards. In vain she attempted to resume
her conversation about the spring hat, and to conceal the
agitation of her spirits ; it was observed by all her jriends,
and especially by Mrs. Pimlico, whose curiosity was strongly
excited to know the cause of her alarm. Mrs. Ludgate
looked frequently at her watch, and even yawned without
ceremony, more than once, to manifest her desire that the
company should depart ; but no hints availed. The card-
players resolutely kept their seats, and even the smell of
extinguishing candles had no ‘effect upon their callous
senses.

The time appeared insupportably long to the wretched
mistress of the house; and the contrast between her
fantastic head-dress and her agonizing countenance every
minute became more striking.


tl

Hi







































































































































































































































































































































































































































“Cursed, cursed woman, you have brought me to the gallows.”—P. 225.
OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER 225

Twelve o'clock struck. ‘It’s growing very late,” said
Mrs. Ludgate.

“ But we must have another rubber,” said Mrs. Pimlico.

She began to deal; a knock was heard at the door.
«There’s Mr. Ludgate, I do suppose,” said Mrs. Pimlico,
continuing her deal. Mrs. Ludgate left her cards, and
went out of the room without speaking. She stopped at
the head of the staircase, for she heard a scuffle and loud
voices below. Presently all was silent, and she ventured
down, when she heard the parlour-door shut. The foot-boy
met her in the passage.

“What is the matter?” said she.

“T don’t know, but I must be paid my wages,” said he,
“or must pay myself.”

He passed on rudely. She half-opened the parlour-door,
and looked in ; her husband was lying back on the sofa,
seemingly stupefied by despair; one of the Bow-street
officers was chafing his temples, another was rummaging
his desk, and the third was closely examining notes which
he had just taken from the prisoner’s pockets.

“What is the matter?” cried Mrs. Ludgate, advancing.
Her husband lifted up his eyes, saw her, started up, and
stamping furiously, exclaimed, “Cursed, cursed woman !
you have brought me to the gallows, and all for this
trumpery !’’ cried he, snatching her gaudy hat from her
head, and trampling it under his feet. ‘For this—for
this ! you vain, you ugly creature, you have brought your
husband to the gallows!”

One of the Bow-street officers caught hold of his uplifted
arm, which trembled with rage. His wife sank to the
ground; a second paralytic stroke deprived her of the
power of speech. As they were carrying her up-stairs, Mrs.
Pimlico and the rest of the company came out of the
dining-room, some of them with cards in their hands, all

eagerly asking what was the matter? When they learnt
Q
226 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

that the Bow-street officers were in the noteey and that
Mr. Ludgate was taken into custody for uttering forged
bank-notes, there was a general uproar. Some declared it
was shocking! Others protested it was no more than
might have been expected! The Ludgates lived so much
above their circumstances! Then, he was such a coxcomb,
and she such a poor vain creature! Better for people
to do like their neighbours—to make no show, and live
honestly !

In the midst of these effusions of long-suppressed envy,
some few of the company attempted a slight word or two
of apology for their host and hostess ; and the most humane
went up to the wretched woman’s bed-chamber, to offer
assistance and advice. But the greater number were
occupied in tucking up their white gowns, finding their
clogs, or calling for hackney-coaches. In less than a
quarter of an hour the house was cleared of all Mrs.
Ludgate’s friends. And it is to please such friends that
whole families ruin themselves by unsuitable expense !

Lucy and Allen were not, however, of this class of friends.
A confused report of what had passed the preceding night
was spread the next morning in Cranbournealley, by a
young lady who had been at Mrs. Ludgate’s rout. The
moment the news reached Allen’s shop, he and Lucy
resolved to go immediately to offer their assistance to the
unfortunate family. When they got to Weymouth-street,
they gave only a single knock at the door, that they might
not create any alarm. They were kept waiting a con-
siderable time; and at last the door was opened by a
slipshod cook-maid, who seemed to be just up, though it
wag near eleven o’clock. She showed them into the
parlour, which was quite dark ; and whilst she was opening
the shutters, she told them that, what with the Bow-street
officers and her mistress’s fits, the house had been up all
night. Her master, she added, was carried off to prison;
OUT OF DEPT OUT OF DANGER 227

she believed. Lucy asked who was with Mrs, Ludgate,
and whether she could go up to her room?

“There’s nobody with her, ma’am, but nurse, that called
by chance early this morning to see the children, and had
the good-nature to stay to help, and has been sitting in
mistress’s room whilst I went to my bed. T'll step up and
see if you can go in, ma’am.”

They waited for some time in the parlour, where every-
thing looked desolate and in disorder. The ashes covered
the hearth ; the poker lay upon the table, near Mr. Lud-
gate’s desk, the lock of which had been broken open ; a
brass flat candlestick, covered with tallow, was upon the
window-seat, and beside it a broken cruet of vinegar ; a
cravat and red silk handkerchief, which had been taken
from Mr. Ludgate’s neck when he swooned, lay under the
table. Lucy and her husband looked at one another for
some moments without speaking. At last Allen said,
“We had better lock up this press, where there are silver
spoons and china; for there is nobody now left to take
care of anything, and creditors will be here soon to seize
aul they can.” Lucy said that she would go up into the
dining-room, and take an inventory of the furniture. In
the dining-room she found Jack, the foot-boy, collecting
shillings from beneath the candlesticks on the card-tables,
The two little children were sitting on the floor, the girl
playing with a pack of cards, the boy drinking the dregs of
a decanter of white wine,

“Poor children !—poor creatures !”’ said Lucy, “is there
nobody to take care of you?”

“No ; nobody but Jack,” said the boy, ‘and he’s going
away. Papa’s gone I don’t know where, and mamma’s not
up yet ; so we have had no breakfast,”

The cook-maid came in to say that Mrs, Ludgate was
awake and sensible now, and would be glad to see Mrs.
Allen, if she’d be so good as to walk up. Lucy told the
228 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

children, who clung to her, that she would take them home
with her, and give them some breakfast, and then hastened
up-stairs. She was not one of those ladies of affected or
useless sensibility, who cannot, even when they may afford
assistance, bear the sight of misery or suffering. She found
her wretched friend humbled indeed to the lowest state of
imbecile despair. Her speech had returned ; but she spoke
with difficulty, and scarcely so as to be intelligible. The
good-natured nurse supported her in the bed, saying re-
peatedly, ‘Keep a good heart, madam—keep a good heart.
Don’t let your spirits sink so as this, and all may be well
yet.”

“Oh, Lucy! Lucy! what will become of me now?
What a change is here! and nobody to help or advise
me!—nobody upon earth! JI am forsaken by all the
world!”

‘Not forsaken by me,” said Lucy, in a soothing voice.

“ What noise is that below?” cried Mrs. Ludgate.

Lucy went down-stairs to inquire, and found that, as
Allen had foretold, the creditors were come to seize all
they could find. Allen undertook to remain with them,
and to bring them to some settlement; whilst Lucy had
her unfortunate friend and the two children removed
immediately to her own house.

As to Mr. Ludgate, there was no hope for him: the
proofs of his guilt were manifest and incontrovertible.
The forged note, which his wife had taken from his desk
and given to the milliner, was one which had not gone
through certain mysterious preparations: it was a bungling
forgery. The plate would doubtless have been retouched,
had not this bill been prematurely circulated by Mrs.
Ludgate: thus her vanity led to a discovery of her hus-
band’s guilt. All the associates in Lewis’s iniquitous
confederacy suffered the just punishment of their crimes.
Many applications were made to obtain a pardon for
OUL OF DEBr OUT OF DANGER 229

Leonard Ludgate ; but the executive power preserved that
salutary firmness which has not, upon any similar occasion,
ever been relaxed.

Lucy and Allen, those real friends who would not en-
courage Mrs. Ludgate in extravagance, now, in the hour of
adversity and repentance, treated her with the utmost
tenderness and generosity. They were economical, and
therefore could afford to be generous. All the wants of
this destitute widow were supplied from the profits of their
industry : they nursed her with daily humanity, bore with
the peevishness of disease, and did all in their power to
soothe the anguish of unavailing remorse.

Nothing could be saved from the wreck of Mr. Ludgate’s
fortune for the widow; but Allen, in looking over old
Ludgate’s books, had found and recovered some old debts,
which Leonard, after his father’s death, thought not worth
looking after. The sum amounted to about three hundred and
twenty pounds. As the whole concern had been made over
to him, he could lawfully have appropriated this money to
his own use ; but he reserved it for his friend’s children.
He put it out to interest ; and in the mean time he and
Lucy not only clothed and fed, but educated these orphans,
with their own children, in the habits of economy and
industry. The orphans repaid, by their affection and
gratitude, the care that was bestowed upon them ; and
when they grew up, they retrieved the credit of their
family, by living according to their grandfather’s useful
maxim :—

“Our or Dest out or DANGER.”
THE KNAPSACK!

By Maria EpcEwortTH



DRAMATIS PERSON,

Count HeELMAAR, a Swedish] ELEonora, a Swedish Lady, be-
Nobleman. loved by Count Helmaar.
CHRISTIERN, a Swedish Soldier. | Curistrna, Sister to Helmaar.
ALEFTSON, Count Helinaar’s Fool. | Utrica, an Old Housekeeper.
THOMAS, a Footman. CATHERINE, Wife to Christiern.
Kary and Uxric, the Son and Daughter of Catherine—they are six
and seven years old. ; ;
Sergeant and Party of Soldiers, a,frain of Dancers, a Page, &c.
>

ACT I.

SCENE I,—A Cottage in Sweden—CatHERINE, a youn
and handsome woman, ts sitting at her spinning-wheel.—A
little Boy and Girl, of six and seven years of aye, ure
seated on the ground eating their dinner.

CATHERINE sings while she is spinning.

Haste from the wars, oh, haste to me,
The wife that fondly waits for thee ;
Long, long the years, and long each day,
While my loved soldier’s far away.
Haste from the wars, &c.



1In the travels of M. Beaujolin into Sweden, he mentions having,
in the year 1790, met carriages laden with the knapsacks of Swedish
soldiers who had fallen in battle in Finland. These carriages were
escorted by peasants, who were relieved at every stage; and thus
the property of the deceased was conveyed from one extremity of the
kingdom to the other, and faithfully restored to their relations. The
Swedish peasants are so remarkably honest, that scarcely anything
is ever lost in these convoys of numerous and ill-secured packages.

230
THE KNAPSACK 231

Lone every field, and lone this cot,
Where he, the soul of life, is not.
Haste from the wars, &c.

Dreams of wounds and death, away !

Vain my fears—oh, vain be they !

He’s well—he’s safe—he’ll come, he'll come,
Make ready quick his happy home.

Little Girl (starts up and clasps her hands). He'll come!
he'll come! Father do you mean, mother ?

Little Boy. When will he come, mother? when,—to-day ?
to-morrow 1

Cath. No, not to-day, nor to-morrow ; but soon I hope,
very soon, for they say the wars are over.

Little Girl. T am glad of that; and when father comes
home, I’ll give him some of my flowers.

Little Boy (who is still eating). And Tl give him some
of my bread-and-cheese, which he’ll like better than flowers
if he be as hungry as I am, and that, to be sure, he will be,
after coming from such a long, long journey.

Little Girl. Long, long journey! how long ?—how far is
father off, mother /—where is he ?

Little Boy. I know; he is in—in—in—in—in Finland ;
_-how far off, mother ?

Cath. A great many miles, my dear—I don’t know how
many.

Little Boy. Is it not two miles to the great house, mother,
where we go to sell our faggots?

Cath. Yes, about two miles; and now you had best set
out towards the great house, and ask Mrs. Ulrica, the
housekeeper, to pay you the little bill she owes you for
faggots, there’s good children; and when you have been
paid for your faggots, you can call at the baker’s in the
village and bring home some bread for to-morrow (patting
the little boy’s head)—you, that love bread-and-cheese so
much, must work hard to get it.
232 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Little Boy. Yes, so I will work hard,—then I shall have
enough for myself and father too, when he comes. Come
along, come (éo his sister), and as we come home through
the forest, I’ll show you where we can get plenty of sticks
for to-morrow, and we'll help one another.

LirtLe Giru sings.
That’s the best way,
At work and at play,
To help one another—I heard mother say—
To help one another—I heard mother say.

[Lhe children go off singing these words.

Cath, (alone). Dear, good children, how happy their
father will be to see them when he comes back! (She
begins to eat the remains of the dinner which the children
have left.) The little rogue was so hungry he has not left
me much, but he would have left me all if he had thought
that I wanted it; he shall have a good large bowl of milk
for supper; it was but last night he skimmed the cream
off his milk for me because he thought I liked it—heigho !
God knows how long they may have milk to skim; as long
as I can work, they shall never want, but I’m not so strong
as I used to be; but then I shall get strong and all will
be well when my husband comes back. (A drwm beats ut
a distance.) Wark !—a drum !—some news from abroad,
perhaps—nearer and nearer—(she sinks upon a chair)—why
cannot I run to see—toask? (Zhe drum beats louder and
louder.) Fool that Iam! they will be gone! they will be
all gone !—(she starts wp.) [Hatt running.

Scene changes to « high-road, leading to a village—A party
of ragged, tired Soldiers, marching slowly—Sergeant ranges
then.

Serg. Keep on, my brave fellows, keep on, we have not
THE KNAPSACK , 233

a great way farther to go; keep on, my brave fellows,
keep on through yonder village !—(the drum beats.)
[Soldiers exewnt.
Serg. (alone). Poor fellows, my heart bleeds to see them !
the sad remains these of as fine a regiment as ever handled
a musket. Ah! I’ve seen them march quite another sort
of way, when they marched, and I amongst them, to face
the enemy—heads up—step firm—thus it was—quick time
—march !—(he marches proudly.) My poor fellows, how
they lag now !—(looking after them)—ay, ay, there they
go, slower and slower: they don’t like going through the
village, nor I either ; for at every village we pass through,
out come the women and children, running after us and
crying—“ Where’s my father? What’s become of my
husband?” Stout fellow as I am, and a sergeant too, that
ought to know better and set the others an example, I can’t
stand these questions.

Enter Catuerine, breathless.

Cath. I—I—I’ve overtaken him at last.—Sir—Mr.
Sergeant, one word. What news from Finland?

Serg. The best—the war’s over. Peace is proclaimed.

Cath. (clasping her hands joyfully). Peace! happy sound !
Peace !—The war’s over—Peace!—And the regiment of
“Helmaar. (Lhe sergeant appears impatient to get away.)
Only one word, good sergeant ; when will the regiment of
Helmaar be back ?

Serg. All that remain of it will be home next week.

Cath. Next week! But—all that remain, did you say?
—Then many have been killed?

Serg. Many—many,—too many. Some honest peasants



are bringing home the knapsacks of those who have fallen
in battle. "Tis fair that what little they had should come
home to their families. Now, I pray you, let me pass on.
234 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Cath. One word more; tell me, do you know, in the
regiment of Helmaar, one Christiern Aleftson ?

Serg. (with eagerness). Christiern Aleftson! as brave a
fellow and as good as ever lived! if it be the same that I
knew.

Cath. As brave a fellow and as good as ever lived: oh,
that’s he! He is my husband, where is he?—Where
is he?

Serg. (aside). She wrings my heart! (Aloud) He was

Cath. Was!

Serg. He is, I hope, safe.

Cath. You hope—don’t look away, I must see your face ;
tell me all you know ?

Serg. I know nothing for certain. When the peasants
come with the knapsacks, you will hear all from them.
Pray you, let me follow my men; they are already at a



great distance. [Exit sergeant, followed by Catherine.
Cath. I will not detain you an instant—only one word
more ! [ Haeunt.

SCENE II.—An Apartment in Count Helmaa’s Castle.—
A train of Dancers—after they have danced for some time,
Enter @ Pace.

Page. Ladies! I have waited, according to your com-
mands, till Count Helmaar appeared in the antechamber ;
he is there now along with the ladies Christina and Eleonora,

1sé Dancer. Now is our time; Count Helmaar shall hear
our song to welcome him home.

Ind Dancer. None was ever more welcome.

3rd Dancer. But stay till I have breath to sing.

SONG.
Welcome, Helmaar, welcome home,
In crowds your happy neighbours come,

To hail with joy the cheerful morn
That sees their Helmaar’s safe return.
THE KNAPSACK 235

No hollow heart, no borrow’d face,

Shall ever Helmaar’s hall disgrace ;

Slaves alone on tyrants wait,

Friends surround the good and great.
Welcome, Helmaar, &c.

Lnter Evronora, Cunistina, and Count HELMAAR.

Helmaar. Thanks, my friends, for this kind welcome.

lst Dancer (looking at a black fillet on Helmaar’s head).
He has been wounded.

Christina, Yes, severely wounded.

Helmaar. And had it not been for the fidelity of the
soldier who carried me from the field of battle, I should
never have seen you more, my friends, nor you, my charm-
ing Eleonora. (A noise of one singing behind the scenes.)
What disturbance is that, without ?

Christina. "Tis only Aleftson the fool; in your absence,
brother, he has been the cause of great diversion in the
castle ; I love to play upon him, it keeps him in tune: you
can’t think how much good it does him.

Helmaar. And how much good it does you, sister ; from
your childhood you had always a lively wit, and loved to
exercise it; but do you waste it upon fools?

Christina. I’m sometimes inclined to think this Aleftson
is more knave than fool.

leon. By your leave, Lady Christina, he is no knave,
or Tam much mistaken. 'To my knowledge, he has carried
his whole salary, and all the little presents he has received
from us, to his brother’s wife and children. I have seen
him chuck his money, thus, at those poor little children
when they have been at their play, and then run away, lest
their mother should make them give it back.
236 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Enter AuE¥TsoN, the fool in a fool’s-cout, fool’s-cap, and
bells—singing.

There’s the courtier, who watches the nod of the great,
Who thinks much of his pension, and naught of the state,
When for ribands and titles his honour he sells ;

What is he, my friends, but a fool without bells?

There’s the gamester, who stakes on the turn of a dic
His house and his acres, the devil knows why :

His acres he loses, his forests he fells ;

What is he, my friends, but a fool without bells?

There’s the student so crabbed and wonderful wise,
With his plus and his minus, his exes and wies ;
Pale at midnight he pores o’er his magical spells ;
What is he, my friends, but a fool without bells ?

The lover, who’s ogling, and rhyming, and sighing,
Who’s musing, and pining, and whining, and dying,
When a thousand of lies every minute he tells ;

What is he, my friends, but a fool without bells?

There’s the lady so fine, with her airs and her graces,
With a face like an angel’s—if angels have faces ;

She marries, and Hymen the vision dispels ;

What’s her husband, my friends, but a fool without bells?

Christina, Eleonora, Helmaur, etc. Bravo, bravissimo !—
excellent fool !—encore !
[Zhe fool folds his arms, and begins to ery bitterly.
Christina. What now, Aleftson? I never saw you sad
before. What’s the matter ?—speak !
[fool sobs, but gives no answer.
Helm. Why do you weep so bitterly ?
Aleft. Because I am a fool.
Helm. Many should weep, if that were cause sufficient !
Lileon. But, Aleftson, you have all your life, till now,
been a merry fool.
Fool. Because always till now I was a fool, but now I’m
grown wise; and ’tis difficult to all but you, lady, to be
merry and wise.
THE KNAPSACK 237

Christina. A pretty compliment; ’tis a pity it was paid
by a fool.

Fool. Who else should pay compliments, lady, or who
else believe them ?

Christina. Nay, I thought it was the privilege of a fool
to speak the truth without offence.

Fool. Fool as you take me to be, I’m not fool enough yet
to speak truth to a lady, and think to do it without
offence.

leon. Why, you have said a hundred severe things to
me within this week, and have I ever been angry with _
you?

Fool. Never ; for, out of the whole hundred, not one was
true. But have a care, lady; fool as I am, you’d be glad
to stop a fool’s mouth with your white hand this instant,
rather than let him tell the truth of you.

Christina (laughing: and all the other ladies, except
Eleonora, exclaim). Speak on, good fool ; speak on

Helm. I am much mistaken, or the Lady Eleonora fears
not to hear the truth from either wise men or fools;
speak on. S

Fool. One day, not long ago, when there came news that
our count there was killed in Finland, I, being a fool, was
lying, laughing, and thinking of nothing at all, on the
floor, in the west drawing-room, looking at the count’s
picture,—in comes the Lady Eleonora all in tears.

Eleon. (stopping his mouth). Oh! tell anything but that,
good fool.

Helm. (kneels and kisses her hand). Speak on, excellent
fool,

Christina and Ladies. Speak on, excellent fool—in came
the Lady Eleonora, all in tears.

Fool. In comes the Lady Eleonora, all in tears (pauses
and looks round). Why, now, what makes you all so
curious about these tears’—tears are but salt water, let


238 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

them come from what eyes they will;—my tears are as
good as hers. In came John Aleftson all in tears just now,
and nobody kneels to me—nobody kisses my hands—nobody
cares half a straw for my tears.

Christinw. Nobody cares half a straw for the tears of
those who weep they know not why.

Fool (folds his arms, and looks melancholy). I am not one
of those ; I know the cause of my tears too well.

Helm. Perhaps they were caused by my unexpected
return—eh ?

Fool (scornfully). No; I am not such a fool as that
comes to; don’t I know that when you are at home the
poor may hold up their heads, and no journeyman-gentleman
of an agent dares then to go about plaguing those who live
in cottages. No, no; I am not such a fool as to cry
because Count Helmaar is come back; but the truth is, I
cried because I am tired and ashamed of wearing this thing
(putting down his fool’s-cap upon the floor, changes his tone
entirely)—JI / who am brother to the man who saved Count
Helmaar’s life ;—I to wear a fool’s-cap and_ bells !—O
shame! shame !

[The ladies look at one another with signs of astonishment.

Christina (aside). A lucid interval—poor fool! I will
torment him no more; he has feeling—’twere better he



had none.

Hleon. Hush—hear him !

Aleft. (throwing himself at the Count’s feet). Noble Count,
I have submitted to be thought a fool, I have worn this
fool’s-cap in your absence, that I might indulge my humour,
and enjoy the liberty of speaking my mind freely to people
of all conditions. Now that you are returned, I have no
need of sucha disguise ; I may now speak the truth without
fear, and without a cap and bells. I resign my salary, and
give back the ensign of my office (presents the fool’ s-cap).

[Hatt
THE KNAPSACK 239

Christina. He might well say that none but fools should
pay compliments; this is the best compliment that has
been paid you, brother.

Eleon. And observe, he has resigned his salary.

Heim. From this moment let it be doubled. He made
an excellent use of the money when he was a fool,—may he
make half as good a use of it now he is a wise man. .

Christina. Amen. And now, I hope, we are to have
some more dancing. [Hweunt.

END OF THE FIRST ACT.

ACT II.

SCENE I.—By moonlight—a Forest—oa Castle illuminated

. at w distance.—A group of Peasants seated on the ground,
each with w knapsack beside him.—One Peasant lies
stretched on the ground.

lst Peasant. Why, what I say is, that the wheel of the
cart being broken, and the horse dead lame, and Charles
there in that plight (points to the sleeping peasant), it is a
folly to think of getting on farther this evening.

Ind Peasant. And what I say is, it’s folly to sleep here,
seeing I know the country, and am certain sure we have
not above one mile at farthest to go before we get to the
end of our journey.

lst Peasant (pointing to the sleeper). He can’t walk a
mile—he’s done for—dog-tired

3rd Peasant. Are you certain sure we have only one
mile farther to go?



2nd Peasant. Certain sure
All, except the sleeper and the 1st Peasant. Oh, let us go


940 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

on then, and we can carry the knapsacks on our backs for
one mile.

lst Peasant. You must carry him, then, knapsack
and all.

All together. So we will.

Ind Peasant. But first, do you see, let’s waken him ; for
a sleeping man’s twice as heavy as one that’s awake.
Holloa, friend! waken! waken! (he shakes the sleeper, who
snores loudly.) Good Lord! he snores loud enough to
awaken all the birds in the wood.

[Ad the peasants shout in the sleeper’s ear, and he
starts up, shaking himself.

Charles. Am I awake 1—(stretching.)

2nd Peasant. No, not yet, man. Why, don’t you know
where you are? Ay; there’s the moon, and these be trees,
and I be a man—and what do ye call this ?—(holding up a
knapsack.)

Charles. A. knapsack, I say, to be sure; I’m as Doo
awake as the best of you.

2nd Peasant. Come on then, we’ve a great way farther
to go before you sleep again.

Charles, A. great way farther—farther to-night! No, no.

2nd Peasant. Yes, yes; we settled it all while you were
fast asleep. You are to be carried, you and your knapsack.

[They prepare to carry him.

Charles (starting up, and struggling with them). I’ve legs
to walk—I won’t be carried! I, a Swede, and be carried —
no, no!

All together. Yes! yes!

Charles. No! no! (he struggles for his knapsack, which
comes untied in the struggle, and all the things fall out).
There, this comes of playing the fool. (They help him to
pick up the things, and exclaim)—

All, There’s no harm done—(throwing the knapsack over
his shoulder).




“Hey day! What have we here? A purse, a purse! ’—P. 241.
THE KNAPSACK 241

Charles. T'm the first to march, after all.
Peasants. Ay! in your sleep. [Hueunt, laughing.

Enter CATHERINE’S two little Children.

Little Girl. I am sure I heard some voices this way.

Little Boy. It was only the rustling of the leaves. Come,
let us make haste home. Never mind your faggot; it was
not here you left it.

Little Girl. Oh yes, it was here, somewhere hereabouts,
I’m sure, and I’d like to carry it home to mother, to make
a blaze before she goes to bed.

Little Boy. But she will wonder what keeps us so late.

Little Girl. But we shall tell her what kept us so late,
and then she won’t wonder; look under those trees, will
you, whilst I look here for my faggot? When we get
home I shall say, “Mother, do you know there is great
news 1—there’s a great many, many candles in the windows
of the great house, and dancing and music in the great
house, because the master’s come home, and the house-

keeper had not time to pay us, and we waited and waited
2?



with our faggots ; at last the butler

Little Boy. Hey day! What have we here /—a purse, a
purse, a heavy purse.

Little Girl. Whose can it be?—let us carry it home to
nother.

Little Boy. No, no; it can’t be mother’s ; mother has no
purse full of money. It must belong to somebody at the
great house.

Little Girl. Ay, very likely to Dame Ulrica, the house-
keeper, for she has more purses and money than anybody
else in the world.

Little Boy. Come, let us run back with it to her ; mother
would tell us to do'so, I’m sure, if she was here.

Little Girl. But I’m afraid the housekeeper won’t see us
to-night.

Kt
242 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Little Boy. Oh, yes; but Tl beg, and pray, and push,
till I get into her room.

Lnttle Girl. Yes; but don’t push me, or I shall knock
my head against the trees. Give me your hand, brother.
Oh, my faggot! T shall never find you. [Laewnt.

SCENE.—Carurnrine’s Cottage.

Cath. (alone). Hark! here they come! No, ’twas only
the wind—what can keep these children so late? But it is
a fine moonlight night, they'll have brave appetites for
their supper when they come back; but I wonder they
don’t come home ; heigho! since their father has been gone,
fam grown a coward—(a knock at the door heard)—come
in! Why does every knock at the door startle me in this
way ¢

Enter CHARLES, with a knapsack on his back.

Charles. Mistress! mayhap you did not expect to see a
stranger at this time o’ night, as I guess by the looks of
ye; but I’m only a poor fellow that has been afoot a great
many hours.

Cath. Then pray ye rest yourself, and such fare as we
have you're welcome to.

[She sets milk, etc., on a table—Charles throws himself into

a chair, ond flings his knapsack behind her.

Charles. "Tis a choice thing to rest one’s self. I say,
mistress, you must know, I and some more of us peasants
have come a many, many leagues since break of day.

Cath. Indeed, you may well be tired—and where do you
come from? Did you meet on your road any soldiers
coming back from Finland?

Charles (eats and speaks). Not the soldiers themselves, I
can’t say as I did ; but we are them that are bringing home
the knapsacks of the poor fellows that have lost their lives
in the wars in Finland.
THE KNAPSACK 243

Catherine (daring this speech of Charles leans on the back
of a chair—aside). Now I shall know my fate.

Charles (eating and speaking). My comrades are gone
on to the village beyond with their knapsacks, to get them
owned by the families of them to whom they belonged, as
it stands'to reason and right. Pray, mistress, as you know
the folks hereabouts, could you tell me whose knapsack
this is, here behind me%—(looking up at Catherine)
Oons, but how pale she looks! (Aside.) Here, sit ye
down, do. (Aside.) Why, I would not have said a word,
if I had thought on it—to be sure, she has a lover now
that has been killed in the wars. (Alowd.) Take a sup of
the cold milk, mistress.

Catherine (goes fearfully towards the knapsack). "Tis his!
*Tis my husband’s !

[She sinks down on a chuir, and hides her face with her
hands.

Charles. Poor soul! poor soul! (he pauses.) But now it
is not clear to me that you may not be mistaken, mistress ;
these knapsacks be all so much alike, I’m sure I could not,
for the soul of me, tell one from t’other—it is by what’s in
the inside only one can tell for certain. (Charles opens the
knapsack, pulls out & waistcoat, carries it towards Catherine,
and holds it before her face.) Look ye here now, don’t give
way to sorrow while there’s hope left—mayhap, mistress,
look at this now, can’t ye, mistress

[Catherine timidly moves her hands from before her
Sauce, sees the waistcoat, gives a faint scream, and
Sulls back in a swoon—the peasant runs to support
her. At this instant the buck door of the cottage
opens, and ALEFTSON enters.

Aleft. Catherine !

Charles. Poor soul !—there, raise her head, give her air ;
she fell into this swoon at the sight of yonder knapsack—
her husband’s—he’s dead. Poor creature, ’twas my luck


244, EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

to bring the bad news; what shall we do for her? I’m no
better than a fool when I see a body this way.

Aleft. (sprinkling water on her face). She'll be as well as
ever she was, you'll see, presently ; leave her to me!

Charles. There! she gave a sigh, she’s coming to her
senses. [Catherine raises herself.

Cath. What has been the matter ’—(she starts at the sight
of Aleftson). My husband !—no, ’tis Aleftson—what makes
you look so like him? you don’t look like yourself.

Aleft. (aside, to the peasant). Take that waistcoat out of
the way.

Cath. (looking rownd, sees the knapsack). What’s there?
Oh, I recollect it all now—(to Aleftson)—look there! look
there! your brother! your brother’s dead. Poor fool, you
have no feeling.

Aleft. I wish I had none.

Cath. Oh, my husband! shall I never, never see you
more, never more hear your voice, never more see my
children in their father’s arms ?

Aleft. (takes up the waistcoat, on which her eyes are fixed).
But we are not sure this is Christiern’s.

Charles (snatching it from him). Don’t show it her again,
man! you'll drive her mad.

Aleft. (aside). Let me alone, I know what Pm about,—
(Aloud.) ’Tis certainly like a waistcoat I once saw him
wear ; but, perhaps

Cath. It is his—it is his—too well IT know it;} my own
work. I gave it to him the very day he went away to the
wars; he told me he would wear it again the day of his



-coming home ; but he’ll never come home again,



1 «The boy put on his robes, his robes of green,
His purple vest—’twas my own sewing.
Ah, wretched me, I little, little kenned
He was in those to meet his ruin.”
Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poctry.
THE KNAPSACK 245

Aleft. How can you be sure of that?

Cath. How! why, am I not sure, too sure? Hey! what
do you mean? He smiles !—have you heard anything? do
you know anything? But he can know nothing—he can
tell me nothing—he has no sense. (She turns to the peasant.)
Where did you get this knapsack? did you see q

Aleft. He saw nothing—he knows nothing—he can tell
you nothing ; listen to me, Catherine—see, I have thrown
aside the dress of a fool ; you know I had my senses once—



I have them now, as clear as ever I had in my life—ay,
you may well be surprised ; but I will surprise you more,
Count Helmaar’s come home.

Cath. Count Helmaar! impossible !

Charles, Count Helmaar!—he was killed in the last
battle in Finland.

Aleft. I tell ye he was not killed in any battle; he is
safe at home, I have just seen him.

Cath, Seen him !—but why do I listen to him, poor fool!
he knows not what he says—and yet, if the count be really
alive——

Charles. Is the count really alive? T’d give my best
cow to see him.

Aleft. Come with me, then, and in one quarter of an
hour you shail see him,

Cath. (clasping her hands). Then there és hope for me.
Tell me, is there any news?

Aleft. There is.

Cath. Of my husband 2

Aleft. Yes, ask me no more; you must hear the rest

from Count Helmaar himself 3 he has sent for you.

Cath. (springs Jorward). This instant let me go, let me
hear—— (she stops short at the sight of the waistcoat, which
lies in her passage). But what shall I hear? there can he
no good news for me—this speaks too plainly.

[Alefison pulls her arm between his, and leads her away.
246 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Charles. Nay, master, take me, as you promised, along
with you. I -won’t be left behind. I’m wide awake now.
I must have a sight of Count Helmaar in his own castle—
why, they'll make much of me in every cottage on my road
home, when I can swear to’em I’ve seen Count Helmaar
alive in his own castle, face to face. God bless him, he’s
the poor man’s friend. [Zaeunt.

SCENE.—The Housekeepers room in Count HELMAAR’S
Castle,

Unica and CHRISTIERN.

CHRISTIERN 7s drawing on his boots. Mrs. Uurtca zs
sitting at a tea-table, making coffee.

Mrs. Ulrica. Well, well, Pl say no more; if you can’t
stay to-night, you can’t; but I had laid it all out in my
head so cleverly, that you should stay and take a good
night’s rest here in the castle ; then, in the morning, you'd
find yourself as fresh as a lark.

Christiern. Oh, I am not at all tired.

Mrs. Ulrica. Not tired? don’t tell me that, now, for I
know that you are tired, and can’t help being tired, say
what you will: drink this dish of coffee, at any rate.

[He drinks coffee.

Christiern. But the thoughts of seeing my Catherine and
my little ones

Mrs. Ulrica. Very true, very true; but, in one word, I
want to see the happy meeting ; for such things are a treat



to me, and don’t come every day, you know; and now, in
the morning, I could go along with you to the cottage;
but you must be sensible I could not be spared out this
night, on no account or possibility.

Enter Footman.

footman. Ma’am, the cook is hunting high and low for
the brandy cherries.
THE KNAPSACK QAiT

Mrs. Ulrica. Lord bless me! are not they there before
those eyes of yours?—but I can’t blame nobody for being
out of their wits a little with joy on such a night as
this. [Zait Footman.

Christiern. Never man was better beloved in the regiment
than Count Helmaar.

Irs. Ulrica. Ay! ay! so he is everywhere, and so he
deserves to be. Is your coffee good? sweeten. to your. taste,
and don’t spare sugar; nor don’t spare anything that this
house affords ; for to be sure you deserve it all; nothing
can be too good for him that saved my master’s life; so
now that we are comfortable and quiet over our dish of
coffee, pray be so very good as to tell me the whole story
of my master’s escape, and of the horse being killed under
him, and of your carrying him off on your shoulders, for I
have only heard it yet by bits and scraps; as one may say,
Pve seen only the bill of fare—ha! ha! ha !—so now pray
set out all the good things for me in due order, garnished
and all; and before you begin, taste these cakes; they are
my own making.

Christiern (aside). "Tis the one-and-twentieth time I’ve
told the story to-day ; but no matter. (Adoud.) Why then,
madam, the long and the short of the story is

Mrs. Ulrica. O pray let it be the long, not the short
of the story, if you please: a story can never be too
long for my taste when it concerns my master; ’tis, as
one may say, fine-spun sugar—the longer the finer, and
the more I relish it: but I interrupt you, and you eat
none of my cake; pray go on (a call behind the scenes
of “Mrs. Ulrica! ‘Mrs. Ulrica!”). Coming! coming !—
patience !

Christiern. Why then, madam, we were, as it might be,
here,—just please to look: I’ve drawn the field of battlo
for you here, with coffee, on the table; and you shall be
the enemy.




248 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

Mrs. Ulrica. I, no! Tl not be the enemy—my master’s
enemy !

Christiern. Well, I’ll be the enemy.

Mrs. Ulrica. You! O no, you sha’n’t be the enemy.

Christiern. Well, then, let the cake be the enemy.

Mrs. Ulrica. The cake—my cake! no, indeed !

Christiern. Well, let the candle be the enemy.

Mrs. Ulrica. Well, let the candle be the enemy: and
where was my master, and where are you? I don’t under-
stand; what is all this great slop ?

Christiern. Why, ma’am, the field of battle; and let the
coffee-pot be my master. Here comes the enemy——

Enter Footman.

Footman. Mrs. Ulrica, more refreshments wanting for
the dancers above.

Mrs. Ulrica. More refreshments !—more! bless my heart,
’tis an wnpossibility they can have swallowed down all I
laid out, not an hour ago, in the confectionery-room.

Footman. Confectionery-room! Oh, I never thought of
looking there.

Mrs. Ulrica. Look ye there, now! why, where did you
think of looking, then? in the stable or the cock-loft, eh?
(exit Footman)—but I can’t scold on such a night as this ;
their poor heads are all turned with joy, and my own’s
scarce in a more properer condition. Well, I beg your
pardon; pray go on: the coffee-pot is my master, and the
candle’s the enemy.

Christiern. So, ma’am, here comes the enemy full drive
upon Count Helmaar.

[A call without of “Mrs, Ubical Mrs, Ulrica!
Mrs. Ulvica!”

Mrs. Ulrica. Mrs. Ulvica! Mrs, Ulrica! can’t. you do

without Mrs, Ulrica one instant, but you must call, call
THE KNAPSACK 249

(Mrs. Ulrica ! Mrs. Ulvica !”)—Mercy on us, what do ye
want? I musé go for one instant.

Christiern. And I must bid ye a good-night.

Mrs. Ulvica. Nay, nay (eagerly), you won’t go; Pll be
back.

Linter Footman.

Footman. Ma’am ! Mrs. Ulrica! the key of the blue press.

Mrs, Ulvica, The key of the blue press: I had it in my
hand just now; I gave it—I (looks amongst a bunch of keys,
and then all round the room)—I know nothing at all about
it, I tell you. I must drink my tea, and I will. (ait
Footman.) ’Tis asin to scold on such a night as this, if
one could help it. Well, Mr. Christiern, so the coffee-pot’s
my master.

Christiern. And the sugar-basin—— Why, here’s a key
in the sugar-basin.

Mrs. Ulvica. Lord bless me! ’tis the very key—the key
of the blue press. Why, dear me (feels in her pocket), and
here are the sugar-tongs in my pocket, I protest: where
was my poor head? Here, Thomas! Thomas! here’s the
key ; take it, and don’t say a word for your life, if you can
help it: you need not come in, I say (she holds the door—
the footman pushes in).

Footman. But, ma’am, I’ve something particular to say.

Mrs. Ulrica. Why, you've always something particular
to say: is it anything about my master ?

Footman. No, but about your purse, ma’am.,

yrs. Ulvica. What of my purse?

Footman. Here’s your little godson, ma’am, is here, who
has found it.

Mrs. Ulrica (aside), Hold your foolish tongue, can’t you ?
Don’t mention my little godson, for your life.

[The little boy creeps in under the footman’s arm ;
his sister Kate follows him. Mrs. Ulrica lifts wp
her hands and eyes with signs of impatience.
250 EVERY GIRS STORIES

Mrs. Ulrica (aside). Now I had settled in my head that
their father should not see them till to-morrow morning.

Little Girl. Who is that stranger man ?

Little Boy. He has made me forget all I had to say.

Christiern (aside). What charming children !

Mrs, Ulrica (aside). He does not know them to be his ;—
they don’t know him to be their father. (Alowd.) Well,
children, what brings you here at this time of night?

Little Boy. What I was going to say was (the little boy
looks at the stranger between every two or three words, and
Christiern looks at hin)—what I was going do say was——

Little Girl. Ha! ha! ha! he forgets that we found this
purse in the forest as we were going home.

Little Boy. And we thought that it might be yours,

Mrs. Ulrica. Why should you think it was mine?

Little Boy. Because nobody else could have so much
money in one purse, so we brought it to you—here it is.

Mrs. Ulrica. "Tis none of my purse. (Aside.) Oh! he'll
certainly find out that they are his children (she stands
between the children and Christiern). "Tis none of my purse ;
but you are good, honest little dears ; and I’ll be hanged if
I won’t carry you both up to my master himself this very
minute, and tell the story of your honesty before all the
company (she pushes the children towards the door; Ulric
looks back).

Little Boy. He has a soldier’s coat on; let me ask him if
he is a soldier.

Mrs. Ulrica. No; what’s that to you?

Little Girl. Let me ask him if he knows anything about
father.

Mrs. Ulrica (puts her hand before the little girl's mouth).
Hold your little foolish tongue, I say; what’s that to you?

[Hveunt Mrs, Ulrica, pushing forward the children.
THE KNAPSACK 251

Enter, at the opposite door, THomas, the footman.

Footman. Sir, would you please to come into our servants’
hall, only for one instant; there’s one wants to speak a
word to you.

Christiern. Oh, I cannot stay another moment; I must
go home. Who is it?

Footman. ’Tis a poor man, who has brought in two carts
full of my master’s baggage; and my master begs you'll be
so very good as to see that the things are all right, as you
know ’em, and no one else here does.

Christiern (with impatience). How provoking !—a full
hour’s work, I sha’n’t get home this night, I see that. I
wish the man and the baggage were in the Gulf of Finland,

[Haewnt.

SCENE.—The apartment where the Count, ELmonora,
Curistina, dc., were dancing.

Enter Mrs. Unrica, leading the two children.

Christina. Ha! Mrs. Ulrica and her little godson.

Mrs, Ulrica. My lady, I beg pardon for persuming to
interrupt, but I was so proud of my little godson and his
sister, though not my god-daughter, that I couldn’t but
bring them up through the very midst of the company to
my master, to praise ’em according to their deserts, for
nobody can praise those that deserves it so well as my
master



to my fancy.

Eleonora (aside). Nor to mine.

Mrs. Ulrica. Here’s a purse, sir, which this little boy
and girl of mine found in the wood, as they were going
home, and, like honest children, as they are, they came
back with it directly to me, thinking that it was mine.

Helmaar. Shake hands, my honest little fellow; this is
just what I should have expected from a godson of Mrs.
Ulrica, and a son of-——
252, EVERY -GIRL’S STORIES

Mrs. Ulrica (aside to the count). Oh, Lord bless you, sir,
don’t tell him. My lady—(to Christina)—would you take
the children out of hearing ?

Lileon. (to the children). Come with us, my dears.

[Haeunt ladies and children.

Mrs. Ulvica. Don’t, sir, pray, tell the children anything
about their father; they don’t know that their father’s
here, though they’ve just seen him ; and I’ve been striving
all I can to keep the secret, and to keep the father here all
night, that I may have the pleasure of seeing the meeting
of father and mother and children, at their own cottage,
to-morrow. I would not miss the sight of their meeting
for fifty pounds, and yet I shall not see it after all, for
Christiern will go, all I can say or do. Lord bless me! T
forgot to bolt him in when I came up with the children—
the bird’s flown, for certain. [Going in a great hurry.

Helmaar, Good Mrs. Ulvica, you need not be alarmed,
your prisoner is very safe, I can assure you, though you
forgot to bolt him in; I have given him an employment
that will detain him a full hour, for I design to have the
pleasure of restoring my deliverer, myself, to his family.

Mrs. Ulrica. Oh! that will be delightful !—then you'll
keep him here all night, but that will vex him terribly,
and of all the days and nights-of the year, one wouldn’t
have anybody vexed this day or night, more especially the
man, who, as I may say, is the cause of all our illuminations,
and rejoicings, and dancings. No, no, happen what will,
we must not have him vexed.

Helmaar, He shall not be vexed, I promise you; and if
it be necessary to keep your heart from breaking, my good
Mrs. Ulrica, P11 tell you a secret, which I had intended, I
own, to have kept from you one half-hour longer.

Mrs, Ulrica. A. secret !—dear sir, half-an-hour’s a great
while to keep a secret’ from one when it’s about one’s
friends ; pray, if it be proper, but you are the best judge,
THE KNAPSACK 253

I should be very glad to hear just a little hint of the matter
to prepare me.

Helmaar, Then prepare, in a few minutes, to see the
happy meeting between Christiern and his family ; I have
sent to his cottage for his wife, to desire that she will come
hither immediately.

Mrs. Ulrica. Oh! a thousand thanks to you, sir; but
I’m afraid the messenger will let the cat out of the
bag.

Helmaar. The man I have sent can keep a secret. Which
way did the Lady Eleonora go? Are those peasants in the
‘hall? [Lait Count.

Irs. Ulrica (following). She went towards the west
dvawing-room, I think, sir. Yes, sir, the peasants are at
supper in the hall. (Aside.) Bless me! I wonder what
messenger he sent, for I don’t know many, men I mean, fit
to be trusted with a secret. [Lait

SCENE.—An apartment in Count Hetmaar’s Castle.—
ELronorsa—Cunristina.—Little Kare and Uuric asleep
on the floor.

Hileon. Poor little creatures! they are quite tired by
sitting up so late; is their mother come yet?

Christina. Not yet, but she will soon be here, for my
brother told Aleftson to make all possible haste. Do you
know where my brother is !—he is not among the dancers.
lL expected to have found him sighing at the Lady Eleonora’s
feet.

leon. He is much better employed than in sighing at
anybody’s feet ; he is gone down into the great hall to see
and to reward some poor peasants, who have brought home
the knapsacks of those unfortunate soldiers who fell in the
last battle. Your good Mrs. Ulrica found out that these
peasants were in the village near us; she sent for them,
254 EVERY GIRLS SLORIES

got a plentiful supper ready, and the count is now speaking
to them.

Christina. And can you forgive my ungallant brother
for thinking of vulgar boors, when he ought to be intent
on nothing but your bright eyes?—then all I can say is,
you are both of you just fit for one another; every fool,
indeed, saw that long ago.

[A ery behind the scenes of “ Long live Count Helmaar!
long live the good count! long live the poor man’s
Jriend /”

Christina (joins the cry). Long live Count Helmaar !—

join me, Eleonora



long live the good count! long live the
poor man’s friend !

[he little children waken, start up and stretch themselves.
Lileon. There, you have awakened these poor children.
Ulric, What’s the matter? I dreamed father was shaking

hands with me.

inter Mrs. Unrica.

Little Kate. Mrs. Ulvica; where am I? I thought I was
in my little bed at home; I was dreaming about a purse, I
believe.

Mrs. Ulrica, Was it about this purse you were dreaming }
(shows the purse which the children found in the wood)—
come, take it in your little hands, and waken and rouse
yourselves, for you must come and give this purse back to
the rightful owner, I’ve found him out for you—(aside to
Christina ond Eleonora), and now, ladies, if you please to
go up into the gallery you'll see something worth looking
at. [Laeunt.

SCENE.—A hall iv Count Hetmaar’s Castle.— Peasants
rising from supper in the back scene.

1st Peasant. Here’s health to the poor man’s friend, and
wo

THE KNAPSACK dd
may every poor man, every honest poor man—and there
are none other in Sweden—find as good a friend as Count
Helmaar.

inter CHARLES, eagerly.

Charles. Count Helmaar! is he here 2
All. Hey day! Charles, the sleeper, broad awake! or is
he walking in his sleep ?
Charles. Where's Count Helmaar, I say? I’d walk in
my sleep, or any way, to get a sight of him.
lst Peasant. Hush! stand back !—here’s some of the
quality coming, who are not thinking of you.
[Zhe Peusunts all vetire to the back scene. Count
Helmaar, Christina, and Eleonora appear looking
Jrom a gallery.

inter Aturrson and CatTHerine at one door, Mrs. Unrica
at the opposite door, with Curistiern, followed by the two
children.

Cath. (springs forward). Christiern ! my husband! alive!
—is it a dream?

Christiern (embracing her). Your own Christiern, dearest
Catherine.

[Lhe children clap their hands and run to their father.

Ulric. Why, I thought he was my father, only he did
not shake hands with me.

Kate. And Mrs, Ulrica bid me hold my tongue.

Christiern. My Ulric! my little Kate!

Mrs, Ulrica, Ay, wy little Kate, you may speak now as
much as you will (their father kisses them eagerly). Ay,
kiss them, kiss them; they are as good children as ever
were born, and as honest. Kate, show him the purse, and
ask him if it be his.

Kate. Is it yours, father ? [Holds up the purse.
256 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Christiern. "Tis mine! ’twas in my knapsack; but how
came it here, heaven knows.

Ulric. We found it in the wood, father, as we were going
home, just at the foot of a tree.

Charles (comes forward). Why, mayhap, now I recollect,
I might have dropped it there; more shame for me, or
rather more shame for them (looking back at his companions),
that were playing the fool with me, and tumbled out all
the things on the ground. Master, I hope there’s no harm
done; we poor peasant fellows have brought home all the
other knapsacks, safe and sound, to the relations of them
that died, and yours came by mistake, it seems.

Christiern. It is a very lucky mistake, for I wouldn't
have lost a waistcoat, which there is in that knapsack, for
all the waistcoats in Sweden. My Catherine, ‘twas that
which you gave me the day before I went abroad,—do you
remember it?

Charles. Ay, that she does; it had like to have been the
death of her, for she thought you must be dead for certain,
when she saw it brought home without you; but I knew
he was not dead, mistress. Did not I tell you, mistress,
not to give way to sorrow while there was hope left?

Cath. Oh joy! joy! too much joy!

Aleft. Now, are you sorry you came with me, when I
bade you? But I’m a fool! Pm a fool!

Ulric. But where’s the cap and coat you used to wear ?

Kate. You are quite another man, uncle.

Aleft. The same man, niece, only in another coat.

Mrs. Ulrica (laughing). How they stare! Well, Christiern,
you are not angry with my master and me for keeping you
now ?—but, angry or not, I don’t care, for I wouldn’t have
missed seeing this meeting for anything in the whole
world.
THE KNAPSACK 257

Enter Count Henmaar, Eveonora, and CHRISTINA.

Christina. Nor I.

Eleonora. Nor I.

Helmaar. Nor I.

The Peasants. Nor any of us.

Helmaar (to little Ulric). My honest little boy, is that
the purse which you found in the wood ?

Ulrica. Yes, and it’s my own father’s.

Helmaar. And how much money is there in it?

[The child opens the purse, and spreads the money on the
| floor.

Ulric (to Mrs. Ulrica), Count you, for I can’t count so
much.

Mrs, Ulvica (counts). Eight ducats, five rixdollars, and
let me see how many, sixteen carolines!!1—’twould have
been a pity, Catherine, to have lost all this treasure which
Christiern has saved for you.

Helmaar. Catherine, { beg that all the money in this
purse may be given to these honest peasants—(to Mate)
here, take it to them, my little modest girl. As for you
and your children, Catherine, you may depend upon it that
I will not neglect to make you easy in the world; your
own good conduct, and the excellent manner in which you
have brought up these children, would incline me to serve
you, even if your husband had not saved my life.

Cath. Christiern, my dear husband, and did you save
Qount Helmaar’s life 4

Mrs. Ulrica. Ay, that he did.

Cath. (embracing him). I am the happiest wife, and
(turning to kiss her children) the happiest mother upon earth.



1 A rixdollar is 4s. 6d. sterling ; two rixdollars are equal in value
toaducat, A caroline is 1s. 2d.
258 EVERY GIRS STORIES

Charles (staring up in Count Helmaar’s face). God bless
him! I’ve seen him face to face at last, and now I wish
in my heart I could see his wife.

Christina, And so do I most sincerely ; my dear brother,
who has been all his life labouring for the happiness
of others, should now surely think of making himself
happy.

Eleonora (giving her hand to Helmaar). No; leave that
to me, for I shall think of nothing else all my life.
THE DWARFS NEST

By Ksat

CHAPTER I

Many years ago there lived a skilful weaver, who was
employed by the chief tradespeople of the old German town
near which he resided, to supply them with the beautiful
goods which he manufactured in his loom.

The rent of the poorest room to be procured in the town
was more than he could afford, and he was forced to look
out for one in the neighbourhood which would be’ less
expensive ; that he was more than successful in his search
you will see. He found a dwelling which, although not
‘beautiful, he felt would at any rate afford him shelter from
the wind and the rain, It was a miserable hut on the out-
skirts of a small village, and was built partly against the
ruins of what had been a prison in olden times. This
prison was supposed to have belonged to an old castle, the
ruins of which were to be seen on a rocky eminence near.

A shepherd had constructed this hut for himself out of a
few rotten planks; he had found it convenient, as from its
shelter he could keep an eye on his sheep while they
wandered about among the blackened ruins and nibbled the
scanty herbage which grew around them.

The shepherd had not lived long in this hut when he was

obliged to leave, in consequence of the most extraordinary
259
260 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

disturbances which took place. One moonlight night his
whole flock of sheep broke into such disorder and confusion,
as if a pack of wolves had been let loose amongst them.
The poor creatures bleated piteously and rushed madly
about, showing every sign of terror, and they scampered off
wherever they could find an exit among the ruins,

In vain did -the distracted shepherd whistle and call to
them to return; they did not pay the least attention, and
many of them, not looking where they were going, fell over
the rocks and were dashed to pieces below.

The shepherd’s dogs, usually so zealous in the discharge
of their duty, were utterly useless; they only hung their
tails and howled, and the shepherd could not make them
obey either by kind words or by blows. He was in despair,
and when the very next moonlight night the same thing
occurred again he was determined he would find out the
cause. It was all very well his determining to do so, but
it was no easy task. Although he searched the place most
carefully he could see nothing that could have caused the
panic. Now and then he thought he heard a low laugh
close to him and a “halloo,” but he could see no one. For
several nights in succession the owners of the sheep kept
watch with the shepherd, whom they rather suspected of
having hoodwinked them, but they proved the truth of his
statement for themselves. They heard the hallooing and
the laughter, and they came to the conclusion that the
dwarfs, or “little people” as they were called, were at the
bottom of it. The dwarfs had inhabited these rocks and
mountains from time immemorial, and it was quite evident
that they had got up a mimic hunt on their own account
just to annoy their human neighbours,

It would not be the first time that they had played
practical jokes on the villagers.

Some of the oldest inhabitants of the district, and even a
few of the younger ones, had occasionally seen the dwarfs
THE DWARFS’ NEST 261:

as they passed their haunts, either on their way to the
annual fair, or to their business.

The spots where the dwarfs loved most to congregate
were green hollows carpeted with soft moss, and surrounded
by ancient trees. Ifa great tree happened to stand in the
centre of one of these open spaces, whose spreading branches
made a sort of leafy tent, that would be sure to be their
favourite rendezvous. They would arrive in troops as the
first streaks of moonlight appeared above the mountains,
and begin their revels. Now and then an old huntsman
would relate to eager listeners how, when in pursuit of a
stag late in the evening, he had disturbed a party of these
“little people” in the midst of their games, and then he
would describe their graceful bounds and charming dances
and the wonderful agility of their movements.

Great caution had to be practised by an uninvited spec-
tator of these moonlight revels, so that the sharp eyes of
the dwarfs should not discover them. If by any chance
they caught sight of an interloper they would stop suddenly
in the midst of their dance and vanish with a rush through
the air, making a sound like a swarm of bees passing over
a field of flowers ; and sometimes a shower of boxes on the
ear from invisible but very substantial hands would punish
the rash intruder. Not unfrequently he would be thrown
violently to the ground, and on rising the next morning
would find himself black and blue from the bruises he had
received.

Of late years, however, the dwarfs had removed from
their woodland haunts, as the woodman’s axe had ruthlessly
cut down their favourite trees, and they migrated to the
vicinity of old ruins, where they were not so likely to be
disturbed.

Tt was a much more diflicult matter now to witness their
midnight frolics, for they had grown more cautious than
ever, and were scarcely ever to be surprised by inquisitive
262. EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

mortals. They had grown more malicious too, and heavy
was the punishment that fell upon those who were lucky—
or unlucky—enough to get a sight of them.

In consequence of their being so seldom seen, the belief
in the “little folk” gradually lost its hold upon the people,
and very little credence was given to the tales of those who
declared that they had seen them. It was no good their
showing their bruises as a proof of the truth of their story,
for they were laughed at for their pains, and told that their
potations of the night before had probably something to do
with it.

After the shepherd’s strange experiences, however, the
belief in the dwarfs somewhat revived, and the villagers
came to the conclusion that they had better give them as
wide a berth as possible.

The shepherd left the hut and took up his abode else-
where, and no sooner had he done go than the “little
people” showed signs of a more placable disposition. They
replaced the lost sheep, and the owners of the same thereby
found themselves fully compensated for their loss.

In the mean time the hut stood empty, and, not very
labitable at the best of times, soon fell into the most
dilapidated condition, 'The windows were broken and the
wind and the rain came in on every side. The walls, which
were of turf, seemed to hold out the longest. They were
green and flourishing, and as the roof was covered with
weeds and wild flowers, the hut had the appearance at a
little distance of a huge bird’s-nest; in consequence of
which, and associated as it was with the dwarfs in people’s
minds, it came to be called the Dwarfs’ Nest by the

villagers,
THE DWARES’ NEST 263

CHAPTER II

Tux hut had been standing empty’ for some time when
the weaver, mentioned at the beginning of our story,
returned, after many years of travel, to his native village.
All his nearest friends and relations were dead (his parents
had died in great poverty), and those distant relatives who
were still alive refused to do anything for him. They
would not even provide him with one small room where he
could set up his loom and earn an honest livelihood by the
labour of his hands.

The reason of this extremely unkind behaviour was as
follows :—

The weaver’s father, a gamekeeper, had married the
daughter of a charcoal-burner, who was very clever in the
medicinal use of herbs, and was therefore popularly sup-
posed to be a witch. She was hooted at and generally
oppressed wherever she went.

The odium that attached to her descended in some
measure upon her son, whom the neighbours never forgave
for being a fine healthy child, while their own children
were sickly and miserable.

Fortunately for Conrad, his parents lived until he had
served his apprenticeship to the master weaver in the
adjacent town, after which he had gone out into the world
to seek his fortune. He had thus been spared the misery
of being thrown on the charity of others before he was able
to earn his own livelihood.

His father and mother had seen his education completed,
and had had the satisfaction of hearing that he was getting
on by dint of his own exertions, before they died. He
inherited nothing from his parents, for their small stock of
furniture, and whatever they left besides, had been seized
264: EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

by the neighbours to pay the expenses of the wretched
funerals.

After knocking about the world for some years, Conrad
returned to his native village, where he intended to settle
down and work at his loom. The treatment he received
on all hands during his search for a lodging, was such that,
had it not been for his love for his early home, and for the
spot where his beloved parents were buried, he would have
turned his back upon the village the very day of his return,
and gone abroad again.

He met with nothing but cruelty and insult. One person
told him that he had no room for him in his house, and that
he had better apply to the dwarfs, who would be sure to
receive him with open arms, and would, without doubt, let
him have the Dwarfs’ Nest cheap.

The weaver, who did not care a bit for these.taunts,
suddenly recalled to mind the hut in which he had so often
played as a boy, and the thought struck him that he might
do worse than follow the advice which had been given in
derision ; whereupon he set off immediately for the hut.

On reaching it he found the door rather hard to open,
but when he succeeded in entering, he saw, to his great
satisfaction, that the interior, although certainly rather
dilapidated, might, with a little trouble, soon be made
habitable. He set to work at once to clear away the
rubbish with which the place was filled, and then returned
to the village to fetch some former friends of his, who were
painters and glaziers by trade, to assist him in his work of
renovation.

With their help he soon made quite another thing of the
Dwarfs’ Nest, and as soon as he had put up his loom he
felt quite at home. :

The villagers had watched these preparations with no
little surprise, but they laughed in their sleeves, and
prophesied that Conrad would not be left very long in
THE DWARFS NEST 265

peaceful possession. Although the weaver remembered the
stories about the dwarfs which had been current in the
neighbourhood before he left home, he did not trouble his
head about them.

He had lost his belief in such things during the years
he had been away, as there had been nothing to keep it
alive ; and he had other things than dwarfs to think about
the first night he slept in the hut.

It was a clear moonlight night, and his thoughts kept
him awake for ever solong. He heard the church clock in
the village strike the hows, and when at length it tolled
out the hour of midnight, he settled himself to sleep in
earnest. He had just turned round on his pillow and
closed his eyes, when he heard a sound of whispering and
rustling in the room ; on opening them wide, what was his
surprise to see the diminutive figure of a man, scarcely a
span high, standing before him. He was dressed in a
snuft-coloured coat, short breeches, and black stockings, and
shoes fastened with such large silver buckles, that Conrad
wondered he did not find them too heavy to walk with.

At first Conrad thought he must be dreaming, and rubbed
his eyes hard; but he soon discovered that he was wide
awake. His small visitor made a tour of the room, ex-
amined the furniture, and springing on to the window
ledge, tapped the new pane of glass with a small stick which
he carried in his hand. He seemed satisfied with his in-
spection, for he smiled as he went about. The cleanliness of
the floor and the whitewashed walls seemed to please him
the most, for he nodded his small head several times as he
noticed them, and chuckled audibly.

The weaver, who had watched him all this time with
wonder, now raised himself up in bed and tried to attract
his attention by coughing; but the troll would not look
round, and merely waved his hand as much as to say, “ All
in good time,” and went on with his investigations.
266 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

At last they were over, and springing upon the table, he
seated himself astride, on a loaf of black bread which stood
there, and nibbled away at the crumbs which he broke
off,

Conrad watched him in silence.

At last the dwarf began to speak in a tiny cracked voice,
his eyes wandering round the room all the time.

‘“We are pleased to receive as our lodger one who has
put our house into such excellent repair, and if you will
agree to our terms, I have no doubt that we shall live
together very happily.”

It had not occurred to the weaver that he would have to
pay rent for such a dilapidated place as the Dwarfs’ Nest ;
too wise, however, to quarrel with such a formidable person,
he declared himself willing to listen to what his eccentric
landlord had to say.

The dwarf then told him briefly the history of the shep-
herd, whose flock had caused him and his tribe such annoy-
ance, and concluded by assuring him that they harboured
no ill-feeling against the human race, and had merely acted
in the manner they had, from a desire to secure peace and
quiet. Conrad, re-assured by the friendly words of the
dwarf, and by his amiable expression, lost all the fear with
which he had at first regarded him, and replied that it. gave
him much pleasure to make so distinguished an acquaint-
ance, and that he hoped he should be able to agree to the
dwart’s terms, but that he had neither silver nor gold
wherewith to pay for his lodging.

The troll, breaking off a piece of bread, answered,
smiling :

“Such things have no value in our eyes; we have plenty
of gold and precious stones, and are reckoned wealthy
people, but there are many other things we stand in need
of, and which we can only obtain through the help of
industrious mortals. We have never lost sight of you since
THE DWARFS’ NEST 267

your childhood, and have seen with pleasure that you have
kept your heart unstained by worldliness and fraud, and
this is why we have allowed you to take possession of our
property here. We know how to value human virtues, and
would rather live among those who possess them, than with
those who have them not, to which category the shepherd
belonged who once lived here. Be always as industrious as
you are now, and you shall always receive our assistance
and support. In the meanwhile, listen to our conditions,
which are as follows.

CHAPTER III

“ OncE every month, at full moon, you must give us the
free use of your loom; you must not be inquisitive, but
shut yourself up in your bedroom, and we will cause you to
fall into a deep sleep, so that you may not hear us when
we are at work.” His face grew grave as he spoke, and he
concluded with these words: “I warn you not to spy upon
us. We shall only be able to bestow the gift of sleep upon
you as long as you are free from human vices, but we
cannot deliver you from evil thoughts, nor save you from
the pricks of conscience.”’

Conrad had listened attentively to this long speech, and
secretly congratulated himself on the easy terms of his
tenure,

He shook hands heartily with the dwarf, in token of his
acceptance of the same, and promised him that his labours
and those of his companions should be undisturbed.

After this formal ratification of the treaty, the little
figure on the loaf jumped down upon the floor, smiled once
268 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

more in a friendly manner, and disappeared: The weaver
then turned himself round in bed, and slept till it was
broad daylight.

He went into town the first thing on the following
morning to seek for employment, and it really seemed as if
some good fairy was by his side, for the very first person
he applied to received him favourably, and soon saw that
the weaver was a proficient in his trade. His new employer
entered his name in a book, and gave him an order to
execute at once, supplying him with the necessary materials
for the purpose. On his return home, Conrad set to work
in good earnest, and never before had he seemed to progress
so rapidly ; so much so that he was quite amazed. The
accidents that will happen to the best of workmen occurred
but seldom to him. The threads did not break, nor did
they get entangled. When he sat before the spool-wheel
to wind the silk before placing it in the shuttle, he was
surprised to find how quickly the wheel went round, and
how smoothly the silk wound itself on the spool, never once
getting out of order. Weavers usually employ two lads to
attend solely to this department, but Conrad managed to
do it by himself overnight at dusk, and in a wonderfully
short time had enough spools filled to last the whole of the
next day. When the new moon appeared, he knew that
the time was at hand when he should have to fulfil his
promise to the dwarfs. He always managed so that his
work was ready in good time for his employer, and made a
point of leaving his loom in apple-pie order, so that the
trolls should have nothing to complain of. Each month,
when the evening which had been appointed by the dwarfs
came round, he used to sit in the window-seat and look out,
watching the grey mists rising, and listening to the grass-
hoppers croaking, until the sky became lighter and lighter,
and the moon slowly rose in her splendour, He would then
betake himself to his bed, and if he was not troubled with
THE DWARFS’ NEST 269

evil thoughts, he soon fell fast asleep. Sometimes he heard
very curious noises in the next room as he was dropping off
to sleep; but as he was not naturally inquisitive, he did
not trouble his head about them, and soon went to sleep.
In the morning, when he entered his work-room, he would
find sure signs that the dwarfs had been at work, for,
hanging to the loom, were little scraps of coloured silks of
the most exquisite shades, with a thread of gold gleaming
here and there. Hanging to the weaver’s beam on which
the material was rolled when finished, he found one morn-
ing a narrow strip of such a lovely texture, and of such
glorious colouring and design, that his breath was com-
pletely taken away. He examined it closely, and the very
next time his business took him into town, he obtained
from the foreman of the shop some silks to match, and
immediately set to work to imitate it. Although he did
not succeed entirely to his own satisfaction, he produced
such a beautiful manufacture that the foreman was en-
chanted, and paid him very handsomely for it. This drew
him into notice, and his employers, who had merely looked
upon him hitherto as an industrious workman, and nothing
more, now became interested in him, and wished to ascertain
if the artistic design which they so much admired was his
own. The humble weaver, who had never received much
notice during the whole course of his life, was immensely
flattered by the attention which was now paid him by his
superiors, They invited him to join them of an evening in
their jollifications. He did not feel at home at first at
these parties where so much beer and wine was drunk, and
where the amusements were not of a sort that he was
accustomed to, and he felt’ ashamed, besides, of his shabby
clothes among such young dandies, as he thought them.
But he soon forgot all these feelings in his enjoyment of
the good liquor provided, while they on their side soon lost
the contempt with which they at first regarded one so much
270 EVERY GIRL’S STORTES

beneath them in the social scale, in the admiration they felt
for his skill, and in thinking of the means of wealth he
would be to them.

Up to this time Conrad had managed to live very com-
fortably upon what he earned by his industry, without
overworking himself, but he soon found that these frequent
orgies made such inroads upon his purse, that he was
‘obliged to work extra hours to enable him to make enough
money to cover his expenses.

Sometimes as he walked home in the middle of the night,
the voice of conscience would whisper to him that he was
not on the right road, and he would fancy as he passed
through the ruins of the castle that he saw his tiny land-
lord seated on a stone, shaking his head at him sorrowfully.
But he argued with himself that it was only his imagina-
tion, and he would not allow that the trolls had any reason
to be displeased with him; for did not he always prepare
the loom for them, and had he not always been careful
never to spend the night out when it was full moon?
Perhaps selfish motives had something to do with his close
attention to their orders, for he always flew to the weaver’s
beam the first thing in the morning, to secure the serap of
silk which the dwarfs regularly left behind them.

CHAPTER IV

On evening Conrad. either forgot that it would be full
moon that night, or he imagined that the dwarfs could
dispense with him for once, for he did not return home
as usual after taking his work into town. He remained
carousing with his boon companions, who did not allow
him to leave them till the moon was high in the heavens,
THE DWARFS’ NEST 271

On his way home he was much troubled in his mind as he
thought of his behaviour to the dwarfs, for he had not -put
the loom in order, and had remained out half the night.
His first thought was to hurry home and surprise the
“little people” at their work; but fear of incurring their
displeasure held him back, and besides he could not make
up his mind to break his word. He had not yet sunk so
low as that. It was a warm summer night, so he stretched
himself upon a mossy bank under a fir-tree, and was soon
sunk in slumber. When he awoke in the morning, he
hastened, as fast as his legs could carry him, and with a
‘beating heart, to the hut; for he did not know what
revenge the dwarfs might have taken on him for his
neglect of them. ‘To his intense relief, he found on
entering, that everything looked as usual ; and though he
listened with all his might, he could hear nothing but the
wooden clock ticking over his bed and the linnet singing
in its cage. He ran to his loom and found it uninjured,
and there, to his delight, was the scrap of silk and the
gold thread as usual; only he noticed that the design of
the former was quite different from what it had ever been
before. Instead of the colours blending harmoniously as
they had always done, they produced a most harsh effect,
and the pattern was strange and weird in the extreme,
Crimson and black predominated, and tiny silver threads
intersected it. The effect upon the weaver was most
peculiar. He was overwhelmed with self-reproach as he
gazed at it, and the recollections of his late evil courses
crowded upon him.

Unfortunately the bad example of his companions had
so far corrupted him that he would not listen to the voice
of conscience; stifling it immediately, he set to work to
imitate the new design, which, barbarous as it was, suited
his depraved taste far better than the former ones had done.

His employers were delighted with the new and original
272 EVERY GIRS STORTES

manufacture, and were more than ever determined to solve
the mystery as to who invented all the beautiful designs
Conrad brought, for they were convinced that it could not
be the simple creature himself. The foreman, who was as
sharp as a needle, now set himself in earnest to discover
the truth. He never suspected the dwarfs; his idea was
that Conrad had brought a large quantity of foreign stuffs
home with him from abroad, and was producing them one
by one in order to make a greater sensation by them.
Several times the foreman led the conversation to the
subject, as he and the weaver sat together drinking, but
the latter was too wide awake, and did not betray his
secret. Nothing daunted, the foreman returned to the
charge, and by dint of mancuvring managed at last to
extract the truth from Conrad, who pledged himself to
bring some of the dwarfs’ own handiwork with him next
time. This he did, and at the sight of the wonderful
manufacture the foreman threw up his hands with delight
and amazement.

Two things Conrad did not divulge, and these were the
time and the place that the dwarfs had chosen to carry on
their work. He was afraid that the foreman would take
it into his head to watch them, and so destroy his means of
earning a livelihood. For since Conrad had contracted his
bad habits, he had entirely confined himself to copying the
dwarfs’ patterns, finding it such a lucrative business. The
foreman shared the secret he had discovered with a few
intimate friends, who in their turn told it to several others,
and Conrad soon became the subject of much discussion
and notoriety. His former friends began to avoid him,
but he soon found others to take their place, with whom he
drank and caroused to his heart’s content, and his down-
ward course was rapid. He was no longer satisfied with
beer and wine; he now took to ardent spirits, and he
seldom went home sober.
.

THE DWARKES’ NEST 273

Now that which the dwarfs had warned him against
came to pass, They had said, if you remember, that they
would only befriend him as long as he kept free from
human vices and follies, and that their work would be for
his advantage only as long as his conscience would allow
him to sleep. Often and often he would toss about on his
bed when the trolls were at work, waking up constantly to
hear a humming and buzzing going on in the next room,
which seemed to keep his nerves on the rack. Burning
with fever, he would fall into a troubled sleep, only to
wake up again directly. As he went from bad to worse,
his nights became more and more disturbed, and he would
lie awake for hours sometimes, listening to the dwarfs at
work in the next room. Up to this time he had kept his
word, and had not tried to find out what they were doing ;
but at last he could stand it no longer, and sitting up in
bed one night, he strained his ears to listen. He could
hear the loom at work, and the shuttle moving backwards
and forwards as quick as lightning, while the spool-wheels
sounded like a whirlwind. Springing out of bed, he seized
the handle of the door, but his better self came to the
rescue, and he left go, and threw himself once more upon
his bed. The next morning he hurried to the loom, but
for the first time he missed the remnant of silk. It was
nowhere to be seen! The loom itself was in the greatest
confusion, and everything was entangled. It was quite
clear to Conrad that “the little people” had given him up,
and no longer intended to help him. When he appeared
before his employers with empty hands, and without so
much as a pattern of the dwarfs’ manufacture, they abused
him roundly, and said that they were no longer satisfied
with him; but they promised to give him one more trial.
They supplied him with materials, and said if he failed to
satisfy them this time he should get no more orders from

them in future.
"
274 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

CHAPTER V

As he went home, Conrad could not help contrasting his
present miserable position with his former prosperity ; and
as he felt in his pockets, no doubt the discovery that they
were empty embittered his reflections. He would have
given anything just then for a little drop of comfort, but
he looked in vain to see if he had a few coppers left, and
he did not dare to ask for credit at the alehouse for fear of
being refused.

Arrived at home, he began to put his loom in order,
preparatory to beginning work again ; but I am afraid less
from the love of work than from a desire to make money
to pay for his extravagances.

So sped the month away, and just as the full moon came
round again he had completed his task, with which he was
very well satisfied. As he was looking at it, and grumbling
to think how little he would be paid for his hard work,
an evil thought came into his head, which he put away
directly, but which would force itself upon him in spite of
himself. Why should he not deceive his superiors, and
keep back a couple of yards or so of the stuff to sell on
his own account? At first his conscience revolted against
the suggestion, but it is not so easy to resist temptation,
and, I am sorry to say, next minute he had taken up a pair
of scissors, and had snipped off a large piece of the stuff !
Having done this, he threw himself on his bed and tried to
sleep, but in vain. He heard hour after hour strike, and
the moon had risen before he closed his eyes. Then began
such a buzzing round the Dwarfs’ Nest, that it sounded
like a whole hive of bees swarming. By and by he heard
the “little people” enter the work-room and set the loom
in motion, and as the spool-wheel went round, they sang a
THE DWARFS’ NEST 275

song so monotonous, and at the same time so sweet, that
Conrad felt that he was being lulled to sleep. But just as
he was dropping off, the thought of his theft came into his
mind, and he was instantly wide awake again, and his
heart began beating like a sledge-hammer. He must have
been tossing about for an hour or so, when he thought
“why should I not disobey the dwarfs for-once and see
what they are doing?’’ He struggled for some time
against the temptation, one moment burying his head in
the bed-clothes so as not to hear anything, and the next
moment listening again with all his might.

He felt as if some invisible power were urging him first
to do the one thing and then the other. At last he could
bear it no longer, and getting up, he went to the door of
the work-room, determined to go in suddenly and surprise
“the little people.” He hesitated a moment, but he could
resist the impulse no longer.

One push, and the door flew open! Before he could see
anything, he received a heavy blow, and fell senseless to
the ground !

%* # eS F Bo # K

When he recovered his senses, Conrad rubbed his eyes,
and could not at first make out where he was; it was all
so different. At last he recognized his own work-room,
but to his dismay he saw that the walls were full of great
rents through which the wind blew mercilessly.

Bewildered and in pain, he raised himself with difficulty,
and could scarely recall to mind what had happened the
night before. Beside him lay the loom, all broken up into
little pieces, the roll of stuff which he had left there, and
the piece he had cut off, lying beside it.

It was only when he caught sight of the latter that ive
memory returned, and he was filled with shame as he
thought of the despicable part he had lately played. He
then and there resolved to begin to lead a new life; he
276 EVERY GI1RL’S STORIES

would take the roll, with the piece he had cut off, to his
employers, and confess everything to them, promising to
make amends for the future.

Armed with these good resolutions, he left the Dwarfs’
Nest, determining not to return there any more; for in
his heart he blamed “the little folk,” albeit unjustly, for
having been the cause of his present evil plight.

Once outside in the fresh morning air, he felt as if a
load had been taken off his mind, and he was filled with
shame as he thought of his shortcomings. For the first
time for three months, he visited the grave of his parents,
and, making fresh resolutions of amendment, he pursued
his journey, somewhat easier in his mind.

He had nearly reached the gates of the town, when he
thought he would sit down and open his parcel to see if
the contents were neatly folded. But, on doing so, what
was his horror to find nothing inside but dust and rubbish !

He struck his forehead in despair, and sprang to his
feet anathematizing the dwarfs in his rage, whom he
blamed in his heart for this fresh disaster. He wandered
about amongst the rocks for hours, looking hopelessly at
intervals at the paper which he held crushed up in his
hand; but look as he would, and swear as he might, he
could find nothing but rubbish in it.

He bewailed his loss in loud and piteous tones. Every
now and then he fancied he heard a low laugh near him,
but as soon as he stopped to listen all was still again.
When evening set in, he threw himself exhausted upon a
heap of stones. Crying bitterly, he complained of being
the most ill-used of mortals ; for at the very moment when
he had made up his mind to turn over a new leaf he found
the ground cut from under his feet. He.then exclaimed in
a fit of temper :

“T call Heaven to witness that I wished to reform and
lead a new life, but I have not been given a chance. Now












i Hy

y My

)

NY)





















Conrad and the Gnome.—P. 277. —




THE DWARFS’ NEST: OTT

I don’t care what becomes of me, and I am ready to enter
the service of the first comer.”

He had scarcely spoken these words when he heard a
most peculiar noise, and turning round, saw the queerest
little figure seated on a pointed stone near him. At first
he thought it was his small landlord, and he would have
jumped up and run away, but a second look convinced him
that the stranger differed totally in appearance from the
dwarf, He was two feet high, and had a large mis-shapen
head, with a most malevolent expression of countenance,
and a pair of evil red eyes. He wore a black leathern
jerkin and gaiters, and a pair of heavy riding boots, one
of which he had taken off and was rubbing up with a
cloth. This curious personage addressed the weaver in
these words :

“Look here, my friend, if you really mean what you
say, and are ready to follow any one who is willing to take
you into their service, will you be my servant? master you could not find.”

The weaver felt strangely disturbed by this speedy
response to his foolish words, of which he was already
ashamed, and his first impulse was to get up and run away.
But as he was going to do so, he thought of his helpless
condition, and that he might as well hear what the little
creature had to say ; so he turned and asked him what he
might require of him,

CHAPTER VI

THE gnome grinned ferociously, waved his boot over his
head, and replied :
“My dear friend, [ can read your thoughts, and see that
278 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

you take me for the Evil One himself; but indeed you do
me far too much honour. Iam a very inferior person, and
belong to the tribe which mortals call kobolds. I have no
design upon your soul—indeed I should not know how to
set to work if [ had. I merely want you to do me a
service this night, and besides the gold which shall be
your reward, [ will help you to revenge yourself on your
enemies, who are also mine, and who are the cause of all
your misery.” ;

When the weaver saw that his soul was in no danger,
and that here was an opportunity of paying out the dwarfs
who had treated him so badly, he declared himself to be at
the kobold’s service.

The latter, still grinning, drew on his boot again, and
taking a small flask out of his pouch made the weaver
take a good pull at it, and then bade him go to a neigh-
bouring pond and fetch two blades of fescue-grass growing
on its margin,

Conrad departed to obey the behests of his new master,
‘who occupied himself meanwhile by polishing the other
‘boot, which he drew off for that purpose. Finding two
good tufted specimens of the grass, the weaver brought
them to the kobold, who seemed quite satisfied with them,
and proceeded to drag on his boot again, He then
addressed Conrad as follows:

“As you are my servant you are not entitled to any
explanation of what I may choose to do, but I will tell you
this much of what to-night’s work is to be;” and here he
rubbed his hands together, and grinned more ferociously
than ever. ‘The dwarfs, to whom you have lent your
loom once every month, are the sworn enemies of the
noble and honourable race of the kobolds. Those gorgeous
textures which they made in your work-room were intended
to be worn at a wedding, which should take place to-night,
and which T am determined to stop. Had you not dis-








































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Gj
ep

ait


THE DWARFS’ NEST 279

turbed them last night at their work, I should not have
been able to harm them. Thanks to you, however, I can
work my will, which is to steal into their midst and carry
off the bride, of whom I have long been enamoured.”

If at first Conrad felt reluctant to do such an evil
turn to his late friends, he changed his mind when he
remembered his grievances, and he chuckled as he thought
of how nicely he could revenge himself upon them. The
kobold now rose, and placing one of the grasses between
his knees, he told Conrad to do the same with the other,
snapping his fingers the while, and smiting his knees
together like a rider urging on a refractory horse. What
was the weaver’s amazement on feeling the blade of grass
between his legs changing rapidly into a powerful charger,
which, taking a leap into the air, flew with him on his
back over hedges and ditches in a mad career. But to his
dismay he discovered that, owing to the way he had stood
to begin with, he was sitting reversed upon the horse, and
was clutching the tail in his hand instead of the mane!

To this he clung desperately, to the evident amusement
of the kobold, who was perched behind him.

In this strange manner they rode all night long, now
through dense forests, now across wild heaths ; sometimes
leaping fearful chasms, and at others fording foaming
rivers ; but what caused Conrad most surprise, was that
he never fell off,

He felt no shaking or jolting as he would have done on
an ordinary horse, for this magical steed flew over the
ground without®ever touching it with his hoofs. At
length they seemed to have arrived at their destination,
for the horse came to a standstill in a valley strewn with
great boulders of rock.

The kobold slid off the horse, and immediately the
animal shrank away to nothing; Conrad felt himself
thrown with a violent shock to the ground, and when he
280 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

looked about him, behold there was nothing to he seen but
two blades of grass !

“We are there,” said the kobold ; “and if you preserve
due caution, the sweet little bride will soon be mine.
Your reward shall be large, I promise you: only follow my
directions. Hold fast to my girdle, and do not leave go
until the beautiful elfin child is in my possession. Above
all things, remember not to utter a word above your breath,
let happen what may.”

The weaver promised to obey his orders implicitly, and
took hold of the kobold’s girdle.

The latter led the way to a large rock with a narrow
fissure in it, through which he disappeared, while Conrad
stood in perplexity ; it seemed impossible that he could get
through the small aperture with his bulky form, but he
did not like to leave go of the kobold’s girdle. As the
latter however began to grumble at his delay, he made a
great effort, and succeeded in squeezing himself through.

The weaver was afraid he would be as flat as a pancake
after this feat, and would not look down at himself for
some time for fear of finding his fears verified; but
happily he escaped so sad a fate!

He now saw that they were standing in the middle of a
large stone hall, which was magnificently illuminated with
thousands of wax tapers.

A number of dwarfs, of exactly the size and appearance
of his little landlord, were rushing about, bearing aloft great
dishes of gold and silver, from which steamed such savoury
odours, that poor Conrad, who had fasted Since the morning,
was attacked by sharp pangs of hunger. At first he was
very much alarmed as the kobold marched through their
midst ; for although he knew that he and his master were
invisible, he still feared discovery, and shut his eyes tight,
thinking, like the foolish ostrich, that he would thus escape
observation, But such swect strains of music greeted his
THE DWARFS’ NEST 281

ears, and at the same time a light so dazzling seemed to
strike his closed eyelids, that he was forced to open his
eyes and look about him. He then saw that they were in
the presence of the wedding party, who were seated at a
long table groaning with food. On a raised dais were the
musicians playing upon curious-looking instruments, and
producing heavenly music which seemed to penetrate the
wenyver’s very soul.

CHAPTER VII

AutnHoucn the hall was very lofty for the dwarfs,
Conrad could not stand upright in it. Indeed, he was
obliged to bend double, and when he was standing in one
corner of the room, his head and shoulders reached right
over the table. The bride and bridegroom sat at the upper
end, and what was the weaver’s astonishment to see that
the bridegroom was no other than his late landlord, and
that the wedding party were all arrayed in garments
of the very same lovely textures that the dwarfs had
manufactured in his loom.

The bridegroom was radiant with happiness, and whispered
from time to time most lovingly to his little bride, who
was the sweetest, dearest little creature Conrad had ever
beheld.

Already he began to repent of the promise he had given
his new master. The kobold had climbed to the roof of
the hall, close by Conrad’s ear, into which he now
whispered, grinning most fiendishly the while:

“The moment is propitious. Stretch out your hand,
seize the bride, and bring her up here close by me, so that
282 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

she may be invisible, and we will escape unobserved in the
confusion that is sure to follow. Do you hear me? Stretch
out your hand, and do as I bid you.”

But at these words a sudden qualm took possession of
Conrad. He felt all at once how mean it would be of him
to revenge himself so basely on his late protector, who had
never harmed him until he was driven to it. He would
have remonstrated with the kobold, but the latter would
not allow him to get out a word, and continued to buzz in
his ears like an infuriated wasp, and said:

“You dare not disobey me, for you are my servant.
Stretch your hand out and take the bride directly, or else
it will be the worse for you. I shall go away and leave
you, and you will be exposed to the fury of the dwarfs,
which will be great when they discover your presence
here.”

Trembling with fear, the weaver stretched out his hand,
but his better nature prevailed a second time, and he
brought it back empty.

“How now, what means this disobedience?” hissed out
the kobold.

“Oh, sir,” whispered Conrad, “TI felt a tickling in my
nose, and was afraid of sneezing, and so betraying myself,”

“Stuff and nonsense,” answered the kobold, “ Answer
me not, but do as I bid you!”

Once more the weaver stretched out his hand to take the
tiny bride, but he felt as if some one were pulling him
back, and once more he drew back his hand without
accomplishing his purpose.

Then the kobold bit his ear in his rage, and growled so
angrily that it sounded like a whole nest of hornets about
his ears.

“What does this mean? Why will you not give me my
bride 2?”

“Pray forgive me, sir,” said Conrad; “the heat of the
THE DWARFS’ NEST 983

room has made the perspiration run down my face, and I
was obliged to wipe it off.”

This was true, only it was sheer terror and not the heat
that was the cause. For the third time the weaver put
out his arm, and so fierce was the struggle within him,
that he opened and shut his hand convulsively several
times without being able to make up his mind to seize her.
He had almost brought himself to do it, when at that
moment the bridegroom presented the lady with a bouquet
of flowers, which she received with a sweet smile.

Conrad was in an agony. He tried to devise some fresh
excuse for delaying the cruel deed. At last he felt he
could not put it off any longer, and would have seized the
tiny bride this time, when she began to sneeze violently as
she buried her nose in the sweet flowers. Forgetting his
promise to the kobold, Conrad called out :

“ Bless the babe !”

At the same instant a crash of thunder resounded
among the rocks, succeeded by flashes of forked lightning ;
the dwarfs and their tables seemed suddenly enveloped in
mist, and then disappear altogether.

The enraged kobold roared into the weaver’s ear :

“Ts this how you keep your word, you good-for-nothing
rascally mortal 1”

‘Whereupon he struck him such a violent blow on his
neck with his boot, that Conrad fell forward on his face
and lay senseless on the ground.

* *% i + cS *

When he came to himself, he felt as if he were bruised
all over, and it was a long time before he could collect his
senses sufficiently to recall what had happened. What was
his astonishment on looking round, to see the figure of his
little landlord beside him, who addressed him thus :

“You have no cause for fear. I am not come to do you
further harm, What we have already made you stfer has
284 EVERY GIRTI’S STORIES

been perfectly just, for you broke the conditions of our
contract by the evil life that you have lately led; but
everything shall be forgiven. In gratitude for the service
you have rendered me and my bride I will once more be
your friend, on condition that you will mend your ways.
I offer you no substantial reward, such as gold or jewels,
for I know too well that they bring no true happiness to
their possessor ; on the contrary, they often bring evil and
misery in their train. Return home now and begin to
work again industriously as of old. We do not require
your assistance any more, and will not put your curiosity
to the test again. TI trust that you have gained wisdom by
experience, and that you will not relapse into your bad
habits. If you follow this advice you will never fail to
receive our assistance in many different ways.”

At the conclusion of this long speech, the dwarf
vanished.

As the first streaks of daylight appeared, Conrad saw
that he was not far from the Dwarfs’ Nest. He hastened
towards it, and marvelled much to find it in’ excellent
repair, with no traces of last night’s work about it. The
clock was ticking and the linnet singing cheerily. In the
work-room he found his loom in perfect order, the roll of
silk from which he had cut off the piece the day before,
lay beside it uninjured, and he noticed that it was of more
beautiful workmanship than any he had ever seen before.
He carried it into town to sell, without delay, but his
former haunts had become so hateful to him, that as soon
as his business was finished, he hurried home as fast as his
legs could carry him.

He soon won back the confidence of his employers, and
although his late companions tried to induce him to rejoin
their company, he resisted all their persuasions. By his
industry and perseverance he earned the good-will of the
trolls, and in time became a well-to-do, aye, wealthy man,
THE DWARFS’ NEST 285

He built himself a fine house as years went on, but he
would not destroy the Dwarfs’ Nest, which remained
standing for many years. At last it fell into decay and
finally disappeared ; and with it, the belief in the dwarfs
and elves. '
THE STORY OF RACHEL

By E. GoatLey

Iv may possibly interest our youthful readers to learn
some of the leading incidents in the life and career of the
gifted and noble-minded Mademoiselle Rachel, the greatest
tragic actress of the age. Her origin was of the humblest.
She was of Jewish extraction ; born in the utmost poverty
and obscurity ; but, by the lustre of her genius and the
nobility of her nature ; by her perseverance in surmounting
difficulties, her indomitable energy, and untiring courage,
she became world-known as the greatest artiste of the day,
and attained affluence and the highest distinction.

It was a bitter night in mid-January. The moon shone
coldly bright on the Boulevards of Paris, throwing into
strong relief the elegant facades of the superb buildings of
the fairy-like, glittering capital, and contrasting its wealth
and squalor, as it gleamed fitfully on the small, shivering
form of a miserably-clad child, the paleness of whose wan,
meagre face was redeemed by a pair of fine, expressive,
dark eyes. She sang in a clear tremulous voice, spon-
taneously, as the larks sing, with wild, untutored sweetness.
The cold was intense ; hoar-frost sparkled on the ground ;
but as. the sweet, clear voice rose, in exquisite cadences,
a group assembled to listen to the youthful songstress, and
loudly applauded at the conclusion. “ Bravo, bravissimo,
little Georges!” they cried. Mademoiselle Georges was
the most celebrated actress of the day. A man, whose

286
THE STORY OF RACHEL 287

refined bearing and intellectual face marked him of
superior position, quietly made his way through the crowd.
He glanced with curiosity, mingled with surprise, at the
young and poorly-clad minstrel, who shivered with cold as
she extended a wooden bowl for alms. Throwing in a piece
of silver, he exclaimed, “ Who taught you how to sing, my
child?”

‘No one, monsieur,” replied the girl. “I catch up all
the tunes I can, and learn the words, and then I sing for
sous !”

“My poor child! But are you not very cold?”

“Yes, and hungry too!’ answered the little one, tears
filling her wistful eyes.

“Well, you have a beautiful voice,’ kindly said her
interlocutor, “ And you must be clever also. It is a pity
you should not learn how to sing well. Come with me;
I will give you a good supper—-something warm withal.”

The child placed her tiny brown hand confidingly in the
stranger’s, and walked away with him, amidst the general
interest of her group of admirers. There were murmurs of
“The little one has made her fortune. It is Choron, the
great musician. There are good things in store for pawvre
petite Rachel!”

This was indeed a turning-point in the history of the
street Arab: the eminent composer, Choron, had taken the
destitute Jewess by the hand, and meant to pioneer her on
the road to fortune. He visited the miserable tenement of
her poverty-stricken parents. The wan mother, surrounded
by a group of hungry little ones, listened to the generous
propositions of the illustrious stranger with grateful
attention. \

“Rachel is a good child, and a great comfort to us,” she
said, tears suffusing her eyes. ‘My husband is ill, and we
find even the poor sous she collects of much assistance in
our present distress; all the neighbours know her, and

d
288 ‘EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

hear her sing with pleasure ; but the good God has sent
you, and I will not stand in the way of her fortune.”

‘““My dear woman, your child is a prodigy; a genius;
she will achieve a brilliant future ; you will be proud of
her,” cried the enthusiastic Choron, “I will charge myself
with her, altogether.”

Rachel’s mother embraced her warmly. “Go,” she said,
“and God be with you, my dear child!” and Rachel quitted
her family with her kind benefactor, amidst tears and
smiles, and with a proud, shy hope in her heart of becoming
great, and able to assist those whom she loved. The
fortunate Rachel was now placed under a thorough course
of musical training. She seconded the maestro with energy
and devotion: her progress was astonishingly rapid and
satisfactory. Choron was proud and touched ; he rejoiced
in the brilliant future he already saw, in anticipation, for
his gifted protégée, rescued by his hand from misery and
destitution ; the flowery paths of honour and distinction
should be trodden by the feet of the street Arab. But in
the midst of these generous projects death laid the great
musician low, and Rachel returned to her parents, over-
whelmed with sorrow.

As time gradually softened her grief, young and ardent,
an indomitable courage re-animated her, and she determined
to study for the stage. Rachel was now in the first bloom
of early girlhood; her face was full of sensibility and
expression ; her nobly-poised, classic head instinct with
genius and resolution ; her splendid eyes, large, dark, and
radiant with liquid tenderness, had a pensive, mesmeric
power which was singularly fascinating. Rachel had
neither wealth nor influence ; but, by dint of perseverance
—that potent talisman, without which even genius itself is
of little avail—she at length found an opportunity of
making her débué ab one of the minor theatres in Paris.
And this appearance, to which she had looked forward
THE STORY OF RACHEL 289

with so much hope and ambition, for which she had striven
so long and so earnestly—was a failure! In vaudeville, in
melodrama, in all she attempted, the genius, destined to
electrify Europe, signally failed! As Rachel was be-
wailing her want of success to her mother, who vainly
endeavoured to restore her lost confidence in her own
powers, an old neighbour happened to come in.

“See,” said the good-natured gossip, ‘‘we sometimes
pick up odd things in our trade.” The worthy man was a
rag-merchant. “Here’s an old play-book—happen might
please mam’selle there—so I brought it over,” and he pro-
duced an odd volume of Racine, which Rachel gladly
’ accepted, offering the kindly donor some simple hospitalities
in return for his precious gift.

When he had taken his departure, she eagerly read the
sublime tragedies of the immortal dramatist. Divine fire
transfused her face ; with radiant eyes, and flushed cheeks,
she recited aloud some of his grandest lines.

“ Ah, my mother!” cried the enthusiastic girl, “I have
found my vocation ; I must become a tragédienne /”

In pursuance of this resolve, Rachel studied day and
night, throwing her whole energies, her very soul, in her
labour of love. She did not act, she lived, through the
inspired tragedies, All the latent powers of her grand
genius were stimulated and developed. Through the
influence, and by the kindness of a personal friend and
ardent admirer, who frequently came to hear her recitations,
Rachel was promised that she should make a second appear-
ance, The friend, whom we will designate by the name of
Gervase, called on Rachel, one morning, with a radiant face.

“ Rachel,” he said, “we who have seen you, who know
what you can do, we believe in you. I have tried my best,
and I have obtained permission for you to act in your
favourite réle at. the Théitre Francais.”

Rachel coloured with pleasure. “ My friend y’ she said
U
290 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

with emotion, ‘I believe God will bless my endeavours,
and that I shall succeed this time. I shall do my best, if
only out of gratitude to you.”

Rachel made her appearance in one of Racine’s most
celebrated characters, and carried all Paris by storm, In
answer to loud and repeated acclamations, the young and
gifted artiste was led forward by the happy Gervase, whose
eyes glistened with pride and pleasure as he presented her
to the enraptured audience, who overwhelmed her with
honours. The stage was literally covered with superb
bouquets, and, in the universal enthusiasm, ladies even
threw their bracelets and jewellery at the feet of the Diva,
Her advent was dazzlingly brilliant. Well might Rachel
feel intoxicated by success ; the despised of the Gymnase,
the beggar child of the Boulevards, the starving poor little
street Arab, the shivering, miserable Jewess, had become
the greatest star of. the day. In the second season of her
engagement she received a hundred and fifty thousand
francs. The acting of this gifted artiste was characterized
by great intensity and power. It has been said that her
delineation of the passion of despair was absolutely terrific ;
there was the sublimity of genius in all the varying phases
of emotion and feeling depicted by her ; and an exquisite
tenderness and pathos blended in the softer parts of her
characters which appealed irresistibly to the hearts of her
audience, Royalty itself delighted to honour her. Our
own gracious sovereign sent the celebrated actress a superb
diamond bracelet, inscribed, ‘From Victoria to Rachel,”
in testimony of the pleasure afforded by the representations
of her transcendent genius. Rachel, now surrounded by
adulation, received many splendid offers of alliance with
rank and wealth; but having simple, domesticated tastes,
she uniformly declined them, and preferred living in the
midst of her own family, whose happiness and comfort she
made it her chief pleasure to promote,
















ry
i.











\







The gifted artiste was led forward by the happy Gervase.—P. 290.
THE STORY OF RACHEL 291

Rachel was seated in one of the most elegant salons of
Paris, the sumptuous home which her loving care had pro-
vided for her aged parents ; her mother sate beside her, her
placid face beaming with maternal tenderness and gratified
pride, when a servant entered, bearing a card on a silver
salver. It announced the arrival of the mayor of one of
the districts of Paris, who came to solicit the aid of the
distinguished artiste in a dramatic performance to be given
in aid of the destitute of the city.

“Madame,” he said, bowing deferentially before the
young and elegantly-attired woman he addressed, “the
reputation you have acquired for benevolence and charitable
feeling gives me courage to ask your invaluable assistance
for our drama, in aid of the poor.”

“ Monsieur, I need hardly assure you how happy it makes
me to accede to your request,” assented Rachel, with a
charming smile. “It is not so very long since I myself
suffered painfully the privations of extreme poverty,” she
added, with emotion.

To her honour be it said, Mademoiselle Rachel never
turned a deaf ear to the tale of suffering. Amongst the
numerous good actions she delighted to perform, we may
instance one, which illustrates the goodness of her heart
and the lively compassion she ever evinced towards those
who, like herself, endured the oppressive hardships of
extreme poverty in early youth. One summer evening as
Rachel, reclining in a handsome equipage, was being rapidly
driven towards Paris, along the dusty highway ran a little
urchin, whose piteous supplications of “ Buy my flowers ;
please take some flowers, for the love of Heaven, lady !”
attracted the attention of the now wealthy actress.
Ordering her coachman to stop, she regarded the open,
ingenuous face of the little wayfarer with interest.
Beckoning the lad, she said, “Why do you beg, child?”

“For bread, madame. There is only me, and my grand-
292, EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

mother is very ill; she cannot work any more,” frankly
answered the boy, raising his limpid eyes, blue as the
heavens, to the lady’s face.

Rachel smiled. ‘Tell me your name, and where your
grandmother lives.” She noted the address given; taking
a few flowers, and putting a franc in the delighted boy’s
hand, she added, “Go home now ; I will come to-morrow.”

The lad stood watching the carriage out of sight; it
seemed almost like a vision to him ; the fine equipage, the
handsome, smiling lady, and the silver piece in his little
hand, Rachel was as good as her word; the next day she
found the home of the poor bedridden old woman, whose
illness had sunk her into the deepest distress. The generous-
hearted Rachel was not satisfied to relieve the immediate
necessities of these poor people. She clothed the boy, who
was a bright and clever child, and sent him to a good
school, afterwards placing him in a way to earn his own
livelihood. Later in life, he gratefully ascribed the re-
sponsible position he attained to the kind benevolence of
the celebrated Rachel, who had helped him in his sorest
hour of need. Thus we have seen Mademoiselle Rachel
crowned with well-merited honour, wealth, and distinction ;
but never did the noble-minded woman forget the cause of
the poor and suffering. She herself had passed through the
fiery furnace, and came forth like gold purified.

She never married, and died comparatively young. Her
life was so noble, that in Paris, which at one period denied
Christian burial to actresses, her obsequies were conducted
with distinguished honour. In the stately Pére la Chaise,
far from the turmoils of life, surrounded by marble mauso-
leums, and overshadowed by dark cypresses, repose the
mortal remains of the virtuous and gifted Rachel.
THE STORY OF

CHANTICLEER AND PERTILOTE
By Mrs. H. R. Hawes

ONcE on a time there dwelt a poor widow, somewhat
getting on in years, in a small cottage in a dale, close
against a grove. This widow

Since that sad day when she was last a wife
Led patiently a very simple life.
Though little were her goods, and small her rent,
She made the best of all that God her sent,
She kept herself, and by her industry,
Two daughters : three fat pigs (no more) had she,
Three cows, too, and a sheep she called Mall.!
Full sooty was her chamber, and her hall
In which she ate her scanty meals, and slight
Need hers of sauce to whet her appetite.
No dainty morsel e’er went down her throat,
Her diet always seem’d to match her coat.
Repletion never made her sick, I ween,
A moderate meal was all her medicine,
And exercise, contented with her lot.
If she would dance, the gout forbade her not,
And apoplexy never harm’d her head.
She drank no wine, no, neither white nor red,
Her board was mostly served with white and black,
Milk and brown bread (of which she had no lack).
Broil’d bacon, and an egg or two, some days.
—She dealt in dairy produce, in small ways.

' Probably, Molly.

293
294, EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

A little yard she had, fenced all about

With sticks, and there was a dry ditch without.
And here she had a cock, called Chanticleer.
For crowing, in the land he had no peer.

His voice more merry than the organ’s was,
Which plays in church so merrily at the mass.
More certain was his crowing from his perch
Than abbey clock,! or bell of any church :

Th’ ascension of the equinox he knew

By nature, and proclaiin’d the village through.
His comb it was more red than fine coral,

And all embattled like a castle wall ;

His bill was black and shone like jet—and blue
His legs like azure, and his shrill tongue too.
‘His nails more white than lily buds unroll’d,
And then his coat was like the burnished gold !
This gallant cock had at his power and will
Seven hens, his lordly wishes to fulfil ;

Which were his sisters and companions :

Very like him, in their complexions :

And one, the fairest-tinted on her throat,

Was named the beauteous damsel Pertilote.
Courteous she was, discreet, and sociable,

And debonair, and held herself so well,

Yea, ever since she was a fortnight old,

That she the heart of Chanticleer doth hold
Lock’d up in her thro’ every limb and tint :
He loved her so, that he was well content.

But such a joy it was to hear him sing
Whene’er the sunny day began to spring
Melodiously—‘‘ My love is far away !”

(For at that period, as I have heard say,

The animals and birds could speak and sing.)
And it befell, that once at day-dawning

As Chanticleer among his ladies all

Sat on his perch, which coe *d across his hall,”

x T he earliest aoe clock of which there is any eo (cer ay
was made by a Saracen mechanic in the thirteenth century. A great
clock was put up at Canterbury Cathedral in 1292, and a striking
clock in Westminster in 1368. A perfect one was made in Paris by
Vick, 1370. he first portable one, 1530. In England no clock
went perfectly before that set up at Hampton Court, 1540.

2 In Italy the lower classes still, like the low Irish, share the house
Mba
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Ky f ira MM



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Here she had a cock, called Chanticleer.—P. 294.
THE STORY OF CHANTICLEER AND PERTILOTE 295

And next him sat the lovely Pertilote,

This Chanticleer ’gan groan within his throat

As man that in a dream is troubled sore.

When Pertilote thus heard him groan and snore
She was aghast, and said—‘‘ My heart’s delight,
What ails you, that you groan like this to-night?
You are so good a sleeper: tie, for shame !”

And he replied and said to her—‘‘ Madame,

T pray you, that you be not vexed with me:
Methought, I was in such a misery

Just now, that still my heart is full of fright.
Interpret now” (quoth he) “my dream aright,
Heaven keep me out of prison, and all woe !
Within our yard, I saw a strange beast halt,
Part like a hound, which would have made assault
Upon my body, and have laid me dead !

The colour of him seem’d ’twixt yellow and red ;
And tippéd was his tail, and each sharp ear
With black, unlike the rest of all his hair:

His snout was small, with two eyes glowing bright.
And at his look I almost died with fright.

And this no doubt did cause me so to groan.”

‘«* Away !” quoth she, ‘fie on you, timid one !
Alas !” (quoth she) ‘¢for by yon heaven above
Now have you lost my heart, and all my love.

I cannot love a coward, by my faith }

For sure, whatever any woman saith,

We each desire (if haply it may be)

Our husbands to be bold, and rich, and free,

And secret :! not a niggard, not a fool,

Not one to be afraid of every tool,

And not a braggart—by the heavens above !

How dare you say, for shame, unto your love
That anything can make you feel afeard ?

Have you no man’s heart, you that have a beard ??



with their cattle and poultry. Near Naples the turkeys are inex-
tricably mixed up with the children ; and donkeys live in the common
toom.

1 Secret used here probably in the classical sense, meaning, private,
apart from others, all to one’s self.

2 We all know the commonplace of a scolding woman, amusingly
brought in. ‘Call yourself a man? You got & beard 2?” &e,
296 EVERY GIRL'S STORIES

And can you be so frightened at a dream ?
There’s only nonsense, goodness knows, in them.
Bad dreams are caused by indigestion,

—By overfeeding, fume, complexion—

By humours too abundant in a wight :

No doubt this dream that you have had to-night
It cometh of a superfluity

OF bile ; and a red humour, certainly :

Which causeth folk to fancy in their dreams
That they see arrows—fire with flaming beams—
Red beasts, ready to bite them—passionate
Contentions, or grim monsters small and great—
Right as a melancholy humour makes

Full many a man cry out, before he wakes,

For fear of bears and bulls, all black of hue,

Or else black devils that are catching you.

Of other humours could I also tell

That make full many a sleeper miserable :

But I will pass as lightly as I can.”

Pertilote, not content with giving him her own opinion,
went on to support it by quoting Cato: and ends by begging
her husband to go through a thorough course of medicine
to carry off his various symptoms, before he gets some
serious fever or ague. She will find him within the pre-
cincts of their yard a number of herbs which will cure
either ailment: he shall eat both, to make sure, and some
nice fresh worms, which will soon improve his digestion
and cure him of bad dreams: whichever “humour” they
arise from.

Chanticleer did not however much relish the prospect of
her wholesale physicking, and refutes Cato by “many a
man of more authority than ever Cato was” to prove that
dreams are not idle but prophetic. He tells her two stories
related by Cicero that bear upon the subject.

Two friends once went on a pilgrimage together, runs
one story, and it happened that they came into a town
which was so crowded with pilgrims that they found they
could not be lodged together. There was not so much as a
THE STORY OF CHANTICLEER AND PERTILOTE 297

cottage left that could take both of them in. So they sepa-
rated for the night: one found a decent lodging, the other
had to sleep in a stall among the oxen.

And so befell, that, long ere it was day,

The one dreamed, in the bed wherein he lay,
That his companion did unto him call,
Saying, ‘‘ Alas ! for in an ox’s stall

This night I shall be murder’d where I lie !
Now help me, in all haste, before I die.

In all haste come to me, my comrade dear.”
The man woke up at once, through very fear.
But when he was awake, and thought it o’er,
Turn’d in his bed, and heeded it no more,

So sure that dreams were only vanity. —
And thus twice in his slumbers dreaméd he.
And a third time that night, his mate again
Came (as he thought), and said, ‘‘ I am now slain ;
Look at my bloody wounds so deep and wide !
Rise up, thou, early in the morning tide ;
And at the west gate of the town” (said he),
‘A cart of dung thou there shalt surely see,
In which my body is hidden privily ;

Do thou arrest that dung-cart sturdily.

My money caused my murder, it is plain.”
And told him every point how he was slain
With a full piteous face, all pale of hue.

And mark you well, this vision he found true.
For on the morrow, as soon as it was day,
‘Towards his fellow’s inn he took his way.

And when he came into the oxen’s stall,

Unto his fellow he began to call.

The hostler replied to him anon,

Saying, ‘‘ Sir, your companion is gone.

As soon as daylight came he left the town.”
Then in his mind fell dire suspicién ;
Remembering the vision he had seen ;

Aud he went forth with speed and troubled mien
Unto the west gate of the city—and

A dung-cart, going as if to dung the land

He found there—placed and shapen in such wise
As you have heard the dead man’s wraith devise.
EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

And with a hardy heart he ‘gan to ery
Vengeance and justice on this felony.

“My fellow murder’d is this very night :

And in this cart his body lies outright !

I cry out on the officers ” (quoth he),

“‘ Who ought to guard the town’s security !
Harrow ! help, help ! here lies my fellow dead.”
Now what shall further in this tale be said?
The people started forth, cast to the ground
The cart, and in the midst of it they found

The dead man, murder’d, with his wounds all new.

—O, blessed God, Thou art most just and true !
Lo, how Thou makest clear a crime alway !
Murder will out, infallibly, I say.

Murder’s so black and so abominable

To God, Who is so just and reasonable,

That He will never let it cover’d be:

Though it be hid a year, or two, or three,
Murder will out, and that is ever shown.
—And speedily the officers of that town
Caught hostler and carter, those vile men,

And tortured them (as was the manner then)
Till they confessed their wickedness anon :
And they were hangéd both, by the neck bone.

Thus every one may see that dreams are not for nothing.
And there is another proof of it I can tell you :—

T'wo travellers, who would have crost the sea
On trading matters, to a far countree,

Had not the wind a while contrary blown
Which made them tarry in a certain town
That lay convenient, on the haven’s side.

But on a later day, towards eventide

The wind began to change, and blew them fair.
Gladly they went to rest, and to prepare

All things in readiness, early for to sail.

But to the one of them, a marvel fell !

This one of them, asleep as there he lay,

Had a most wondrous dream before the day.
He thought, a man appear’d at his bed’s side
Who bade him in that city to abide :

Saying to him—‘‘ If thou to-morrow wend,
Thou shalt be surely drowned, and there’s an end.”
THE STORY OF CHANTICLEER AND PERTILOTE 299

He woke, and told his fellow of this warning
Not to pursue this voyage in the morning ;
Begg’d him to wait, were it for but one day.
His comrade, who alongside of him lay,
Laugh’d him to scorn, and mock’d his foolishness.
“No dream” (said he) ‘‘shall so my heart oppress
That I will shirk to do my business.
co % * * * *
But since I see that thou wilt here abide
And sacrifice the favourable tide,
Why, I am sorry for you—so, good-day.”
And thus he took his leave and went his way.

He sailed, and the whole ship and crew were lost!

Numerous other cases came to Chanticleer’s mind. The
dreams of Daniel and of Joseph; of Pharaoh of Egypt: the
prophetic vision of Croesus that he was set upon a tree, which
signified that he would die by hanging ; and many more, all
of which he told to Pertilote, and which formed a good
excuse not to accept her proffered doses.

“¢ And I say furthermore
I, for one, set by medicines no store,
They are all poison, physics are, I wot.
I defy physics: and I love them not.

Now let us think of mirth, and leave all this,
Ah, charming Pertilote, so have I bliss !
Of one thing heaven hath granted me good grace !
For when I see the beauty of your face,
You are so sweetly scarlet round the eye,
It makes my nightly terrors wholly die.

* * & * * *
Tam so full of joy and deep content
That I defy both vision and bad dream tee
And with that word he sprang from off the beam
(For it was daylight) and his ladies all.
And with a chuck he ’gan them each to call,
For he had found a corn-grain in the yard.
Royal he stalked, no fears his pleasure marr’d,
Caressing Pertilote repeatedly
And preened as often ere the sun was high.
300 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Like a grim lion he his glances throws,

And roameth up and down upon his toes
Scarce deigning to set foot upon the ground :
He chucketh when he hath a corn-grain found ;
And then his hens towards him hasten all.
Thus regal as a prince is in his hall

Leave I this Chanticleer—

and I will tell you the adventure which happened to him.

It chane’d that Chanticleer in all his pride,

His seven wives all walking at his side,

Cast up his eyes under the blazing sun

Which in the sign of Taurus then had run
Twenty degrees and one and somewhat more.
He knew by instinct and no other lore

That it was prime,! and crew with all his might.
‘The sun,” he said, ‘‘ has climb’d the azure height
Twenty and one degrees, and more, I see.

Ah, Madame Pertilote, my pride and glee,
Hark to the birds how merrily they sing,

And see the fair fresh flowers how they spring,
My heart is fill’ with joy and dalliance !”

—But suddenly befell a sorry chance !
For ever the latter end of joy is woe.
God knows that earthly pleasure soon doth go.

Now let every wise man hearken: for this story is as
true, I undertake to say, as the book of Lancelot dw Lake.

A wicked fox, beyond all telling sly

(That had for years dwelt in the grove hard by),
By shrewd forethought, and by his skill accurst,
Right thro’ the hedge that very night had burst,
Into the yard, where Chanticleer the fair

Was, with his wives, wont daily to repair.

And in a cabbage-bed conceal’d he lay,

Till it was far past ‘‘undern”? of the day,
Waiting his time on Chanticleer to fall ;
shrewdly as those sly assassins all



1 Prime, the end of the first quarter of the day, counting from six
o’clock : 7. ¢. nine o’clock.

* Undern, the second quarter of the day, our “ forenoon,” began
at nine o’clock A.M.
THE STORY OF CHANTICLEER AND PERTILOTE 301

Who calmly lie in wait to murder men.

O hideous murderer, lurking in thy den !

O new Iscariot, new Genilon !+

Falsest dissembler, second Greek Sindn,

Who broughtest Troy-town utterly to sorrow !—
O Chanticleer, accurséd be that morrow

When for the yard thou daredst quit thy beam |
Thou hadst a certain warning in thy dream
That such a day were perilous to thee !
However, what God wills, shall surely be.

T will not doubt of such a matter here—

My tale is of a cock, as you shall hear,

That foolishly took counsel of his wife

To range the yard, and risk his precious life
The day he dreamt his dream as I have told.

A woman’s counsel is too often cold :

And woman’s counsel brought us first to woe
—Forced Adam out of Paradise to go

Where he enjoyed himself and lived in ease,
But, as I know not whom I might displease

Tf I on woman’s counselling cast: blame,

Pass by my words—I said it but in game !
Read authors on these matters, and you'll find
All the nice things they say of womankind.,
These are the cock’s words only, and not mine :
ZT know no harm in woman, all-divine !

Snug in the sand, to bathe her merrily,

Lay Pertilote, with all her sisters by,

Out in the sun: and Chanticleer so free

Sang sweetlier than the mermaid in the sea !*
* * * * * *

And so befell that ag he cast his eye

Over the cabbages, on a butterfly,

He chanced to see this fox that skulk’d below.

No longer had he, any wish to crow !



Sir Genilon, Gwenilon, or Gwines, has been handed down to
posterity as the personification of perfidy.—Vide Eilis’s Specimens,
The Romance of Sir Otricl.

* The mermaids were said to sing so ravishingly that Ulysses was
forced to lash himself to the mast in order to listen to them without
springing overboard for joy.
302

EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

But cried out ‘‘ Cock, cock !” and did backward start
Like one affrighted to his very heart.

For animals by nature try to flee

From their own opposites, when such they see,
Though on it ne’er before they have set eye.
Now Chanticleer when he the thing did spy,
He would have fled, but that the fox ’gan say,
‘* Alas, dear sir ! why will you go away ?

Are you afraid of me who am your friend ?
Why, truly, I were worse than any fiend

If I to you meant harm or villainy !

I come not to disturb your privacy.

I swear, my motive for thus entering

Was only just to hear how you can sing !
Really, you have as beautiful a voice

As any angel ’mid her sky-ey joys:

More feeling too for music is in you

Than Boéce hath—or any one I know.

My lord your father—heaven rest his soul !
And your dear mother (whom I mst extol),
Have been my guests—to my sincere delight !
And I would please you too, sir, if I might.

But, talking about singing, I must say

(Though I should lose my eyes for it to-day)

Except your own I never heard such singing

As your late father’s, thro’ the morning ringing.
*Twas from his heart—one felt—that power of song,
And then to make his vocal organs strong

He would make such an effort, that each eye

He had to wink, so shrilly would he cry,

And stand upon his tiptoes therewithal

And stretch out far his neck, so long and small.

So thorough was his knowledge of his art

That there was no one round, in any part,

Who him, in song or wisdom, could surpass.

I’ve read in th’ author of Burnell the Ass}

Among his poems, how there was a cock

Who, when a priest’s son fetch’d him a sharp knock



1 The reference is to the Latin satirical poem of Nigellus de
Wireker, monk and precentor of Canterbury, written about the year
1190, and entitled Burnellus sive Speculum Stultorum.
THE STORY OF CHANTICLEER AND PERTILOTE — 303

Upon his leg, while he was young and ‘nice,’ !
Made him for vengeance lose his benefice !—
But truly there is no comparison

Between that cock and the discretién

Of your late father—ah, how sharp was he !
Now, sing, sir—for the sake of charity—
Let’s see, can you your father counterfeit ?”
This Chanticleer began his wings to beat
Like men who cannot fathom treachery :

He was so ravish’d at the flattery.

Alas! lordlings, many a flatterer and parasite is in your
houses, who pleases you far more than those who tell-you
the truth !

This Chanticleer stood high upon his toes
Stretching his neck, and shut his eyelids close,
And ’gan to crow full loudly, for the nonce.
And my lord Russell Fox starts up at once
And by the throat he catches Chanticleer

And on his back towards the wood doth bear !—
For, as it chanced, he had been seen by none.
O Destiny ! whom nobody can shun !

Alas, that Chanticleer did quit the beams !
Alas, his wife, who had no faith in dreams !
On Friday too, to fall in such a plight !

Thou, Venus, that art goddess of delight,
Seeing a slave of thine was Chanticleer

Who did his mightiest in thy service dear,
(More for delight than increase of the race)
Why let him perish on thy day of days ?7

So let us mourn for Chanticleer as for a king’s death,

Sure, such a cry and lamentation

Was never by ladies made—when Ilion

Was won, and Pyrrhus with his sword appear’d,
And having caught King Priam by the beard
Slew him (according to Auneidos) —

As all the hens set up within the close

Fastidious. 2 Friday.
Meaning Virgil in his Auneidos, lib. ii. 550, &e,

1
3
304 EVERY GIRS STORIES

On seeing Chanticleer’s most mournful fall,

But Pertilote she shriek’d above them all

Much louder than did Hasdrubal’s stern wife,!
Who, when her noble husband lost his life,

And when the Romans had destroyed Carthage,
Was stung with so despairing pain and rage,

That of her own will in the fire she darted,

And burned herself to death, the constant-hearted,

Poor hens ! so loud your woful cries did come,
Ev’n as, when Nero set the flames to Rome,
The senators’ wives lamented loud and cried,

* Because their noble consorts all had died ;
Guiltless by Nero’s order were they slain. —
Now will I turn unto my tale again.

The simple widow, and her daughters two,
Hearing the hens cry out and make ado,

Out at the door all three ran out anon

And saw the fox who toward the wood had gone,
And on his back did bear the cock away.

Then cried they all, ‘‘ Harro, and well away !
Ho! ho! the fox!” and after him they ran,

And eek with staves came many another man.
Ran Colle? our dog, and Talbot, and Garland,
And Malkin, * with the distaff in her hand ;

Ran cow and calf, and e’en the very hogs,

So scared were they by barking of the dogs

And shouting of the men and women there—

They ran as though their hearts would break for fear :
They yelled as all the devils do in hell ;

The ducks squeal’d as at point of death—pell-mell,
The geese for fear flew off across the trees ;

Out of the hive buzz’d swarms of frightened bees,
So hideous was the noise—Benedicite !

Jack Straw + himself and all his company



1 For the story of ‘‘Hasdrubaldes wife” see Livy, xlix. and 1.,
and Eutropius.

2 Colley.

3 Malkin, or Mawkin, the common name of a girl, afterwards
degraded : may have been derived from ‘‘ miidchen.”

4 The insurrection of Jack Straw is here alluded to.
THE STORY OF CHANTICLEER AND PERTILOTE 305

Did never utter shouts one half as shrill

For any Flemish foe they wished to kill

As that one day was made about the fox.

They brought out horns of brass, and horns of box,

Of horn, of bone—in which they blew and poop’d,

And with it all they shrieked, and howled and whooped,
It seemed as tho’ the very sky would fall.

And now, good people, pray you listen all:
How fickle Fortune turneth suddenly

The hope and triumph of her enemy !

This cock that lay upon the fox’s back,

Spite of his terror, to the fox he spake,

And said, ‘‘ Good sir, if I were only you

Now would I laugh and halloo to the crew,
Turn back ! go to, you churls and women all !
A very murraiz on your folly fall !

Now I have got as far as this wood’s side,

In spite of you the cock shall here abide !

For I will eat him, and that quickly too!”
The fox cried out, ‘IT’ faith, and so Pll do!”
And suddenly while uttering the word

Out of his jaws darted the nimble bird,

And flew for safety up into a tree.

And when the fox perceived that he was free,

“© Alas,” he said, ‘‘O Chanticleer, alas !

Tam afraid,” quoth he, ‘‘my conduct was
Offensive, since I frightened you I see,

By catching you, to bring you here with me.
But, sir, I did so with no ill intent: _

Come down, and I will tell you what I meant.

I shall speak truth, so help me”—thus and thus.
“Nay then” (quoth he) ‘‘ beshrew the two of us,
And first beshrew myself, both blood and bones,
If thou dost cheat me oftener than once !

Nay, not again shalt thou with flattery

Tempt me to sing, and sing, and wink my eye.
For he that winketh when he ought to see,

God let him never thrive—a fool is he.”

‘‘Nay ” (cried the fox), ‘‘God give the fool mischance
Who is so lacking in self-governance

He chatters when he ought to hold his tongue.”
Lo, here we see the folly and the wrong
306 : EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Of weak reliance on a flattering lip.

But ye who hold this tale an idle quip
Of a mere fox, or a mere cock! and hen,
Take up the moral of it, prudent men !

Novres BY THE WAY.

The admirable tale of Chanticleer and his successful
manner of outwitting Reynard was probably a floating
popular fabliau, like others used by Chaucer to sharpen his
own tools of satire and delicious humour upon. Tyrrwhitt
supposes he derived it from the fifty-first fable in the collec-
tion translated by Marie, authoress of Zhe Lates, from the
Anglo-Saxon of King Alfred. Mr. Wr ight believes he took
it from the fifth chapter of the Roman de Renart, entitled
“ Si comme Renart Prist Chanticler le Coc.” The handling
of the story is, however, unmistakably Chaucer’s. The
amusing skill with which he invests the farmyard denizens
with a human interest might be called Landseerian, were
not Landseer so tardy a successor of Chaucer—at any rate,
the gift in both artists is one, under different forms. The
idea of Chanticleer singing harmoniously a popular song
(My liefe is faren on londe was probably as familiar as
“ Good-bye, Sweetheart”) is an instance very comic in
itself, but founded on the knowledge that cocks do greatly
differ in voice, some possessing definite musical notes. And
may not the description of fair Partlet’s very thorough
but somewhat confused system of domestic medicine, point
to possible experience of woman’s immortal penchant for
' “dosing” and man’s mortal dread of “ remedies ” ?

One of the subtlest touches in this story is the fact that

1 Bell’s edition.
THE STORY OF CHANTICLEER AND PERTILOTE 807

Chanticleer in the very midst of his terror was struck by
the ludicrous side of the position of himself and his pursuers.
In great sorrow, or in imminent peril, how often does the
mind fasten on trifles or recoil back upon inverted points
of view in a degree scarcely credible. Chaucer’s profound
comprehension of human nature is one of his chiefest
charms.
WINNY’S BIRTHDAY

By Mrs, Luxrox

CHAPTER I

Spring had really come at last, in spite of the grumbling
with which the last cold days had been greeted.

One morning, when Winifred Morgan woke and looked
towards her window, she saw the red curtain all aglow
with sunlight, and when she jumped out of bed and ran to
draw it aside, there were the houses on her side of Little
Burford Street blazing with sunshine, while a soft little
breeze shook the sooty leaves of Winifred’s pot of prim-
roses, and made them stand up quite naturally, as a healthy
primrose’s leaves should. Even the milkman, just then
stopping at the house door, looked a different man from the
milkman of yesterday. Instead of tramping along sulkily
with his ‘collar tuned up, and the rain dripping from
his hat into the milk cans, here he is chatting with Peggy
as he fills her jug, and he even forgets to drive away Pussy,
who licks up the little pools he has made on the pavement.

Winifred pushes up her window a little way, and smells
at the poor primrose, and tries to fancy it smells of some-
thing more than fog and soot this morning ; at any rate
there is no doubt about the air being deliciously soft, and the
sunshine very warmand pleasant. So Winifred makes haste
to dress, and then goes to the nursery to have her breakfast.

Nurse has just taken Winifred’s youngest brother out of

308
WINNY’S BIRTHDAY 309

his crib, and is going to give him his tub; Reggie is four
years old, and although he is a London boy, is very fat and
rosy, not thin and pale, like his sister.

In the middle of the nursery is a round table set for
breakfast ; there is no carpet, except a little faded strip
here and there, and there are no curtains to the windows ;
so altogether it is not a very attractive-looking room. This
morning, however, the sunshine streams in, and beautifies
everything.

“Oh, Nurse,” cries Winifred, dancing in; “it is sucha
jolly day, quite rea’ spring at last! May I just run and
tell Claud about it ?”

“Master Claud has had a very bad night, my dear,” says
Nurse, looking so pale and tired, that Winifred knows she
must have been sitting up. |

“Oh, I do wish Claud would get well; it’s so dull
without him,” cries Winifred, crossly. ‘Is he worse,
Nurse, do you think?”

“No, I hope not,” says Nurse, trying to be cheerful as
she sees the shadow on Winifred’s bright face ; “perhaps
he oughtn’t to have eaten those grapes Mr, Colvin sent
him; at any rate something made him feverish, and he
couldn’é get a bit of rest. He has dropped off now,
though, and we won't disturb him, dear, will we?”

Winifred’s heart reproaches her for speaking so pettishly,
and she remembers what her father was talking about in
his sermon yesterday ; how he said that even little children
can find some way to deny themselves, and to help others.

Nurse was dreadfully tired; wouldn’t it be one of the
ways father spoke of, if Winifred offered to help her,
instead of standing by the window, first on. one leg and
then on the other, complaining ? Winifred thought it
over, and decided that there would be no harm in trying
father’s advice, at any rate. So she bustled up to Nurse,
and said cheerfully :
310 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

“Let me dress Reggie this morning, Nurse, and then
that'll give you a rest, won’t it?”

Nurse looked doubtful, but Reggie settled the question
by wriggling off her knee, and saying:

“Yes, Winny shall dress me, and then I can sail my
boat in the tub.”

«“ Well,” said Nurse, smothering a yawn, “if you really
think you can manage Master Reggie, [ think I'll drink a
cup of tea, and go and lie down while you have breakfast,
for I feel quite tired out.”

“Oh, yes, we can manage beautifully,” answered Winny,
delighted at her own importance; ‘don’t wake éo0 soon,
Nurse, we sha’n’t want you a bit.”

So Nurse went off to the night nursery, carefully
shutting the door lest any sounds should reach Claud.

Claud, Winifred, and Reggie were the children of a
hard-worked London clergyman, whose work lay among
very poor people indeed. Their mother had died when
Reggie was a baby, and since then Nurse had done her
best to fill her place ; she kept house, and looked after the
two other servants, and tried in every way to do just what
the mistress used to do.

Little Reggie, of course, could not remember his mother ;
but Claud, who was nearly two years older than Winifred,
often thought sadly about her and grieved for her.

Mr. Morgan, their father, was not rich, so, though there
was always enough money for Nurse to pay the bills every
week, there was never more than enough, never a little
over for toys or sweets, or for what Claud liked best, books
and pictures.

Since Claud had been ill, Nurse had to be more careful
than ever; for the doctor ordered him to have many
expensive things, and once Nurse had to go down-stairs to
the study and ask for more money.

Winifred, who happened to be in the study at the
WINNY’S BIRTHDAY 311

moment, hunting for a book Claud wanted, saw the heavy
look of care on her father’s face as he put some money into
Nurse’s hand, and said:

«Be as careful as you can, Nurse; of course Master
Claud must have what is ordered, but be careful in other
ways.”

Winifred wondered what the other ways would be, until
she saw Nurse, some hours later, turning over a drawer of
winter clothes, and holding up an old brown merino frock
to the light.

“Oh, Nurse,” cried Winifred, in dismay, “I’m not going
to wear that horrid old thing again. You said I should
have a pretty grey frock this spring, like the little Percys’ ;
you know I didn’t have anything new this winter, except
gloves and boots.”

Nurse’s good-natured face looked full of sympathy.

“J know, dear Miss Winny, I did promise ; but then I
had no idea how ill Master Claud was going to be, and I
really don’t like to spend good money on new clothes when
there is this merino not half done for. That front breadth
must go behind where the stains won’t show, and I can let
down the hem. ‘Try it on, dear, and let us see what can
be done with it.”

But Winifred looked at the faded old frock for a minute,
and thought of those little girls opposite, whose pretty
grey cashmeres had always filled her with admiration ; and
then, although she was seven years old, she burst out
crying, and ran out of the room.

She thought no one would be down-stairs, so she ran
down as fast as she could, for fear Nurse should call her
back ; but the drawing-room looked cold and dull, with no
fire, and the blinds drawn down; the dining-room was
almost as dismal; so Winifred took refuge in her father’s
study, which was warm and cosy enough. But when she
opened the door she started, and would have run back, for
312 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

her father himself was sitting at the table, writing. He
looked up, and saw Winifred before she could run away
again.

“Come in, my little woman,” he said, kindly, “I want
to hear how Claud is, for I had to go out this morning
before the doctor came. But what is the matter? What
are the tears for, Winny ?”

“Tt’s that horrid old frock,” sobbed Winny ; “ it’s ugly
and old, and ever so much too short; and Nurse promised
me anew frock this spring, and now she says the old one
will do.”

Mr. Morgan put down his pen, and listened patiently.

“And why has Nurse changed her mind?” he asked,
gravely but kindly, looking at his little girl’s tear-stained
face.

Winny grew red as she had to explain that it was
because Claud was ordered so many expensive things, that
Nurse had to save all the money she could.

Mr. Morgan smiled rather sadly, and drew her closer to
him, and softly stroked her ruffled hair.

“Tt is natural that you should want a pretty dress, dear,
and I will try to manage so that you shall have it. Per-
haps it is rather a big sacrifice to ask of such a little girl,
Yes, 1 think we will manage it, Winny.”

Now Winny, a few minutes ago, would have received
this promise with a burst of delight, but she was surprised
to find now how little pleasure it gave her. She. felt
somehow rather ashamed of herself, and there was some-
thing in her father’s careworn face and sad smile that
touched her better nature.

As she stood by his side, with his arm round her, her
eyes fell on the sleeve-of his coat, it was very worn and
shiny, and almost threadbare. Winny’s cheeks flushed
hotly as she saw that her father wanted a new coat far
more than she wanted a pretty new frock,
WINNY’S BIRTHDAY 313

“Father,” she said, softly stroking the worn sleeve,
“why don’t you havea new coat? Is it because of Claud
being ill?”

Her father smiled and nodded.

“Doctors are expensive, little woman; and I don’t
think I care much about a new coat, so it is a very willing
sacrifice.”

Winny heaved a deep sigh.

“Then I will make my new frock a willing sackeryfice
too, father,” she said, with a very solemn air. “Then
Nurse can spend the money on Claud’s jelly and things,
can’t she?”

Her father kissed her silently, but presently he began
to talk to her so kindly about the little self-denials that a
child even can practise, but which are not little in the
sight of God, that Winny wondered how she could have
been so babyish as to cry about such a matter, and by and
by, when her father went out again, she went soberly back
to the nursery, and told Nurse she was ready to try on the
dress if she wished.

So this particular morning, while Nurse was lying down,
Winifred bustled about very cheerfully in the old brown
frock, and felt very busy and happy.

Reggie was dressed without much trouble, although he
did splash a good deal, and had a trick of stooping down
for some toy or other, just at the moment when Winny
had almost tied a string. Still they got on very comfort-
ably, and soon the little fellow was safely hoisted into his
high chair, with his bowl of bread-and-milk, which Nurse
had left in the fender ready for him, and Winifred poured
herself out a cup of tea, and took a. slice.of thick bread-
and-butter, with quite an elderly air.

“Do you like Nurse’s chair best, Winny?” asked
Reggie, presently.

“Tt aches my arms a little bit reaching wp to the table,”
314 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

said Winny, frankly; “but Vurse always pours out tea
here, and so I must too. When I’m a big girl I am to
pour out father’s tea for him every morning.”

“TJ love father, and Mr. Colvin, and Nurse,” went on
Reggie; “I wish Mr. Colvin would give me all his
pictures, Winny.”

“Qh, you silly Reggie; he sells them for a great deal of
money, I know, because I asked him one day ; and soon he
is going away to paint a picture about the sea.”

“Here he comes,” interrupted Reggie, as a hasty step
was heard on the stairs, and a young man, with a merry
face and a pair of bright blue eyes, opened the nursery
door.

“ Hulloa, chicks!” he cried, ‘“‘you didn’t expect me so
early, did you? Where’s Mrs. Nurse?”

“Nurse is lying down ; she is tired, for Claud had a bad
night,” said Winny, jumping down from Nurse’s chair ;
“Mr. Colvin, have you brought any more pictures for him
to-day ?”

“We'll see presently, Winny ; first of all you shall pour
me out a cup of tea, and I shall bake myself a piece of
toast, and then, when we are all comfortably at breakfast,
T shall tell you why I have come to-day.”

The children had to control their curiosity until Mr.
Colvin had baked himself what Reggie called a ‘“ booful ”
bit of toast ; and then he began:

“You know, my dears, that the doctors think Claud is
better, and that all he really wants now is to get strong
again. But that is just the thing that provoking boy
won't do, in spite of all the nasty stuff he keeps taking.”

“Bottles and bottles!” put in Winny, with great
solemnity.

“Don’t interrupt, Winny. Well, the last time I was
here, your father told me that Dr. Meade thought change
of air should be tried, and he advised a trip to Saltleigh,
WINNY’S BIRTHDAY 315

where there are sands and great big waves coming tumbling
in, Reggie, and shells, and seaweed, and shrimps, and all
sorts of jolly things!”

“Oh!” cried both children, opening their eyes.

“When your father told me that, he said that he was
afraid he could not afford to send all of you, but that’ he
would try to arrange for Claud and Nurse to go for a
month ; and as T have an old friend living near Saltleigh,
I promised to write and ask him all about lodgings.”

Here Mr. Colvin stopped, in a most provoking way to
drink his tea.

“Oh do, please, go on,” cried Winny.

“Go on!” shouted Reggie, hammering on the table with
his spoon.

“Where was I? Oh! well—I got my friend’s answer,
and he said—what do you think?—that he is going away
for three months, and that he will lend me his house for
all that time.”

“Then you are going to the sea, and not Claud!” said
Winny, in a disappointed tone.

“Oh, Winny! you little goose! don’t you see he lends
me his house on purpose that I may take all of you, every
one, even Reggie here! Now don’t jump about so,” went
on Mr. Colvin, as both children began to skip round the
table with delight ; “we mustn’t make a bit of noise till
Nurse and Claud are ready to hear the news.”

“It’s too lovely!” sighed Winny, sinking in a heap on
the hearthrug. “Oh, you dear Mr. Colvin! Iam so glad
you wrote to your friend! Is it a nice house, and are
there any chickens, or ducks, or pigs there?”

“ Lots of all sorts,” answered Mr, Colvin, “and we shall
have such a deal to do looking after them and feeding
them ; then there is a stream running through a wood
behind the house; we shall be able to fish for minnows,
and pick primroses all at the same time. Then, when the
316 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

weather gets hot, we will carry our dinner out there, and
have tea, too, there sometimes. I shall be able to paint
heaps of pictures while you young ones are frisking about ;
and Claud will soon grow strong and rosy again.”

“Shall we be able to bathe?” asked Winny.

‘*©Oh, yes, of course ; the house is not quite close to the
sea ; we shall have to walk through some fields before we
reach the sands; and that reminds me, my friend says he
has two famous donkeys, which you may ride as often as
you like.”

This was too much for the children to receive calmly ;
the mention of the donkeys was greeted with such a shout
of delight that Nurse woke up and ran in to see what was
the matter.

«© A wood! Nurse! minnows—I mean primroses, growing
all about it, and

“ Donkeys, Nurse !”” shouted Reggie.

”



At last order was restored, and the good news told
quietly ; and really Nurse seemed quite as excited as the
children, when she fully understood that they were all
going this very week. Then Claud had to be told, and
although she would not allow Winifred and Reggie to go
into his room with Mr. Colvin, they stood on tiptoe at the
nursery door to watch the effect. Claud lay back on his
pillows, looking so white and thin, a mere shadow of a
boy, Winny thought ; but he listened very eagerly to Mr.
Colvin’s news, and at the end gave a feeble little ery of
delight, which Winny and Reggie couldn’t help echoing.

So altogether that first spring day was a very happy
one, I think, for the children at No. 4, Little Burford
Street ; and it really seemed as if the mere talk of going
to the sea had done Claud good, for he positively asked
for an egg for his tea, and when his father had been up to
pay him his evening visit, fell asleep, and, to Nurse’s joy,
slept all night long.
an ani
OT bi
SONKAUTTORD





Ee
SOLE h





CAN , \\ ) a fA. Ss Wien RAY
Wy wb SOAP RW ZZ, Vii NS Se NWO

She would pull off her shoes and paddle in the stream.—P. 317.


WINNY’S BIRTHDAY 317

CHAPTER II

THE journey to Naltleigh was accomplished a few days
later ; and although poor Claud was so tired that Nurse
was quite alarmed and anxious, still, after a day or two, he
revived again, and from that time got steadily better.
Winny found Cedar House delightful, and was never
tired of exploring its old-fashioned little rooms and odd
corners. Then the garden was so pretty and sunny, and
the wood behind so shady and pleasant, and the beach so
wonderful, they were all in a state of rapture from morning
till night. Poor little Londoners! They had never been
away to the sea or the country before; so everything was
new and surprising to them, and, as Claud said the first
time he was able to mount one of the donkeys: “It was
almost ¢oo much !”

Winny never seemed to have enough of outdoor life for
her part; she would get up as soon as it was light, and
would go out quietly for fear of disturbing Nurse, and
would ramble about the wood, gathering flowers and ferns ;
or she would pull off her shoes and paddle in the stream,
when the weather grew warm enough for the water to
be pleasant. Fine watercresses grew there, and she used
to gather a dishful for breakfast every morning. Once or
twice, when Mr. Morgan ran down from town to see how
his little people were getting on, Winny gathered a great
many cresses, and tied them up in bunches, for her father
to take back to the poor little London children in the close
hot courts and streets of his parish.

Winny’s birthday came in the summer-time, and that
birthday at Cedar House was the nicest she had ever spent.
She was to choose her own birthday treat, Mr. Colvin said ;
so there was a great deal of consulting among the children.
318 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

for some days. At last all three came to Mr. Colvin in
the garden, where he was sketching some trees, looking
very eager and important.

“Well, chicks!” he said, good-naturedly ; “what is the
treat to be, or haven’t you agreed yet?”

“Oh, yes! we've agreed!” cried Winny, skipping about ;
“it’s a lovely plan—Claud made it—so he shall tell you.
Go on, Claud.”

Claud began accordingly :

“You see, Mr. Colvin, father told us last time he was
down here, how pleased those poor little children in London
were with Winny’s cresses; and he said none of them had
ever seen a wood, or a stream, or even grass growing. So
we want father to bring them all down here on Winny’s
birthday for a whole long day, and we can show them
everything.”

“Yes!” burst in Winny; “they shall have dinner in
the wood, and tea on the sands, and they can paddle and

?



pick up shells

“But they mustn’t all ride the donkeys,” put in Reggie,
who had formed a warm attachment to those much-enduring
animals.

“Tsn’t it a good plan, Mr. Colvin?”

“Well, yes, a very good plan; but we must consider it
a little. You see the tickets will cost something, even if
we only bring some of the children—say, forty children.
Then, there is dinner and tea. J’m afraid it will cost too
much, Claud.”

“We have thought of that,’ said Claud; “I have half-
a-sovereign Uncle Will gave me before he went to India;
and Winny has three shillings in her money-box; and
Reggie has eighteen-pence, so that would pay for some of
the tickets; and we don’t mean to eat any thing for tea,
except a very little dry bread, until the birthday comes ;
and Nurse can put by all the jam and cake, can’t she?”


WINNY'S BIRTHDAY 319

“T don’t think we need go so far as that!” said Mr
Colvin, laughing. ‘You haven’t asked me for my con-
tribution yet; there is half-a-sovereign to match Claud’s—
will that do?”

“Oh, thank you!” cried Winny, hugging him; “now
will you write to father and explain all about it, and ask
him to consent? And please say that ‘Winny sends her
love, and doesn’t mind about a birthday present this year ;’
that'll make a little more money—won’t it?”

So the letter was written, and after a good deal of
consultation, and writing to and fro, the children’s wish
was carried out; and on Winny’s birthday, Mr. Morgan
brought down forty of his school-children to Saltleigh.
They came very early, and went away quite late, and
never, as Claud and Winny agreed afterwards, did time go
so fast!

They had dinner in the wood, and tea on the sands, just
as the children had planned; and My. Ellis, the gentleman
who had lent Cedar House,and who had been invited to
come down and see the fun, allowed each little visitor to
take home a pretty bunch of flowers to the little ones who
could not come too.

At the end of the day, Mr. Morgan called Winny—
flushed, sun-burnt, happy Winny—aside, and kissing her
fondly, gave her a curious long parcel to open. Winny
unfastened the string, and opened several sheets of paper,
and at last beheld a pretty frock of grey cashmere, with
buttons, and pockets, and trimmings—a very picture of a
birthday frock !

“Tt is my birthday present, Winny,’
smiling fondly at her; “is it quite the right thing,
eh?”

That happy day was almost the last of the little Morgans’
visit to Cedar House, for Mr. Ellis was about to return
there, and they soon packed up and went back to town.

’ said her father,
320 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

But before they went, he invited them all to come again
next summer, and what made the invitation so nice was,
that he gave them leave to invite their forty little school-
children to spend Winny’s neat birthday in the same
charming way.
HOW BARBARA GOT HER OWN WAY

By Mrs. Luxton

CHAPTER I

“Tv is much too far,” said her papa, when Barbie first
suggested that she should go and pay her New Zealand
brother a visit.

“Tt’s much too rough for a lady,” said her brother
Edward, who was very particular.

“It’s quite out of the question,” said®her youngest
brother Jack, who, being very young, and very small for
his age, always said everything with the air of his great-
grandpapa (whom he had never seen).

Still Barbie got her own way in the end ; for she was the
only girl in the Lovetot family, and coming after a long
string of boys, she had been spoilt by them all. When her
mamma died, little Barbie was still quite a little girl, and
all the brothers said they must try and “make it up” to
her, and the end of it was that Barbie had her own way
with them all.

The eldest brother, Philip, was a clergyman in London,
and he used to send her pretty little story-books, and
sometimes a little lesson-book to coax her to like learning.
The second brother was a sailor—Robin was his name—
and all Ais presents used to come “in a lump,” as Barbie
said. “Simultaneously, Barbara,” corrected Miss Sprout,
who, you know, was Barbie’s governess.

321 Y
322 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

The third brother, Edward, lived close to the Grange,
where lived Barbie, her papa, her governess, and her grand-
mamma ; and Barbie always said he never gave her any-
thing but good advice, which was not strictly true, for he
gave her regularly every birthday a new music-book to
encourage her to p ractise 3 last birthday, when Barbie was
thirteen, it was a volume of Bach’s Fugues. (If you don’t
know what Bach’s Fugues are, ask your music-mistress.)

Edward Lovetot had borrowed a pretty little farm-house
from his father, who was much too generous to think much
of a farm, more or less; and as he was fond of the singing
of birds and the smell of new-made hay, he lived there quite
harmless and very content, and if you asked him what he
was doing, he would say “ studying farming.”

Then came the New Zealand brother, Tom ; and then one
in China, and then another in Mexico, and another in
Bombay, and another in Peru, and another in Madagascar
—in fact, all“ the young Lovetots except the eldest, and
Jack, the youngest (who was in a manufactory where they
made matches warranted not to strike even on the box),
were scattered over the face of the globe like so much
thistle-down ; and Barbie used often to say it was as good
as a geography-lesson to get out the family portfolio and
read over all their different letters.

For it must be here explained that the Lovetots had one
peculiar characteristic; they were vovers. Their papa
might bring them up as carefully as he pleased, to
be good useful lawyers, or parsons, or doctors ; he might
order all books of travel and romantic adventure to
be locked up and put out of his sons’ reach, but no
sooner were they grown up than off they would go—and
now of all his eleven children, Mr. Lovetot had only kept
three in’ England: “At any rate,” he always comforted
himself with thinking, “there’s Barbie, she will be always
here ;” and to make it the more safe, even poor old Lobinson
HOW BARBARA GOT HER OWN WAY 323

Crusoe was taken out of the school-room bookcase and
locked up in the highest drawer in the library cupboard,
and Miss Sprout was told to impress on her little pupil’s
mind the fact that “there’s no place like HomE.”

But this care was of little use after all; for in Tom’s last
letter he had said:

“T suppose Barbie is grown ie of all knowledge 1—how
I should like to see her again.’

“And so he shall,” cried Barbie, snatching at the iden
with delight. “ Papa, I must go to New Zealand and stay
with Tom.”

“Whatever shall we do?” cried Mr. Lovetot in
despair, to grandmamma.

“Tt’s in the blood,” said grandmamma, solemnly, nodding
her tall cap at him ; “it’s in the blood, and you can’t fight
against that; we must let her go.”

* Write and ask Uncle Mike,” said Philip; “ he’ll per-
suade her to change her mind if anybody can.”

Now Uncle Mike was captain of the Kingfisher, one of
the largest ships which then used to go to New Zealand ;
and he went every May, and started home again every
January, as regularly as clockwork (or as wind and
weather would permit).

But if Barbie’s perplexed relations expected Uncle Mike
to support their side of the question they were greatly
mistaken. When he came down to the Grange to talk the
matter well over, he threw all his weight into the other
scale.

“My dear John,” he said, in his loud, cheerful voice,
“it’s the best thing in the world for Barbie ; it’ll set her
up and make her so strong and hearty——’

“But, brother,” interrupted Mr. Lovetot, fiddling with
his wine-glass (for it was after dinner, wine-and-walnut
time, you know), “Barbie’s pretty well as it is; ue has



quite got over that little attack of dyspepsia and
324 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

‘Pooh, pooh, sir!” cried Uncle Mike, getting on his
feet and facing his brother and his three nephews in his
energy; ‘“what’s dyspepsia I should like to know? The
girl looks thin and pale, sits up too late, and eats too many
rich things, and the end of it will be, John, she'll be an old
woman before she’s a young one, mark my words. Send
her to sea with me—it’s just a nice little trip to New
Zealand and back



and I’ll bring her home safe and sound
in a year’s time, looking a different creature. Of course,
though, it’s all a matter of opinion,” added Uncle Mike,
changing his tone to a very meek one, and sitting down
again.

Now that was a favourite expression of Uncle Mike’s,
and only meant “'That’s my opinion, and I know I’m right.”
So after that, Mr. Lovetot, with many dreary sighs and
shakes of the head, called Barbie in, and gave his consent
in such a solemn way that Barbie was half frightened, and
began to wish she hadn’t asked it.

CHAPTER II

Tun Kingfisher was to sail in May, and as this was only
March, Mr. Lovetot had a faint hope that Barbie miyht
change her mind, and declare that nothing should induce her
to leave the dear old Grange, her four dogs, and “'Trotty
Veck,” her grey pony, not to mention her papa and
venerable grandmamma. But never before had Barbara
stuck to a will of her own as she did to this, and she
talked of nothing else from morning till night; in fact, as
Edward said, sarcastically, one day, “She had a severe
attack of New Zealand on the brain.” When Edward
laughed at her, Barbie went and talked to nurse, till nurse,
TOW BARBARA GOT HER OWN WAY 325

half-deafened, and very much bewildered, declared that
when Miss Barbara’s tongue got once wound up, there was
no stopping it ; so then the young lady betook herself to
grandmamma, and nearly worried her to death with ques-
tions about foreign lands, ships, and sailors.

“My love, I know nothing about such subjects; you
must wait and see for yourself,” grandmamma said this one
afternoon, when Barbie, for the twenty-ninth time, woke
her out of a comfortable after-dinner nap. For the old
lady always took to the Blue Parlowr after dinner, and in
her easy-chair on the shady side of the window, alternately
dozed and knitted stockings, till Molly brought in the
candles and the tea.

Barbie seldom disturbed grandmamma’s little nap, for if
the weather was at all fine she would be out of doors
scampering about with some of her four-footed subjects,
while poor Miss Sprout tried in vain to keep an eye on her.
Now, however, Barbie would stay in, fidgeting and teasing,
with—I wonder this,’ and “Do you think that ?”—till
even gentle grandmamma began to say to herself that the
sooner the Kingfisher went and “had done with it” the
better,

Once there was silence in the Blue Parlour for at least
ten minutes, and grandmamma was just dropping off with,
“Knit two together; slip, a—nd—b—i—n—d—” when
Barbie woke her again, by suddenly juniping off the high
stool on which she had been perched at the bookcase, with
a dusty volume in her hands,

“T say, granny, here’s such a long account of New
Zealand, in the third volume of the ‘ Encyclopedia Thingem-
bobia.’? Do listen.” So then nothing would do but grand-
mamma must listen, while Barbie read aloud, in a furious
gabble without minding her stops, she sitting on a low
stool, and propping up the dusty old book on grandmamma’s
best black-satin knee. “And now, grandmamma,” cried
326 - -- “EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

Barbara, banging the book shut, and sending a perfect cloud
of dust into Mrs. Lovetot’s white cap-border, and setting
the old lady a-sneezing terribly ; “now I know all about



New Zealand, just as well as if I had lived there for yea
but I want to know about the voyaye. Don’t sneeze so,
dear,’ she went on, remonstratingly, as grandmamma, only
answered by shutting one eye, and falling into a fresh
volley of a-tchus, “there must be something wrong with
your nose, for the dust never makes me sneeze like that.
There, now youre all right! ‘Do tell me if you ever went
on a voyage?”

“Never,” said grandmamma, emphatically, as soon as
she could draw a comfortable breath ; “I never would—
not even when your grandpapa wanted to take me over to
Paris for our wedding journey. ‘No, Mr. Lovetot,’ I said,
‘T’ve no wish to be drowned in a foreign land. If you go,
you go alone.’ ”

“T wish grandpapa had asked me!” cried Barbie ;
“ wouldn’t I have gone!”

“Why, my dear,” said grandmamma, “that was long
before your papa was born or thought of, so how could os



“Oh, never mind that, granny, now,’ interrupted
Barbara. “T want to know, since you never went a
voyage, what was the longest journey you ever took?”

“The longest journey I ever took,” said grandmamma
meditatively, looking out of the window at the crocuses and
snowdrops till her old brown eyes grew quite large and
dreamy. “ Well, my dear, I don’t know exactly about the
longest, but T well remember the most unpleasant, Run up-
stairs, child, and unlock my wardrobe, and on the top shelf,
the right-hand corner, you'll find a long cardboard box ;
bring it to me, and mind you remember the keys.”

Barbie flew wp-stairs, and was back in less than no time,
though she didn’t remember the keys till she was half-way
down, and so had to go back again,
/

HOW BARBARA GOT HER OWN WAY B27

Grandmamma took the box and undid several paper
wrappings—first brown-paper, then newspaper, and then
silver-paper, and lastly opened the box itself, and took out
with trembling fingers a little old riding-whip, faded here
and there, but not looking so very old after all. .

“There, Barbie, on the silver knob you'll see my name
engraved,” said the old lady, rubbing it with her mittened
finger ; “ my spectacles are dim, but it should be somewhere
there.”

“So it is, granny—Dorothy Lovetot, 1824. Oh, what an
age ago! It’s a dear little whip though.”

“Tsn’t it?” said grandmamma, peering at it fondly.
“Lye kept it all these years, but you may have it now,
Barbie. It was your asking me about my journey that
reminded me of it.”

“Well then, granny, tell me all about it,” said Barbie,
settling herself at grandmamma’s feet with the whip in
her lap.

“There’s nothing much to tell,” replied Mrs. Lovetot,
with a cloudy little smile. “Your grandpapa gave me
that whip the morning we were married, with these beauti-
ful lines. I’ve lost the paper on which they were written,
but I know them by heart.” And grandmamma repeated,
in a high quavery voice, the following verses :

‘Oh Dorothea! fairest dear !

Accept a humble offering here ;

Despise it not though poor and slight !

It tells as well as jewels bright,

Or costly gold, or silver’s sheen,

Of my devotion true, I ween !

So take the gift in gracious part,

And, with it, take the giver’s heart !”
“We were married at Durley church, you know, Barbie,”
went on the old lady, coming down to prose again after 2
little pause, during which she shook her head once or
twice, and said “ Well-a-well—deary me’’—‘‘we were
328 EVERY GIRL’S STORIES

married at Durley, and we were to come on here for our
honeymoon—that had been long settled; but the question
arose how should we travel, for there were no railways
then, and no coach nearer than Dorking. Your great-
grandpapa wanted to send us in the carriage with the four
horses, and old Mr. Lovetot offered to send his carriage for
us, but I took it into my head that we might send the
luggage on, and ride ourselves on horseback, and when
once I had got the notion into my wilful head, it was no
use for them to argue. Go I would on ‘Jenny,’ my own
brown mare ; and so it had to be settled.”

“Tt was a very wise notion, J think,” cried Barbie,
stoutly ; “and when I’m married

“Wait and hear the end,” returned grandmamma,
holding upa warning finger. ‘“ Where was I 1—oh, well, we

oPd



were married by old Parson Luck (what jokes were made,
to be sure, about our married life beginning with luck!),
and Cousin John helped, and very nervous he was. Well,
and after breakfast we started. Every one came crowding
out to see us mount. ‘It’s the last time, Dolly,’ said my
dear father, as he put me up and patted my stirrup-foot,
with a tear in his eye, though he tried to look gay. I
remember I wore a new habit of bottle-green cloth, and a
grey Spanish hat with green feathers and a large buckle
on one side—a sweet hat it was, and served me a great
many years; and [ had this whip; and ‘Jenny’ looked
very smart too, with a new saddle and bridle. They
started us off with old shoes enough to stock a shop, and
one or two hit Mr. Lovetot’s horse and made him prance
grandly. We rode along happily enough, talking of this
thing and that, till, on a sudden, ‘ Bless me, Dolly !’ cried
Mr. Lovetot, ‘your mare’s cast a shoe, and I do believe it’s
coming on to rain.’ And indeed he was right, and for the
last ten miles we had to go ata foot’s-pace in the drenching
rain, as miserable-looking a couple as you could wish to see.”
JIOW BARBARA GOT HER OWN WAY 329

“ And when you got here, granny ?”

“When we got here,” went on grandmamma, “there
were all the servants on the look-out, and old Squire
Lovetot and Madam at the hall-door to receive us.‘ Con-
found it all,’ cried Mr. Lovetot, ‘I wish we could have got
dried in the stable-yard first.’ But there was no help
for it; so up we rode, looking more like drowned rats
than bride and bridegroom, But the worst part’s to
come, Barbie. Old Squire Lovetot laughed and teased till
we began to get our spirits up and laugh back; and then,
when we had had some hot elder-wine, they hurried us
up-stairs to take off our wet things and get dressed for
supper. I found my boxes all unpacked for me, and my
white tabinet with the Honiton lace laid out on the bed ;
but, Barbara ! when I came to change my habit, I found
that the green dye had soaked through on to my neck and
arms, and no washing would move it! That was the
finishing stroke! I burst out crying, but Mr. Lovetot
coming in to see what was the matter, stood and langhed
till the tears rolled down his cheeks. Of course I couldn’t
wear the tabinet, and it took weeks of washing with warm
milk before my skin got white again. And all this,
Barbara,” concluded grandmamma solemnly, “came of
having my own way.”

“Why, how quiet the child is,” said Molly, bringing in
the tea-tray half-an-hour later, and finding grandmamma
dozing and Barbie still nursing the little whip. And
very quiet she was all that evening. Was she thinking, I
wonder, if she had been wise in wanting her own way ?
330 EVERY GIRIL’S STORIES

CHAPTER IIT

Tur 18th of May found Lovetot Grange a scene of
bustle and confusion. Most mornings at eleven o’clock
the school-room piano would be heard, thump, bang, thump,
with the accompaniment of Miss Sprout’s precise voice ;
“ One, two, three, G sharp in the bass, third on F, count,
my dear.” Edward would be riding round his farm,
intending to look at sheep and crops, but really thinking of
his new classical poem. ‘The library and newspaper were
Mr. Lovetot’s place and occupation at that hour, till the
sound of grandmamma’s stick tap-tapping on the stairs
should call him out to escort the old lady to her accustomed
chair in the Blue Parlour. But on this particular morning
all was different. The hall-door stood wide open; the
carriage, with its ancient wheezy horses and still more
ancient John on the box, was turning slowly out of the
stable-yard ; a great many boxes, carpet-bags, air-cushions,
telescopes, coats and cloaks, were piled up on the door-step,
and Edward Lovetot, with his hat at the back of his head,
was walking up and down in a truly distracted manner.
His father was bustling in and out of the library with
great-coat and umbrella ; nurse and the other servants were
ready, with their apron-corners and pocket-handkerchiefs,
at the glass door ; Miss Sprout, with her usual calm fore-
thought, was tying up neat little packets of sandwiches,
“lest the dear child should get hungry before she got
there ;” but where was Barbara? Not in the old nursery,
where stood her little white bed, all her story books, and
her broken baby toys ; not in the school-room, where Miss
Sprout suggested she might be taking a fond farewell of
her ill-used Mangnal and tattered Markham; nor in the
Blue Parlour with grandmamma, for Barbara had already








































Miss Barbara Lovetot in the stable with Trotty Veck.—P. 331.
HOW BARBARA GOT HER OWN WAY 3381

said a tearful good-bye there. Where then? At last some
one suggested the stable, and there indeed was Miss
Barbara Lovetot found with one arm round Trotty Veck’s
neck, and her face closely pressed against his stubbly grey
mane.

“Oh, my dearie!’’ cried nurse, the first to open the
stable-door and discover the truant. ‘Don’t take on so,
dear lamb,” sobbed cook, over nurse’s shoulder. “ Barbara,
my dear, control yourself,” said Miss Sprout in her severest
voice, ending in an awful choke.

But Barbara was unable to answer a single word.
Lifting up a very rough head and a very tear-stained face,
she suddenly darted through the sympathizing crowd at the
door, and in a moment was round the shrubbery and in the
carriage. ‘Quick, papa! quick! Get in!” she cried,
stamping her foot at that startled gentleman. ‘Drive on,
John, unless you want to see my heart break!” And as
John had no wish to see anything so dreadful, he whipped
up his horses and drove them at a quicker trot than usual
down the hill. Barbara looked back once, but could see
nothing but Edward holding Cesar by the collar ; all the
rest. was a mist of tears. Poor Barbara! she began to
think how she would like to wake up and find it all a
dream; and I.really believe even now, that if it had
not been for shame she would have given up the plan.
But then the voyage, and the wonderful ship and the
sailors, and a new country, and Tom to meet her—oh, it
must be delightful!—though of course saying good-bye
is always sad.

So she comforted herself, and, long before the carriage
stopped at Wyford Station, had dried her tears, and began
to chatter about the joy of coming home ina year. “ Only
ayear, papa!” But Papa Lovetot shook his head, and said,
“ A year is a very short time at your age, my dear, and a

very long one at mine.”
332 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

T am not going to describe Barbara’s journey to London,
my dear children, because in these days, you are all great
travellers and would skip the rest of this chapter and call
it dull and stupid. You all know well enough without my
stopping to tell you, about the old lady who would have the
carriage window up when the fat old gentleman opposite
wanted it down ; and how Mr. Lovetot would get out for a
sandwich when the train was only going to stop five
minutes, Barbara feeling sure that her papa would either
choke or be left behind; and how Barbara bought all the
Punches and Funs and Graphics, whenever she caught sight
of a news-boy. She knew she could never read half of them,
but then she observed other travellers roaring out: “ Boy,
Times!” ov “Boy, Era!” and was not she also a traveller
now? So she said in as loud a voice as she could command
from her seat in the centre of the carriage, ‘“ Boy! one of
everything!” and was much pleased to see the fat old
gentleman’s look of astonishment as he passed the papers
up to her, while Mr. Lovetot meekly paid.

“They'll amuse the savages you know, papa,” she said
in an important and dignified tone in answer to Mr.
Lovetot’s look of mild remonstrance, whereupon all the
company eyed her with still greater surprise, and the old
gentleman said “ Bless me!” several times.

You know also well enough the bustle and confusion
which so bewildered Mr. Lovetot at the great London
station, till a good-natured porter took possession of him
and the luggage and stowed all safely in a cab ; and the
rush they had at Charing Cross to catch the Gravesend
train.

But at Gravesend their journey began to assume a more
unusual character. The little old dirty town, with steep
streets and dingy shops, the number of sailors smelling of
damp tar, the crowds of boats and the quarrelling of the
poatmen, were all new and strange things to our Barbara.
HOW BARBARA GOT HER OWN WAY “333

She was almost frightened when the boatmen began a wordy
war over her luggage, one man hauling the two passengers

’ while another carried off the tele-

into his boat ‘‘ Jenny,’
scope and air-cushion to his “ Polly.” Ultimately matters
were arranged by the first boatman knocking the other
down, and Mr. Lovetot presenting the vanquished hero with
a peaceful shilling.

“The Ming fisher ?” said the owner of the “Jenny” as he
took the oars and rowed off away from the shore, the noise,
and the twinkling lights, into quiet deep waters. “Ay, ay,
, she’s off to-morrow.” And Barbara moved a little
closer to her papa, and wished it was all a dream again.

How cleverly the boat seemed to thread in and out among
the vessels big and small, till they were among the larger
ships, at a stately distance from each other, and were told
“yonder long black ’un” was the Aingfisher. Very few strokes
more and they were alongside and being helped up a steep
slippery ladder to the deck. Yes, this was the ship at last !
Nothing so very wonderful after all, Barbara thought, but
a dirty crowded place with knots of sad-looking people very
shabbily dressed walking about, or standing looking towards
the shore. She had not time however to see much on deck,
for her papa was calling her to follow him to the saloon,
where sat Uncle Mike very hot and busy with papers and
pens, and a number of gentlemen all down the table
equally busy with some light refreshments.

“Her Majesty’s Commissioners come to test the ship,”
whispered the steward who conducted Mr. Lovetot.

“Do they have to test the wine and biscuits?” asked
Barbara, staring at Her Majesty’s Commissioners with her
big eyes, at which the steward laughed, and Uncle Mike
turned his head.

“ Why, bless me, it’s little Barbara! Welcome, brother
John, to the Kingfisher / Sit down, sit down; what will
you drink, eh? Steward! get whatever Mr. Lovetot likes.

sir,
334 EVERY GIRL'S STORTES

Yow ll excuse me, brother; very busy just now you see,”
and Uncle Mike turns to his paper's again.

After sitting still for nearly ten minutes, Barbara ,the
restless whispers “Which is my cabin?” and being
referred to the steward, who seems to know everything, and
to be everywhere at once, is conducted to a tiny little box
on the left.

“Oh, papa, what a nutshell!” cried Barbara in dismay ;
“wherever can all my things go?”

“Indeed, my dear, I don’t know,” answered her papa
helplessly ; “I am afraid yowll be very uncomfortable here.
Hadn't you better even now give it up, and come home
with me?”

Come home! How Barbara’s heart beat at the words!
but yet—to give up her pet plan—which had been success-
fully carried on so far in spite of all the grown-ups—to
have to go home and acknowledge to grandmamma and
Miss Sprout and Edward that her heart had failed her at
the last ; to be always told, ever after, when she wanted her
own way, “Remember how your voyage ended, Barbara !”
No, she could not face that! so she answered Mr. Lovetot
with a hug, and an assurance that he would break her
heart if he alluded to “giving up” again, and became at
once very lively and full of chatter. Her boxes? Well,
nothing could be better than to have one for a dressing-
table, one under her berth, and another for a seat.

The cloaks and shawls and rugs should hang on these
nice hooks behind the door; the air-cushion under her
pillow of course; the telescope, travelling bag, opera-glass,
soda-water machine, barometer, and medicine-chest,—well,
they were a little puzzling certainly, but perhaps Uncle
Mike would find room for them in some spare cabin by
and by: “and so, if you please, papa, we will go on deck
again.”

On deck a thick mist was making the air chilly, and
HOW BARBARA GOT HER OWN WAY 33d

sending every one shivering below. There was some bustle
on one side, for Her Majesty’s Commissioners were just off
ina little boat to the shore. Here comes Uncle Mike to
have a chat
Oh no, Uncle Mike! oh, papa, not yet!

Alas! poor Barbara! ’tis best over quickly. Be brave,
a year is such a little time! Then think too of the joy of
retuun—Ah! who going down into such bitter waters



what does he say? Time to say good-bye ?
Ny ys ¥,

knows if there will be any return ?

CHAPTER IV

Ir any one had told Barbara, when, sobbing and
clinging to Uncle Mike’s hand, she stood at the ship’s side
to watch for the last flutter of Mz. Lovetot’s handkerchief,
till his little boat touched the shore, and the gathering
darkness hid the dear familiar figure from her eyes,—if any
one had told Barbara then that before a month’s end she
would be as merry and talkative and fond of her own way
as ever, she would have indignantly answered that she was
incapable of such heartlessness. But such nevertheless was
the case, as we might see if we could turn ourselves, gentle
reader, into two downy Cape pigeons, and follow the ship’s
track some fine June morning. While we dip and sweep
and wheel, and curve our spotless breasts to the buoyant
water, we recognize foremost in a group of little folk
watching us from the stern, Miss Barbara Lovetot.

Uncle Mike’s prediction is certainly verified, she looks
rosy and plump, and (oh, Miss Sprout !) almost as brown as
that able-bodied sailor at the wheel. But oh, ye needles
and bobbins ! look at her clothes! Who would believe that
the worthy preceptress named above had supplied her pupil
336 EVERY GIRLS STORIES

with no less than three housewifes and a roll-up workcase,
and, to make assurance doubly sure, even with a pin-
cushion full of needles ready threaded? Heedless Barbara !

Yet to be just we must mention that she did try to mend
the first few rents in her blue lama, grey serge, and violet
cashmere ; but when these were followed by tears in the
buff and twill, white piqué, and lavender poplinette, she
gave up the task as hopeless, Then the sail-maker tried
his hand, and certainly his work had the merit of being
strong enough to survive a tumble down the ‘“ companion ”
or an evening romp on deck, although he could not be said
to darn on the excellent old-fashioned principle of “take
one, miss two.”

There were no saloon passengers on board except Barbara,
but she found plenty of playfellows among the emigrant
children on the main-deck, not to mention Uncle Mike, the
best of companions when the wind was fair, and also fat,
good-tempered Mr. Gudge, the mate.

All days on board ship seemed to pass by much alike.
In the morning, Barbara had to keep her restless little feet
moderately quiet, at any rate in that part of the vessel over
Uncle Mike’s cabin, for he was apt to get very cross when
his slumbers were disturbed. So she used to curl herself
up on deck with a rug and a cushion and read some
delightful story-book, or she would get Mr. Gudge to “ yarn”
about the countries and strange seas he had visited.

“And were you really never shipwrecked on a desert
island in which you thought you would be starved, until
you walked round and found a turtle on the sand, and the
pepper-pods and cotton-trees growing, and made your own
shoes of bark, and fur caps and things? Do try and
recollect, Mr. Gudge.”

“No, Miss Barbie,” the mate would answer, after an
anxious searching of memory: “ nothing ever happened to
me in particular. There’s nothing I can call to mind but
JIOW BARBARA GOT HER OWN WAY 337

the day we upset the ‘ gig’ in Wellington Harbour dredging
for the anchor, and you’ve heard of that often enough.”

Yes, Barbara could not pretend she cared for that story
very much, and she would break off such conversations