R aebton kBate free nctboNist
1 2EWIVARD OF JJERIT
.... g.. ......... t. ,.... 9 8... ......... ................... .
The Baldwn Library
- --- ---- --- --
MISS HARTLEY GIVES JESSIE A BOOK.
Rt tale for the oounn.
JOHN A. WALKER.
S. W. PART IDIGE & CO.
8 & 9 PATERNOSTER Row.
I. A BRAND PLUCKED FROM THE BURNING,. 7
II. JESSIE'S FIRST DAY AT THE SUNDAY
III. MISS HARTLEY GOES ON A VOYAGE OF
IV. LITTLE PAT MEHAN, 35
V. TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS, 48
VI. A THOROUGH REFORMATION AND ITS
A BRAND PLUCKED FROM THE BURNING.
HAT are you doing there, my little
girl? Are you waiting for some
one?" inquired a gentleman as
he was entering his school one
Sunday afternoon, in the month of
October, and saw, standing near the
porch, and peering wistfully through
a chink in the door, a girl of about
eight or nine years of age. She was very thinly
clad; very pale; and apparently shivering with
cold; for a harsh north-west wind was blowing.
Upon hearing his voice the child turned suddenly
round in alarm.
"Come, my little girl, I want to speak to you,"
he said. "What is your name ?"
"Jessie Dyson, sir."
Jessie Dyson. Well now, Jessie, you have two
8 Jessie Dyson.
pretty little names of your own; and tell me why
you were standing at the door of the school, when
I came up ? "
I was listening, sir."
"Oh, you were listening to the children singing,
were you ? Then you are fond of singing,
"Yes, sir, and it is so nice to hear them all
Well, then, wouldn't you like to go in and sing
with them ? "
Oh, I aren't, sir."
"Why aren't you, my dear ?"
"Because, sir, my mother might be angry if I
did; and if she wasn't, my father might be."
"Where do you live, Jessie ?"
In Back Lane, sir."
"In Back Lane Why, my child, that is a long
way for you to come."
Yes, sir, and I have been here twice before, for
it is so nice to hear them all sing."
"But what brought you here first, so far away
from home ?"
I was going with Bob, my brother, to the fields to
gather daisies one day, and as we were passing by
this place we heard them singing, and we stopped till
they had done, and then I came again by myself."
Well, Jessie, if your mother will let you come to
this school and bring Bob, I should be very glad
to see you. Will you ask her?"
But if she won't let Bob come, you will come
A Brand Plucked from the Burning. 9
I will, sir."
That's a good little girl; and mind I shall look
out for you." Saying which he shook her by the
hand, patted her on the head, and bade her take
care that in crossing the streets she wasn't run
over. Mr. Williams-for that was the teacher's
name-thought within himself what a strange love
for music she must have, to bring her so far on such
a day to listen to the simple melodies of the Sunday-
school. She was so fascinated by the singing that
she didn't even hear his approach, though his tread
over the gravel-walk was pretty loud. For her to
come more than a mile through crowded streets to
listen outside astonished him, and made him hope
that she might prevail upon her mother to let her
join the school. He felt that there was something
out of the common run of youth in that child.
When Jessie arrived home she was pretty nearly
out of breath. She had run the greater part of the
way; and, what with the race and the excitement
about going to school, she was very much flushed
and over-heated. Her mother, noticing the child's
condition, exclaimed, "Why, Jessie, what can be
the matter with you? where have you been? what
have you been doing ?-tell me immediately."
"Oh, mother, I have not been doing anything;
but don't be angry with me, and I'11 tell you where
I have been."
"Very well, then; tell me the truth, and I'11 not
be angry-but mind you tell me the truth."
Jessie told it just as it occurred. She said that
she had gone to the school-door twice before by
herself and nobody had seen her, but this time
10 Jessie Dyson.
the gentleman had spoken to her, and she repeated
his request. "And, oh! mother," she exclaimed,
when she gave the teacher's message, taking her
mother by the hand, "won't you let me and Bob
go next Sunday to the gentleman's school?-won't
you, mother? and I shall be able to sing with them;
and I'11 take so much care of Bob that you needn't
be the least afraid. I '11 never let his hand go until
we get there, and I'11 bring him back as safely as
if you were with him yourself."
Her mother had not spoken during the whole
time that Jessie was relating the events of the
afternoon; and now that her tale was finished, the
earnest entreaty of her voice, accompanied by the
pressure of her little hands, seemed to arouse her
as from a dream. She had begun to think, as the
child proceeded, of the years of sorrow and suffer-
ing and toil that had been her lot-of the dark
cloud that hung over her now. She contrasted the
first few years of her married life with her present
condition-what joyful and contented years they
had been! and so full of bright promise. Then
she thought of the cause of her distress-drink,
accursed drink !-and reflecting that at that moment
her husband, instead of being at home, was away
in some gin-palace in the town-she knew not
where-she would have wept but for the presence
of her girl. And yet when she married him ten
years ago he was one of the kindest of men.
"Even now, when he is sober, he is at times," she
said, to herself, "like his old self; but he is so
easily led away. He is good-natured, and they
play upon it."
MR. WILLIAMS QUESTIONING JESSIE.-Page 8.
I2 Jessie Dyson.
Jessie was wondering at her mother's silence.
At last she spoke.
"Jessie," she said, "I will see. It's a long
time till Sunday; and you must not speak of it
to father, for he might be angry at your wander-
ing so far away from home, which you ought not to
have done without telling me. And now, go
downstairs to Mrs. Mehan's and bring Bob up."
So, without waiting to reply, Jessie ran downstairs
to the room occupied by Mrs. Mehan. She found
little Bob sitting beside Pat Mehan, who was a
cripple, and was lying in one corner of the room
on a mattress, where, with some pieces of card, the
two were trying to build houses.
"Bob," said Jessie, "mother wants you to come
"Very well," said Bob, so rising up, he left the
room with Jessie, and went upstairs to his mother.
Bob was a rosy-cheeked little fellow, with a
round good-natured face, and a pair of merry blue
eyes. He was nearly two years younger than
Jessie, who was nine, but was much stronger for
his age than she. He was a sturdy child, and
though he often quarrelled with his sister when she
wouldn't give him whatever he wanted, he had a
great love for her. He admired her too-though
he would not say so to herself, he would say it
confidentially to his mother when she was not
present. He thought her very clever, and always
went to her for counsel when he was in any diffi-
culty. She was his only companion and playmate;
except when allowed to run down to the little
cripple, which he did for an hour or so every day;
A Brand Plucked from the Burning. 13
for his mother had kept her two children pretty
much to themselves. She dreaded their contracting
the bad habits of the children of the neighbourhood
and, notwithstanding her poverty, she kept them
cleanly and tidily dressed. She was looked up to
by her neighbours as a woman that had seen better
days; and, from the neatness which characterized
her room, and the pains she took to have every-
thing in it as bright and cheerful looking as
possible, she exercised no small influence upon
"And so you say, Bob," said his mother, "that
Pat is better to-day ? "
"Yes, mother; he has been able to sit up all
the time I was with him."
Mother," inquired Jessie, "how was he made
a cripple ?"
"My dear," she replied, "it took place before
we came to live here. He was allowed by his
mother to run about the streets, as you have been
doing to-day; and one day another boy was racing
after him, and in his haste to escape he didn't heed
where he was going, so he ran right in front of a
horse and cart that was passing along the street.
The horse knocked him down, and the wheel
Passed right over both his legs, and it was found
they were broken. He must have suffered a great
deal when they were set, poor child! and for the long
six months that he remained in the hospital ward;
but he left it a cripple for life, and he seems lately
to have been getting weaker. Besides, he has a
cough now, which always makes my heart ache to
hear whenever I go in to see his mother."
14 Jessie Dyson.
Yes," interposed Bqb, "he was coughing to-day
just as I had built up my house, and was going to
put on the roof, when he so shook the quilt that it
all tumbled down, and I was never able to build it
Jessie, who had been listening thoughtfully to
the conversation, and looking very serious, and
very much concerned, said, Mother, do you
think that little Pat Mehan will ever get well ? "
"I do not know, Jessie," she replied; "the
child is very weak; he needs better air than he gets
here, and better food than they can afford to give
him. But now let us have tea," she added; and
the children gathered round the small table, where
the tea was poured out in their mugs; and a good-
sized lump of bread without butter-that was a
luxury they had seldom enjoyed-was handed to
each of them.
They drank their tea in silence, the unhappy
fate of little Pat occupying their minds chiefly;
when all of a sudden Bob shouted out, Mother,
where's father ?"
"Never mind asking where your father is," said
his mother, rather sharply. "Get on with your
"But, mother," said Jessie, interposing, "how is
it that father is always so late on Saturdays and
Sunday? He never comes home until we're in
bed, and we should so like him to be here."
"Well, Jessie," replied her mother, kindly, "I
suppose your father knows best when he should
come home, and as it's no business of yours," she
added, "you needn't trouble yourself about it."
A Brand Plucked from the Burning. 15
Mrs. Dyson had always made it a point to con-
ceal from her children her husband's intemperate
habits. They were in total ignorance of the cause
of his constant absence from home in the evenings;
and, as the drink he indulged in produced the effect
of stupefying him, he rarely gave vent to any coarse
language, and was never quarrelsome. James
Dyson was a skilful workman-a joiner and cabinet-
maker by trade-and if he would only attend to
his business he could earn good wages; but he
seldom worked more than four out of the six days,
and had been discharged very often by his employer
for neglect of business, and been taken back again
on a promise of amendment. The promise was
kept, but, of course, only for a while, so that now
the master didn't seem to care whether he went to
work or stayed away altogether. He had become
indifferent to him; and it was only through the
influence of the foreman, who had a great liking for
him, that he was allowed into the shop at all.
The answer which Mrs. Dyson gave to Jessie,
however, did not satisfy the child's inquiry. But
she saw that there was no use in asking her mother
any more about it.
Bobby's hour for bed having arrived, he was
undressed and snugly tucked in, without any danger
of falling out, for the bed was on the floor. It was
only a mattress with a blanket and a patchwork
quilt to cover it, just large enough for him and his
sister, who slept with him. He was soon asleep;
and Jessie went to bed also, leaving her mother
up'to wait her father's return.
Left to her own meditations, Mrs. Dyson's
thoughts naturally reverted to the subject that was
uppermost in her mind, namely, her husband's
besetting sin, and the consequent and almost hope-
less misery which it had brought upon her. For
herself she was not so much concerned; but for
the children she thought it was very hard. She
could bear it; and, if the worst came to the worst,
she could support herself by going to service; but
the poor children, who were unable to help them-
selves-she thought it was a cruel wrong to expose
them to such hardships. Amid such reflections as
these she patiently waited through the weary hours
till her husband came home, which he did about
half-past ten o'clock. His usual time for coming
home was eleven o'clock, when the public-houses in
large towns are compelled by law to close their
doors; but this night he returned a little earlier, and
after stumbling up the stairs, staggered into the
"Well, James," said his wife, in tones as gentle
as she could express herself, "you are earlier to-
night." He raised his glazed, stupid eyes and looked
at her sleepily-
Aye," he replied, earlier, but not much ;" and
without offering another remark he went to bed.
He was soon sound asleep; and his wife, with a
heavy heart-whilst tears unchecked bathed her
pale, careworn cheeks-followed him.
JESSIE'S FIRST DAY AT THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
HE next week, so far as James Dyson
6 was concerned, was pretty much a
repetition of its predecessors. But
to little Jessie it seemed as if the
S days were longer than she had ever
remembered them: she thought Saturday
would never come; and, as her mother had
not said a word about the school, she did
not know whether she would allow her to go when
the time came. But when Saturday had at last
arrived, she was unable any longer to restrain her
"Mother," she inquired, "isn't this Saturday?
Because if it is, then to-morrow will be Sunday."
"Well, child, I know it, and what of that ?"
"Why, mother "-and she stopped, not feeling it
quite safe to proceed-" the school, you know,
mother-the school I was speaking about last
Sunday; and you said you would tell me to-morrow
if I was to go."
"To-morrow hasn't yet come, Jessie, so you
must have patience until it does," she replied. But
18 Jessie Dyson.
Jessie saw by her looks and by her tone that it was
all settled, and she felt as happy as she could well
be for the remainder of the afternoon. And when
her mother went out, which she did soon after
dark, she knew, as well as if she had told her, that
she was gone to buy something for her or for Bob;
and she was on the point of saying so to Bob, who
was sobbing near the door because his mother
would not allow him to go with her; but she
remembered the caution to say nothing to him
about his going to school, so she only ran up to
him, and putting her arms about his neck, began to
pet him, and to tell him that "mother wouldn't be
long out, and if he was a good boy perhaps she
would bring him something home." Jessie's surmise
was not altogether wrong, for Mrs. Dyson did bring
little Bob something that he was very fond of, namely,
a stick of sugar-cane made in the shape of a shep-
herd's crook. But she bought Jessie a little straw
hat trimmed with bright red ribbons, with a spray of
holly berries and leaves in front. Jessie tried it on,
and it fitted her exactly; she thought she had never
seen such a pretty hat. She was sure now that her
mother intended to let her go to school, and
throwing her arms about her neck she kissed her,
and whispered, lest Bob should hear-
"I'm sure you bought me that hat because I am
going to the school to-morrow; am I not ? "
"Yes, child," replied her mother, "if the day is
fine; it depends upon that."
"And Bob?" she whispered, looking at her
brother, who, with great delight, was thrusting the
shepherd's crook down his throat.
JESSIE'S NEW HAT.
Mrs. Dyson shook her head, and answered, "Not
yet, he has no shoes; perhaps he may go some other
Jessie felt much disappointed at this intelligence,
for she had calculated on taking Bob with her.
At last the Sunday did come; and a bright,
cheerful day it was. The sun shone as warmly as
if it were the month of June; and when the dinner
was over, and her father had gone out, Jessie was
all impatience to get away. No child ever went
to school with a lighter heart or lighter step than
did Jessie that afternoon. She ran almost the
whole way, and was at the door a long time before
any one came to open it. After she had waited
there for some time and no one came, she won-
dered if it ever would be opened; when suddenly
she heard the step of some one inside; then the
door was unlocked, and it was thrown back by a
woman, who told her to come in. She went in,
and was disappointed that the gentleman was not
there-she expected to see him. The place was very
nice, she thought-with its bright forms with backs
to lean against, and its fire, and its cupboards, and
its chairs; she had never been in such a room
In the meantime, Mr. Williams, who had
expected to see her waiting outside, looked up
and down for her, and, finding her not, came into
the school very much disappointed.
"Why, Jessie, my dear child, I hardly knew
you !" he exclaimed. "And where is little Bob?"
He had no shoes, sir, so mother wouldn't let
fessie's First Day at the Sunday School. 21
"No shoes!" said Mr. Williams, sorrowfully.
"Well, dear, we must see about that. And now,
Jessie," he added, sitting down beside her, "let
me hear you read." And taking out his Bible, he
opened it at the fifth chapter of Matthew, and gave
it to her. She read it with distinctness, though
rather slowly, and would have read on to the end
of the chapter, for it seemed greatly to interest her,
had he not stopped her. "I see, Jessie, you can
read very well for so young a child. Who taught
you to read ? "
"My mother, sir."
"Did she teach you to read out of this book?"
holding up the Bible.
"I never saw that book before, sir."
"Have you no Bible at home ?"
"I don't know, sir."
"Well, dear, we must find out."
By this time the seats in the school were being
pretty well occupied by the children who had
arrived, and the teachers who had taken their
places. Mr. Williams having informed the super-
intendent that he had heard her read, and how
well she read, that gentleman placed her in the
class of one of his most experienced lady teachers;
who, taking her by the hand, and calling her by
name, informed her that Mr. Williams had spoken
about her, and that she fully expected her. Every-
thing was so new to her, and so strange-the hymns
that the other children repeated almost without a
mistake; the reading; the questioning; the, to her,
wonderful answers that they gave; the explanations
of the teacher; and the kind words about little
22 Jessie Dyson.
children, and how Jesus loved them, and blessed
them. She had never heard anything of this kind
before, and she seemed to feel as if she would like to
fly home to tell her mother, as if walking would be
too slow for her. And then, when the teacher told
her that she might keep the hymn-book, and that
she was to learn a hymn to repeat the next Sunday,
like the others, her joy knew no bounds, and she
asked-her eyes sparkling with delight-
"Ma'am, is 'I have a Father' in it ?"
"It is, Jessie," and the teacher put a slip of
paper in the page, and told her to learn that hymn
for next Sunday. When the school had been
brought to a close, and her name and address
entered in a book, the superintendent, who was
conversing with Mr. Williams, called her to him,
and-presenting her with a Bible-said :-
"Here, Jessie, Mr. Williams says you have no
Bible at home. Will you take great care of this
one, my dear, and read it ?"
Jessie took it mechanically, she did not know
what to say. She looked first at the superintend-
ent, and then at Mr. Williams, and finally at the
book, but did not offer to speak or move.
Seeing her confusion, and rightly divining its
cause, the superintendent said to her, placing his
hand upon her shoulder, "Take it, my dear, to
your good mother, and tell her we have sent it to
her for teaching you to read so nicely, and that we
wish her to read it along with you." After saying
which he shook hands with her, and so did
Mr. Williams: then she ran home, hardly knowing
whether she was on her head or on her heels.
Jessie's First Day at the Sunday School. 23
Before she arrived at home her mother met her,
for she felt uneasy about her; and when she saw
her with the two books-the Bible and the hymn-
book-and the bright happy look of her face, she
felt that she had done right in sending her. She
had had occasional misgivings, but she had none
any longer; then, when Jessie recounted all that
took place, and how kind every one had been to
her, a feeling of joy was kindled in her heart that
it had long been a stranger to. She read much of
the Bible that night-she and Jessie together-
beginning at the fifth chapter of Matthew, for
Jessie remembered the chapter she read for
Mr. Williams, and she found it for her mother.
It had been almost an unknown book to Mrs.
Dyson, nearly as completely so as it was to her
daughter. She had never had any serious thoughts
of religion, and if she ever went into a place of
worship it was more out of curiosity than anything
MISS HARTLEY GOES ON A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY.
I HE interest which Jessie had aroused
in the mind of Mr. Williams, had
communicated itself to both the
superintendent and Miss Hartley,
her teacher. The latter was particu-
larly struck with the quickness and
with the marked attention which she paid
to everything that was said in 'the class.
She was also much pleased with the effort she
made to join in the hymns that were sung; and
remarked that her voice was peculiarly sweet and
clear. At the conclusion of the school she was
requested by the superintendent to visit her, and
see what sort of a home she had, and, if possible,
get her brother to come to school along with her.
Whatever he wanted, the superintendent remarked,
could be supplied by the Dorcas Society in con-
nection with the congregation, which would meet
In due course the case of little Bob Dyson was
laid before the Dorcas meeting, and Miss Hartley
was commissioned to visit the child and have him
Miss Hartley goes on a Voyage of Discovery. 25
properly fitted out. On the Friday she made her
way to the address with which the superintendent
furnished her. She experienced great difficulty in
finding out the house in Back Lane-a narrow,
filthy, unswept by-street-in which Mrs. Dyson
lived. No one appeared to know the family, and
she knew so little of them herself that she was able
to give no clue by which their whereabouts might
be discovered. At last, after many ineffectual
inquiries, it occurred to her to try a small huckster's
shop and describe to the woman who kept it the
appearance of the little girl, giving her name. The
woman knew Jessie immediately, and directed her
to where she lived.
The house was one of a row of tall, high houses
that had seen better days, but were then in a state
of rapid decay; the ground floors were occupied
by dealers in second-hand boots and shoes, cast-off
clothes, small hucksters, with here and there a
grocer's and spirit dealer's shop. The upper stories
were let out in tenements to journeymen tailors
and shoemakers, and to such other workmen as
were unable to afford better accommodation for
themselves and their families, and to whose abodes
admittance was obtained through, what they called,
the "hall door." Entering one of these, Miss
Hartley found herself in a narrow passage, doubt-
less called the hall," the floor of which was thick
with mud from the street. Ascending the stairs,
which were broken in many places, requiring con-
siderable caution, she arrived at the top storey.
There was but one door on this landing, so she
concluded that it must be Mrs. Dyson's; she
26 Jessie Dyson.
therefore knocked, and a pale, careworn looking
woman of the middle height, with a mild expression
of countenance, opened the door. She at once
recognized her as Jessie's mother, from the strong
resemblance which she bore to the child, and held
out her hand to her, saying, "Mrs. Dyson, I am
Jessie's teacher, and I have called to see her."
"It's very kind of you, ma'am," replied Mrs.
Dyson, "and I am sorry I haven't a better place
for you to come to," offering her a chair, which
she wiped with her apron.
Your place is very nice, Mrs. Dyson," remarked
Miss Hartley; "you keep it remarkably neat,
which, I may tell you, I quite expected, from the
tidy way in which Jessie was dressed when she
came to school."
"You are very kind to say so, ma'am," said
Mrs. Dyson, "and I am sure I am glad that I let
her go to your school; it was kind to give her that
Bible and the book of Hymns; it was very kind,
ma'am, and they have made her very happy. She
has hardly done anything else since she got them
but read them and learn off the hymns. She reads
them to me, and to her little brother, and now she
is downstairs in Mrs. Mehan's, reading them to her
poor little son, who is a cripple."
Miss Hartley was gratified to hear this of Jessie,
and remarked, "You cannot imagine how much
pleasure you give me by what you have said.
Jessie is a fine child, and if the Lord spare her she
will yet be a great comfort to you. And now,"
she added, "I want to ask you to let her brother
come to school also."
Miss Hartley goes on a Voyage of Discovery. 27
Knowing how impossible it was to agree to this,
from her inability to provide him with clothes to
go in, Mrs. Dyson did not reply; but when Miss
Hartley informed her that she understood from
Jessie that the reason he did not go last Sunday
was because he had no shoes, and that she came,
commissioned by the Dorcas Society, to provide
them and anything else he required for his outfit,
she brightened up, and, with a profusion of thanks
for so much kindness towards her children, gave a
joyful assent. Miss Hartley consulted her as to
what she considered he required, and, learning that
he needed only a pair of boots and a cap, she
inquired how much she thought they would cost.
"Well, ma'am," said Mrs. Dyson, calculatingly,
"I think that four or five shillings would be quite
Miss Hartley handed her the money, and told
her if that was not sufficient, to send word next
Sunday by Jessie, and they would send what more
was needed. She preferred giving the money to
Mrs. Dyson to buying the things herself, not only
because she felt in her heart that the money would
be honestly expended, but also because she be-
lieved that she would obtain the articles on better
terms than she could, and she told her so.
Mrs. Dyson-who showed she was fully sensible
of this mark of confidence-felt that the Sunday-
school had indeed become a blessing to her and to
her children. It had begun even now to lift up
the skirt of the cloud that overhung her, and she
thought that perhaps her great sorrow might yet
be brought within its influence. "Oh, ma'am,"
28 Jessie Dyson.
she said, "I have received great comfort from the
Bible Jessie brought home; we have read it
together almost every day since, and it has made
me say many a time to myself that it must have
been the good God that took her to the school
that day when the gentleman spoke to her. We
poor," she added, sorrowfully, "have a weary life
of it, ma'am, and we often make our lives far worse
than they need be by our own faults; and if there
wasn't something better for us to look forward to,
I don't know what would become of us." As she
said this, the tears started from her eyes, and she
turned her head away to conceal them.
Miss Hartley was much affected by the poor
woman's grief, for she saw that she had some deep
sorrow to mourn over-she knew not what; and,
taking her by the hand, she said to her :-
"Mrs. Dyson, the Book, as you say, is full of
comfort, especially for the poor; it has so many
precious, precious promises, and this is one of them,
' The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken
heart;' and another, Casting all your care upon
Him; for He careth for you.' You see that they
are intended for you, just as if there was nobody
but you in all the world; and what a joy it must
be to know that so good a God is as able as He is
willing to help you in the time of your affliction."
"It is so, ma'am, it is so," replied Mrs. Dyson,
wiping the tears from her eyes; "I have felt all
that since I read the Book, though I never thought
anything about these things before. I first thought
I would have to live on and bear my sorrows to
the end, and all my concern was about the children.
Miss Hartley goes on a Voyage of Discovery. 29
I wanted to do my duty to them, as well as I have
tried to do it-the Lord knows!-to my poor,
From this remark Miss Hartley concluded that
the husband was the cause of her sorrow, so she
inquired, "What is your husband, Mrs. Dyson ?"
"He is a cabinetmaker by trade, ma'am," she
"Is he out of employment, then ?" she asked.
"No, ma'am, he could have as much employ-
ment as he liked, but he is a poor, good-natured
man, and is easily led away."
"Then he is given to drink, I fear," said Miss
Hartley, with emotion, as the dreadful curse that
had sent, and was sending yearly, so many thou-
sands to the jails, to the hulks, and to the grave,
rose up with all its horrors before her. "My poor
friend, yours is a dreadful sorrow, and not the less
so because there are thousands that at this moment
are suffering like you. I sympathise with you from
the depth of my heart, and I pray God that some-
thing may be sent to save your husband."
Mrs. Dyson shook her head; she said that she
had almost given up hoping, it had gone on so
long, and was getting a stronger hold upon him
she feared than it used to have.
"And, pray," inquired Miss Hartley, "how long
has he been given up to this vice?"
"More than five years, ma'am, and they have
seemed to me like a lifetime."
Then he was not a drunkard when you married
Oh, no, ma'am, he was as good a young man as
ever walked; but you see he was led away by some
of his shopmates; and now," she added, sorrow-
fully, he doesn't need any one to lead him away."
"Are you natives of this city, Mrs. Dyson?"
inquired Miss Hartley, desiring to change the sub-
ject, seeing how deeply it affected t'ie poor woman.
"No, ma'am," she replied; I was in service in
a gentleman's family, in the country, as cook and
housemaid, when I saw him first. He was a native
of those parts, and he was employed by the master
to do some work in the house. I used to hear the
master and mistress praise him for being such a
good workman, and never idling his time as some
did; and during his dinner hour, and in the even-
ing, he would come into the kitchen to light his
pipe, and would chat with me. So from one thing
to another it went on until when the job was finished,
and he had no more to do in the house, he used to
come of an evening and see me, and at last
proposed to marry me. I couldn't refuse him; so
we got married. He had taken a nice little cottage
for us, and we lived as happily as the day was long.
Oh, he was a good, kind husband then, and the
memory of those early years makes me bear what
I have to suffer now without ever saying a word to
anger him." After a while she continued, He
began to take to drink when he came to live in this
town. He thought he would get better wages if he
came here, but it has been his ruin. We have had
to leave first one place and then another; and our
little bits of furniture, and even our clothes, have
had to be parted with from time to time, until we
are left as you see us now."
Miss Hartley goes on a Voyage of Discovery. 31
Miss Hartley felt the recital to be a very sad-
though by no means an uncommon-one, and she
did not wonder that the poor woman should break
down under it. She was glad, therefore, when the
door opened and the children came in.
Jessie was taken quite aback when she saw her
teacher, and her little brother clung to her frock,
neither of them seemingly disposed to come for-
ward, until Miss Hartley rising up held out her
hand, and told her she had come all the way to see
her; and taking little Bob in her arms sat down
with him on her knee.
"So this is little Bob, is it?" she said, stroking
his cheek. "Bob, would you like to come to
school with Jessie ?" she asked, looking down into
his bright face.
"I would," answered Bob, "if you would give
me a book."
"Well, you shall have one when you know how
"But I do know how to read," he replied,
Know how to read?" inquired Miss Hartley;
"does he really know how to read, Mrs. Dyson ?"
turning to his mother.
"Not much, ma'am; he can spell easy words;
but Jessie is bringing him on very nicely."
"Oh, then, I see that my little Jessie is a teacher
too," and she put her arms around Jessie's neck
and kissed her.
"Yes, ma'am, I have made Jessie teach him, for
I have seen that little children learn more quickly
from one another than they do with older people.
It seems to come more naturally to them, and I
think they have more patience; at all events it does
not seem so much of a task, and it does them good
and keeps them out of mischief. Why, ma'am,"
she continued, almost laughing, it was a little girl
taught me! Yes, you'll be surprised to hear it,
but within a year of my marriage I didn't know
how to read or write. The mistress in whose house
my husband first saw me, had a large family, but
she taught every one of the children herself. Every
morning she would take them into the breakfast
parlour, and there for four or five hours would sit
and teach them. Oh, the pains that she used to
take with those children. Well, one evening one
of the young ladies, after she had done her lessons,
eame into the kitchen with the Band of Rope
Review, to read me something-she used often to
do this, especially on a Sunday. She said to me,
then, 'Jane, what a pity it is that you can't read.
Wouldn't you like to learn ?' I am too old, miss,'
I said, for, indeed, I had no care for it. 'You
can't be too old, Jane,' she replied, indignantly;
' and I am sure I could teach you, and you would
learn as soon as that little one,' pointing to her
young sister who had come in after her. 'Oh,
miss,' I said, 'I am afraid I shall never learn.'
'Well, will you try?' she asked, very earnestly;
'and I'11 come in every evening after I have done
my lessons.' I couldn't say 'No,' and sure
enough the very next night, true to her promise,
she came. I felt it very hard work at first, but
soon took to it seriously, and before three months
I was able to read the Band of Hope Review for
Miss Hartley goes on a Voyage of Discovery. 33
myself. I then set to work to learn to write, and
I succeeded in that also, for the mistress herself
helped me, and that is how I was taught."
"It was a great blessing for you that you got
into that family," remarked Miss Hartley, who was
much interested in the narrative. Do they know
where you are now living ? "
"No, ma'am; when I first married, the young
ladies and the mistress used often to call and see
me; but since I came here, of course, they have lost
sight of me. I sometimes wish I had never left
them," she added, with a sigh.
"Perhaps it's all for the best, Mrs. Dyson,"
replied Miss Hartley; "and, seeing that we cannot
tell God's purpose in permitting afflictions to befall
us, let us believe His promise, that-' All things
work together for good to them that love God.'
And now, Mrs. Dyson, and Jessie, and Bob," said
she, rising and putting Bob down, I must leave
you, for I have stayed a very long time; but before
I go, tell me, Jessie, have you been reading to the
little cripple downstairs ?"
"Yes, miss," said Jessie; "I was reading the
hymn I have learned for Sunday."
"Oh, I know; it's the one beginning, I have
a Father in the promised land.'"
"And what did he say?"
He asked me if there was any more like it, and
I read him the one we sang on Sunday,' There is a
happy land, Far, far away,' and he wanted to know
where that happy land was, and I told him what
you told me, miss, that it was up in heaven, and
that all good people went there when they died;
and then he asked me if little cripples went there,
and I said I didn't know, but I would ask you,
"I should much like to see your little cripple,
Jessie; do you think I could see him now?"
inquired Miss Hartley.
"I think not, miss, for his mother came in and
said he wanted to go to sleep, and sent us out."
"Well, Jessie dear, tell him, when you see him
again, that Jesus loves little cripples just as much
as He loves you and me; and that He has a home
in heaven for them just the same as for us; only,
when they go to heaven, they will be cripples no
more, for they will be like the angels of God, and
will serve Him day and night in His temple. Will
you tell him that, my dear? "
I will, miss; I '11 tell him to-morrow."
"That's a good child," replied Miss Hartley;
"and if I were to mark a chapter for you to read
to him, would you do so?"
"I will, miss."
So taking her Bible, she turned down the leaf at
the 18th chapter of Luke, and told her to read that
to him; after which she took leave of Mrs. Dyson,
who remarked how thankful she was for the visit,
and, kissing Jessie and Bob, departed.
LITTLE PAT MEHAN.
ISS HARTLEY, as she wended her
way through the crowded streets
towards her house, could not help
contrasting the miserable dwellings
of the poor with those she was then
approaching. She knew that the
working classes had themselves to
blame for much of their poverty, but
she believed also that a great deal of it lay at the
doors of the rich, and she thought that the habits
of the poor would be less severely scanned by the
great Judge than those of the wealthy. She could
not help believing that the meek submission of
Mrs. Dyson in her poverty and distress, her faith-
ful discharge of her duties as a mother and wife,
would be accounted of far greater value by Him
who searches the heart, than the rich man's gift of
a church or dedication of a temple. She had
derived great comfort from her visit that day to
her unhappy friend, and she was not at all surprised
to see that Jessie and her little brother attended
school upon the following Sabbath, as they
36 Jessie Dyson.
promised. Jessie did not omit to inform her that
she went down to Pat Mehan and told him all that
she had said about little cripples going to heaven;
and how she read the chapter for him, and some
more of the hymns, and how pleased he was; and
how he said that she had made him so happy; and
how he made her promise to go and see him again
and take the books with her; and that she intended
to do so every day, if her mother would allow her.
Miss Hartley encouraged her in this kind resolve,
and said it was very good and thoughtful of her.
From what she had ascertained about the boy, he
was in a very weak state of health; and, as both his
mother and father were out working most of the
day, he was left much alone, so that her company
must be very welcome to him indeed. Could he
read, did she think ? No, Jessie thought he could
not, for he always asked her to read.
"I suppose, Jessie," remarked Miss Hartley,
"that he has not the good fortune to have so kind
a mother as you have."
"I suppose not, miss," answered Jessie, decidedly;
for she had noticed that his mother did not always
speak to him as gently as she ought; and when he
was having one of his fits of coughing, Jessie
noticed that she never came forward to hold him
up, although he appeared to want it; indeed, she
had done it herself more than once, and she had
seen by his looks how thankful he was for her
"Well, Jessie," continued Miss Hartley, "you
must be very kind to him, and you can ask the
next time you see him if he would like your teacher
Little Pat Mehan.
to visit him." Jessie promised to convey Miss
Hartley's message, and bring her word next time
she came to school.
It was a great satisfaction to Jessie to have her
little brother with her that day in school, and to
see with what open-mouthed wonder he looked
around him; how solemnly he listened to the
lessons as they proceeded; and how pleased he
looked when she repeated her hymn all through
without a mistake. Then, when the superintendent
spoke to him, and the secretary took down his
name, and Mr. Williams shook him by the hand,
and said some kind words to him; and, to crown
all, when Miss Hartley gave him a hymn-book,
just like Jessie's, he felt as if he could hardly con-
tain himself; he wanted to be off immediately to
show it to his mother, and if he could have got
Jessie's leave he would have gone.
That day Jessie took her full share in the wofk
of the school, and evinced a familiarity with the
lesson that had been given her to read during the
week, that showed she had been no inattentive
reader. She answered both intelligently and well,
and, though by no means forward, she hesitated
not to inquire the meaning of any passage she did
not quite understand. This seemed to encourage
the other girls in the class to do likewise, so that
when the hour arrived for closing, Miss Hartley
really regretted that it came so soon. She was
much pleased, too, to hear Jessie join in the singing
with more confidence that day, and she was now
able to judge more correctly of her voice. The
child sang with feeling, as if her very heart were in
38 Jessie Dyson.
the words, and even two or three of the girls paused
to listen, so much were they struck with it.
At the conclusion of the school, Miss Hartley
asked her how it was that she knew the tune ? She
replied it was one of those she had heard them sing
when she used to listen at the door; that she had
sung it many a time to her mother, and once to
little Pat Mehan, when she found out the words.
The week passed, and when Sunday had come
again, Jessie and Bob were as usual in their places,
almost the first in the school. It struck Miss
Hartley on looking at her that her face appeared
paler than usual; and, upon examining it more
closely, she believed she detected traces of recent
tears. She took her aside, and inquired first about
the little cripple; had she seen him as usual?
Yes, she said, she had seen him every day, and
had read and sung to him.; but he was getting
much worse she thought, for he was not able to sit
up at all now.
"Did you ask him, Jessie, if he would like to
"Yes, miss, and he said he would, if you would
read to him about the better land."
"Very well, dear, you can tell him that I shall
call and see him one day soon. And now, Jessie,
I want to ask you a question about yourself.
Have you been crying to-day ?" Jessie was not
at all prepared for such a question, and she hesi-
tated. "Because," continued Miss Hartley, I
thought I saw when you came in that you had
been crying, and I want to know what has taken
Little Pat Mehan.
Jessie had been crying, and bitterly, too, but she
could not understand how her teacher knew it.
She had been crying because she saw her mother
crying, and because they had had very little dinner
that day; for, as her mother said, her father didn't
come home until it was too late to buy anything
in; but she wasn't going to tell her teacher that;
no, she would say nothing about it, so she held her
SMiss Hartley feared that her father was the cause
of her grief; but she determined to satisfy herself
by going there the following day; and on the
morrow she went.
When she arrived at the house, she went up to
Mrs. Dyson's room, and, without knocking, lifted
the latch and walked in. She found Mrs. Dyson
sitting sewing; there was no fire, though the day
was bitterly cold; and the two children-Jessie
and Bob-were sitting on the bed, as if to keep
their feet warm. Though the room was quite as
tidy as when she was there before, it had a less
comfortable appearance, and she thought contained
less furniture also. The surprise of her visit over,
and wishing not to speak of anything in the presence
of the children, she asked them if they would go
down to little Pat and inquire when she could see
him. The two children ran to perform the
message, and when the door was shut, Miss
"Mrs. Dyson, I am afraid things are getting
worse with you ?"
Indeed, ma'am, they are not getting better.
He didn't come home last Saturday at all, and I
40 Jessie Dyson.
waited for him all day and all night, for I did not
like to go to bed, not knowing what might happen,
and he did not come home until quite morning;
and then, ma'am,- he was- She could not
proceed further, but gave way to a passionate out-
burst of tears. When she recovered herself, she
went on to say that he had spent all his wages, and
as they had nothing in the house but a little bread,
they had to put up with scant fare; and that poor
Jessie refused to take any dinner lest Bob would
not have enough.
"And do you mean to say that Jessie came to
school without dinner?" inquired Miss Hartley,
amazed and shocked.
"She did, ma'am-poor child !-and I did not
like to keep her at home, for her heart is so set
The pale face, and the traces of tears on the
cheeks, were now explained; and Miss Hartley felt
it impossible to restrain her emotion when she
thought of the brave little heart, and how it must
"And pray, Mrs. Dyson, have you anything in
the house now ? she inquired.
"We have, ma'am. I had to part with a couple
of chairs this morning, so that we have as much as
will last us till Saturday, I hope; and then, perhaps,
he will be better to me."
God grant it, my dear friend responded Miss
Hartley; "for I think he could hardly treat you
much worse, or bring you lower than he has brought
you; and as I hear the children coming upstairs,
I must beg of you to accept of this,' placing a piece
Little Pat Mehan.
of money in her hand; it will be of some little
assistance to you, along with what you have."
Mrs. Dyson took it rather reluctantly, and might
have refused it altogether had not the children that
moment entered the room.
"Well, Jessie, what has he said?" inquired Miss
He says, miss, that you can go down now, if
"Very well, dear, I shall go," and kissing her
and Bob, she pressed Mrs. Dyson's hand, and
went out before the good woman had time to
When Miss Hartley entered the room in which
the little cripple lived, she was shocked to see how
great a contrast it presented to that occupied by
Mrs. Dyson. The floor was black and dirty, as if
the boards had never been washed; there was no
curtain to the window, and several of the panes
were broken, having pieces of newspaper pasted
over them to keep the wind out; there was scarcely
any furniture in the room besides a couple of
stools, and two chairs-one with the back off, and
one with the seat half out. There were two beds
on the floor, one of which was occupied by the little
cripple; there was also a table and a small cup-
board, together with a kettle on the hob. The
fire was nearly out; and from two prints on
the walls one representing St. Patrick, and
the other St. Joseph-she concluded that Mrs.
Mehan and her husband were Roman Catholics.
There was no one in the room besides herself
and the boy. She approached the bed where
42 Jessie Dyson.
the little cripple lay, and taking a stool, sat beside
"So, my little friend," she began, "you told
Jessie I might come and see you ? "
Yes," he replied; "you gave her those books,
and I said you might come." He repeated the
words slowly and with difficulty-almost in a
You feel yourself very ill to-day, do you ?"
He nodded his head and answered, "Yes-
Do you take any medicine?"
He pointed to the corner of his bed near his
pillow, where she saw he had a bottle and a spoon
-she supposed the medicine sent from the
"Would you like to take any of the medicine
now?" she inquired. He shook his head.
"I suppose," she said, "you do not expect that
you will get better ?"
He looked at her with a fixed look, and replied,
"No, I think not."
"Would you wish to get better ?"
He answered, "No, I would rather go."
"Where would you rather go to, Pat?"
"To the better land," and he looked up towards
"I am glad to hear you say so, my dear boy.
Oh, is it not a delightful thought that although we
may have to suffer a great deal, as you have had to
suffer, in this world, that the blessed Lord Jesus
has prepared a mansion in His Father's house on
high, where there will be no more suffering, no
II I I
~ 'ii I I
ISS ARTLEY TAKING TO PA.
M ISS lIARTILEY TALKING 10 PAT.
44 Jessie Dyson.
more crying, and where all tears will be wiped away
from all eyes ? Do you love the Lord Jesus, Pat ?"
she inquired, taking his hand in hers.
He pressed her hand, and said, "I love Him
because He loves cripples and children. Jessie
read about Him for me; and- He was inter-
rupted by a severe fit of coughing, and, stooping
down, she lifted him up in her arms until the
paroxysm was over.
While she thus held him, his mother entered the
room, and, coming forward to the bedside,remarked,
"You are very kind, ma'am. I fear he is worse
Miss Hartley laid him gently down, and immedi-
ately rose up and apologised for coming in while
Mrs. Mehan was out; but she was Jessie's teacher,
she informed her, and was visiting Mrs. Dyson; so
having heard of her poor little son, she asked leave
to see him, and he sent for her.
"Well, indeed, ma'am, I am very much
obliged to you; for you see, ma'am, my hus-
band is away all day, and I have to be out
charming, so that the poor lad has to be left much
Would it not be well to get some of your clergy
to visit him ?" she hinted, "for," she added in an
undertone. I fear, Mrs. Mehan, the child is not
long for this world."
No, ma'am," she answered, they never come
Well, then," she suggested, "perhaps you
would not object if I called occasionally."
"Indeed, you may, and welcome, ma'am." she
Little Pat Mehan.
replied; and looking down at Pat, she said, "Pat,
my darling, wouldn't you like this lady to come and
see you sometimes?"
The lad's face brightened up, and his eyes
seemed to start in their sockets, as he exclaimed,
as loudly as he could, "Oh, yes, yes, she must
come again !"
Miss Hartley promised that she would call again
in a day or two; and bidding the poor cripple and
his mother good-day, left the room. She visited
him again on the Wednesday and again on the
Friday, and saw that he was visibly declining in
strength. His cough was more frequent, and the
exertion it occasioned produced great prostration
for some minutes after each attack, so that the con-
versation between them had to be much interrupted;
but she was deeply gratified to witness how much
the light that had streamed in upon his mind from
Jessie's reading had spread, so that his heart
appeared to be full of it. A sacred influence
seemed to surround him with its hallowed glory;
and she -could not help repeating aloud, as she
gazed upon his thin upturned face, with the hectic
flush upon the sunken cheeks:
"Not a cloud doth arise
To darken the skies,
Or hide for one moment
My Lord from my eyes !"
He caught the words, and asked her to repeat them,
which she did. Would she teach him to repeat
them ? She answered she would; and, making him
follow her line by line, he was soon able to say them
46 Jessie Dyson.
"That is what I feel," he said; "just what I feel.
I thought yesterday, after Jessie read about the New
Jerusalem, that I saw it all away up yonder," look-
ing to the window, and pointing upwards to the sky;
" and I felt as if I would be glad to go if God would
take me. I know I shall never get well again, and
I would rather go than stay, even if I could get
During the latter part of this conversation, which
occurred on the Friday, Pat's father and mother
were both present. They listened with much atten-
tion as their little son, sometimes distinctly enough
and at other times in a whisper only, gave expres-
sion to his joyful hopes; but they both appeared as
if they did not quite comprehend him. They did
not understand how, if their child died he could
expect to go to heaven without first going to
purgatory; and Miss Hartley explained that
there was no such place mentioned in the Bible.
But when she pointed to the happiness of their
child in the prospect of death, they seemed to feel
that there was some reality about it.
"Ask him," said Miss Hartley, "and you will
learn that he has no more doubt that he will go at
once to Jesus in heaven the moment his spirit
leaves his body than he has that we are all standing
here in the room beside him." At that instant the
sick boy, who had caught a few words of what Miss
Hartley had said, began to repeat, "Not a cloud
doth arise," and went through the verse with-
out a mistake. There," said she, thatt is the
Both father and mother were startled at the words.
Little Pat Mehan. 47
They had never heard them before; there was a
meaning in them that was altogether new and
strange. To them religion-such as they knew it
-had been a form; a cold, lifeless, uninviting
thing, at best; but this that they now saw was
altogether different. It was a living experience,
for their son felt it, and it made him full of joy.
There must be some truth in what the lady said.
They asked her to explain it to them more fully.
She gladly complied; and, after reading and con-
versing for a considerable time about the simple
plan of salvation, she took her leave, promising as
soon as she could find time to call and see them
TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS.
SEFORE going home Miss Hartley ran
upstairs to see Mrs. Dyson for a
moment. She was pleased to find
her in much better spirits, and to
see that Jessie was reading to her
whilst Bob sat listening in the corner
near the fire, for there was a fire in
the grate to-day. She told her about little
Mehan, and her belief that his end was very near
-but he was all joy and peace; and, looking at
Jessie, she added, "I believe, my dear, that that
child will be a star in your crown of rejoicing."
Jessie did not know exactly what she meant, but she
concluded it had something to do with the hymns
she had sung for him and the chapters she had read,
and it made her feel happy in her heart.
Mrs. Dyson accompanied her visitor to the
door and, in a whisper, informed her that she
believed her husband was turning over a new leaf.
Ever since Sunday there had hardly been the sign
of drink upon him, and he did not stay out as late
as he used; she really hoped he was getting like
Trials and Triumphs. 49
his former self, and the thought of it, she added,
made her feel like another being. Miss Hartley
cordially congratulated her, and bade her take
courage and pray the Lord to complete the good
work He had begun in him.
Mrs. Dyson was not wrong in her surmisings
about her husband. His conduct had undergone
a change for the better. He went to work on the
Monday; for a long time back he had not done
this, but when he got to the shop he felt himself so
utterly unfit for work, that he had to take as he
said "a hair of the dog that bit him;" he resorted
to the public-house to get a glass to steady his nerves,
but having no money it was scored up against
him, where there was a pretty long score already,
and the landlord told him so, and gave him to
understand that it must be reduced before he got
any more. James was led to reflect about this.
He began to ask himself how all this was to end if
he allowed himself to go on as he had been doing;
either he must give it up or it would kill him, there
were no two ways about it; and so that night when
invited to join two or three of his shopmates in
their usual place of meeting he refused, excusing
himself by saying that he could not as he had to go
home. He spent that evening at home, and the
next likewise, and so on till the Thursday; on this
evening he had to attend a meeting of a Tontine
Society, of which he was a member. It met in the
public-house before referred to, and after the meet-
ing he indulged in the old vice, but not to the
extent of rendering him stupid. He was able to go
home by eleven o'clock; this was a decided
improvement. But Saturday, when he got his
wages, would test his resolution. Now he had no
money-could he resist the temptation when he
was able to gratify it ? He would try. And when
Saturday came, and his wages were in his pocket,
he thought he would just call and pay the score
that was against him; but he would not drink, he
determined on that.
Entering the door of the public-house he went up
to the counter, and asked the landlord how much
he had against him. This functionary took down
a slate and totted up the amount Its magnitude
overwhelmed him. He had no idea that he owed
so much. It would take weeks to clear it off. So
throwing down a sovereign he told him to give him
credit for that, and was about to leave, when the
landlord called him back, and said, remonstratingly,
"Surely, James, you won't go without having a
glass ? You are not going to turn teetotaler, I should
expect ?" he laid great emphasis on the last word.
James hesitated for a moment. He thought of his
resolution and of his wife and children. What was
he to do? The score was not cleared off; the
landlord might proceed against him for the balance;
if one glass would prevent this, what harm would it
do ? Besides, he thought that his abstention during
the past few days showed that he could keep from
it if he liked, and, therefore, no great harm could
come of his consenting and thus keep the publican
from going against him; so he turned into the
room to sit down and have one glass; the offer to
pay for it was indignantly rejected by the landlord,
as he said i.t ws at his inzilation; a.d James felt
Trials and Triumphs. 51
himself in honour bound to pay for another in return.
This unhappily led to another and another, until
his resolution was utterly blotted from his memory,
and that night he went home almost as late and as
penniless as ever he had done before.
It was a terrible shock to his poor wife; she had
waited all the afternoon and night for him, and
when he came home so utterly helpless and undone,
she felt that her hopes were torn into shreds and
scattered to the wind.
She searched his pockets, and found that he had
only half-a-crown left out of his wages, and what
was this amongst four of them ? She knew not what
to do, or which way to turn for help; so, falling down
upon her knees, she poured out her heart to God
and prayed for strength to bear her great trials, and
for comfort in her affliction.
Her husband got up earlier than usual upon the
following morning, and, having dressed himself and
taken his breakfast, went out. He went away far
out of the city, away to the country. He wanted
to be alone. For the first time for years he felt
ashamed of himself-really and honestly ashamed
of himself. He said that his promise was not worth
a fig. He broke it almost as soon as he had made
it. There was nothing for him but to give up drink
altogether. Nothing else could save him. Could
he do this? For hours he walked about asking
himself this question, and unable to say he could.
He felt himself as weak as a child; and from the
depth of his heart he cried, God help me." The
answer came, "I will." He almost heard it, it
seemed so distinct and clear. He felt as if a load
52 Jessie Dyson.
were removed from his shoulders, he was so light.
He could leap for joy. "I will," he exclaimed
aloud, "I will, with God's help, never again allow
a drop of ardent spirits to cross my lis; never !
never! from this time." He walked rapidly home-
wards, and in an hour or more he got to his own door.
Ascending the stairs quietly, for he knew little
Pat Mehan was very ill, he was arrested by the voice
of his daughter Jessie singing. He stood to listen,
and he caught the words, I have a Father in the
promisedland." She sang the whole hymn through,
and he waited till she had finished it; then, gently
opening the door, he went in and saw that the fire
was nearly out, and that she had little Bob upon
her knees keeping him warm. Going up to her, he
took her by the hand and said, in tones that Jessie
had long been a stranger to from him-
Why, Jessie, my dear, where did you learn that
beautiful hymn ?"
At school, father."
"At school, Jessie !" he replied m astonishment.
"What school do you go to?"
"To Sunday school," she answered.
"And how long have you been going to the
For going on to two months."
"And does Bob go?"
Yes, and we have been there to-day."
"Well, well, my dear, and never to say a word
to me about it! But it's all my own fault-it's
all my own fault, I know," he repeated sorrow-
fully. And taking Jessie on one knee, and Bob on
the other, he inquired where mother was.
Trials and Triuzmps. 53
"She is in Mrs. Mehan's; little Pat is worse
to-day; they say he is dying," answered Jessie.
"Poor little fellow, it will be a blessed relief to
him," remarked her father. "And now, Jessie,
will you sing me that hymn again ?"
"Yes, I will," said Jessie; and she sang it, with
much feeling, whilst little Bob joined in it, as far as
he knew it. When it was concluded he kissed her
and kissed Bob, and said, with tears in his eyes-
Jessie, dear, I have not been as good a father to
you as I ought to have been, but I shall be good
to you in future."
Oh, father !" exclaimed Jessie, putting her arms
about his neck, "I am so glad to hear you say so,
for I do love you, and mother won't be crying any
more!" There was a choking sensation in his
throat when she referred to his wife's sufferings-
borne so patiently and unmurmuringly for so many
long years-and he felt how unworthy he was of
her. But he would make up for it in the future, if
God spared him, that he would; and when his wife
entered the room, which she did just then, and
looked astonished to see her husband returned, and
Jessie and Bob on his knee, she was hardly able to
speak. But her husband soon satisfied her
curiosity. He went up to her, put his arm around
her neck, and kissed her. "Jane," he said, "I
have been for years a cruel and ungrateful husband
to you. I have been unworthy of you."
"Oh, no, don't say so, James, don't say so !"
"Yes, I have, and I want these children to know
it. I have been unworthy of you. But I thank
54 Jessie Dysomi.
God He has given me courage to-day to say that,
from this time forth, a drop of ardent spirits shall
never cross my lips. I have prayed for strength,
and He has promised it to me."
Mrs. Dyson, who came up for Jessie to go down
to see little Pat Mehan-he had asked for her-
almost forgot her errand in the burst of joy that
now filled her soul. Her heart was full of gratitude.
"Will you come down with me and Jessie, James
dear," she asked, "to see poor little Pat? I fear
he will not last till night. I thought while I was
with him that he had gone off twice; but he wants
to see Jessie who used to read and sing to him,
and I promised to take her down."
James willingly consented to go, and the four of
them went down.
Mr. and Mrs. Mehan were sitting by the bed-
side of the dying boy; they rose up when the
Dysons came in, and Jessie went to his bedside.
Stooping down, she took his hand in hers, and
whispered, "Pat, do you want me?"
He opened his eyes, and smiled faintly. Yes,"
he whispered, "I think-I am-going; I saw the
angels; oh, so bright !-See !" and his eyes started
as he looked up. See-there-there Do you hear
them, Jessie ? they are singing-like you-singing "
-and he tried to raise himself on his bed-" sing
--" He could not finish the word; he fell back
on his pillow, and his spirit floated away along the
glittering path of deathless song.
A THOROUGH REFORMATION AND ITS
HE death of Pat Mehan created a
great blank in the room where he
had lain and suffered so long.
Everything he said or did his parents
remembered and dwelt upon. They
thought of their own hasty words and
want of proper sympathy when he needed
their kindness most, and would have given
many years of their lives could they have recalled
them. They were drawn more closely to Jessie
and to Jessie's parents, and spent many an evening
in listening to the reading of that Word to which
they had ever before been strangers.
During some of these evenings Mr. Williams, to
whom Miss Hartley had related the history of
James Dyson and the death of the cripple, called
in and explained to them more fully the doctrine
of the Atonement. He taught them why it was
that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all
sin, and that they might be saved by believing in
Him. Pleasant were the evenings that were thus
spent, and profitable were they to all, so that upon
the Sabbath following that on which little Pat went
to heaven-in one of the pews set apart for the
poor in the place of worship adjoining Jessie's
school-might be seen, at the evening service,
James Dyson and his wife, along with Jessie and
Bob; and, sitting next to them, Michael and
Bridget Mehan, the parents of the dead boy.
Miss Hartley, who was in the choir, saw them
enter; she noticed that Mr. Williams showed them
to a pew and handed them books; and, remem-
bering the events of the past few weeks, and how
this great change in their habits had been brought
about, she felt so completely overcome that she
was unable to sing. She could only weep and
pour out in silence her deep gratitude to God for
His wonderful goodness to these poor erring
children of men.
That Sabbath evening service was to her one of
the happiest she had ever experienced. When it
was over she met Mrs. Dyson and her husband at
the door, and went part of the way home with
them, just to say how pleased she was to see them
in God's house. She also expressed a hope that
they would continue to attend.
"Yes, miss," replied James Dyson; I can now
say from my heart, that 'as for me and my house,
we will serve the Lord.' Jessie is so fond of the
school and of you, miss, that I could not keep her
from the service of God even if I would. I have
turned over a new leaf, as I said to my mates; and
yesterday, when I got my wages, I was able, for the
A Thorough Reformation. 57
first time for many years, to go home to my wife
and hand every penny of it to her. You can't tell
how proud I felt when I was able to say 'No 1' to
my tempters without one thought of regret. Oh,
miss "-and he said this with deep feeling, stand-
ing still, and taking Miss Hartley by the hand-
"it is only the good God that could have given
me strength to resist; but, thanks be unto His
Holy Name, I could stand, because I trusted in
Him! When I trusted in myself, I fell-I always
fell! But I trust to myself no more. I trust to
Him, and I know He will uphold me !"
The Mehans listened attentively to this simple
confession of faith, and were greatly impressed by
its earnestness. As for Mrs. Dyson, her heart was
too full to find utterance in words.
When Miss Hartley took her leave of them, she
gave her a look that told more than language could
express how full she was of gratitude to the Hearer
and Answerer of Prayer.
The death of her little companion was also a
great blow to Jessie. It was the first death she
had ever seen or known, and for days she could
not realise it. Whenever she went into Mrs.
Mehan's room she would look towards Pat's bed
expecting to see him. She felt very lonely, which
little Bob's incessant chatter did not completely
There was a singing-class in the school, which
Miss Hartley made Jessie join. And upon one
evening in the week they met to practise an
anthem that was to be sung on New Year's Day;
a solo in it that was suited to the compass of her
58 Jessie Dyson.
voice was allotted to her, and, being gifted with a
remarkably good ear for music, she was in a short
time able to read the notes and understand the
score. She would sing over her part to her father
and mother much to their delight, though they
preferred to hear the simpler melodies sung in the
Sabbath school. They understood them better,
because they appealed more directly to their
In his workshop the reformation which had
taken place in James Dyson was sneered at by
many of his fellow-workmen, who had seen how
often before he had promised and broken out soon
afterwards. They fully expected that the same
lapse would in a short time mark his present
resolution. As for James himself, he bore the
sneers without the least resentment. He had been
to the public-house and cleared off his score, much
to the surprise and chagrin of the publican. That
worthy tried his utmost, but in vain, to induce him
to break his pledge. He had also succeeded in
getting back some of his things that his poor wife
had been compelled from time to time to pawn;
and his room was assuming an appearance of
comfort that bade fair to rival that home to which
he first took her. Nor was this improvement con-
fined to the Dysons; Michael Mehan and his wife
had been completely changed. They had both
been addicted to intemperate habits; but the
death of their son, combined with the influence of
James Dyson's example and that of his wife, led
them to think. They saw the evil of their lives
and the utter ruin-the eternal ruin-that awaited
A Thorough Reformation.
them, if they pursued their course unchecked.
They resolved to abandon the vice that had pro-
duced nearly all the misery they had suffered from.
For a while they were undecided about giving up
their own Church. Early associations and teach-
ings, weakly and feebly as they were remembered,
still retained an influence over their minds; but
when they contrasted them with the plain and
simple utterances of the minister whose church
they attended with the Dysons, his earnest appeals
to sinners to become reconciled to God went so
directly to their hearts that they resolved on this
Thus the work of God was prospering in the
hearts of these poor people; and when Christmas
Eve arrived, and James Dyson said to his wife that
he would like to ask the Mehans to join them at
their Christmas dinner, she replied, "It was the
very thing I was thinking of, James," and ran
downstairs to invite them.
Bright and merry was that Christmas Day in the
pleasant homes throughout the land! It was a
day of sacred memories and of old associations;
a day of happy unions; of generous forgivenesses
and kindly obliterations and rejoicings-a day when
angels join with men in singing, Glory to God in
the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill." The
ground was covered with snow, and the frost had
rendered it hard and crispy; the bells, too, of the
various churches pealed forth their melodious notes
of welcome, which in the clear air sounded far and
near, so that spirits were made jubilant and hearts
made glad. It was a high day in every circle, but
60 Jessie Dyson.
in none more so than in the quiet little room on
the top storey of the house in Back Lane.
James Dyson and his children, accompanied by
Michael Mehan and his wife, had gone to church
that morning, and on their return the dinner was
ready. Mrs. Dyson was a capital cook. James
had had experience of that. But on this day she
almost excelled herself. The beef was cooked to
a hair, and such gravy !-so rich and brown And
the vegetables !-they never had such vegetables
before-greens mashed in gravy, and potatoes
mashed in milk! And they had such appetites!
But the pudding was the triumph of her art. She
knew howz to make one-James said there was
no mistake about that! The Mehans had never
tasted such a pudding in their lives. Then, when
the table was cleared and the bright, rosy-cheeked
apples were brought forward, and Bob was given
one, his delight knew no bounds.
Mrs. Mehan looked at the joyful faces of the two
children, and a tear trickled down her cheek. She
,thought of little Pat, and how happy he would have
been had he been there to join them. Mrs. Dyson,
with a woman's quickness, perceived the cause of
her sorrow, and soothed her by saying that they
were all very happy in that room, but how much
happier was little Pat now than he could ever be
here, away up yonder in heaven amongst the bright
company of angels before the throne of that Jesus
whose coming to earth that Christmas Day com-
memorated!" Mrs. Mehan felt the force of her
observation, and said how sinful and selfish it was
to wish him back. Her husband agreed with her,
A Thorough Reformation.
remarking that, had he lived, his life would have
been a misery to him, from his lameness, and,
instead of sorrowing, they should rejoice.
"Yes," remarked James Dyson, "let us rejoice;
this is a day for rejoicing. Come, Jessie, let us
sing the hymn you sang the night I came home."
James always referred to that night, whenever he
spoke of it, as the night he came home." So Jessie
began the hymn, "I have a Father in the promised
land," in which every one of them joined, for they
all knew it now; but before it was sung through
the door opened quietly, and who should enter but
Mr. Williams and Miss Hartley They all jumped
up from their chairs to receive them. Then merry
congratulations were exchanged; and, taking a
Noah's ark out of a large parcel which Mr. Williams
carried, he gave it to Bob as his Christmas Box:
whilst Miss Hartley presented Jessie with a beauti-
fully bound copy of The Children's Friend. Jessie
thought she had never seen so beautiful a book in
her life. Mr. Williams gave them all an invitation
to the New Year's Day festival in the Sunday
school, and added that Jessie would have to sing
in the choir, and that the prizes would be distri-
buted to the children.
It was a glorious day for them all to look for-
ward to. The children hardly thought of anything
else. Two or three afternoons in the week Jessie
had to attend the practice meetings to perfect her
part, and she was quite full of it. She talked of
When New Year's Day arrived, James Dyson
and his wife, all dressed in their best, with Jessie
62 Jessie Dyson.
and little Bob in a new suit, went forth in the
afternoon, accompanied by the Mehans, to the
The room was beautifully decorated with holly
and ivy, and with roses made of paper, in rare
festoons, all around the walls and pendant from
And what a noise there was! And how some
gentlemen carried round tea on trays, and other
gentlemen carried bread and cake in baskets; and
how the children and their parents enjoyed them-
selves And how little.Bob got his two hands full
of cake that Mr. Williams gave him, so that he had
no hand to hold the tea, and his mother had to
hold it for him. And how the minister and the
superintendent came and shook hands with James
Dyson and his wife and with the Mehans, and told
them how glad they were to see them; and how
happy everybody seemed to be! Bob thought
that there never was such a tea-meeting as this,
and he whispered to his mother if she didn't think
so too-and she did, and Mrs. Mehan thought the
same. Then when the oranges and apples were
distributed, that was the climax for Bob! He
loved apples, but he had a passion for oranges,
and when he got both he thought that there was
nothing more he wanted.
The minister took the chair; and, tea over and
the tables cleared, the superintendent had the prizes
brought forward. Then the secretary began to call
out the names of those that were entitled to prizes.
Several names were called, and the young ladies
went up-for they called the girls' classes first-
A Thorough Reformation. 63
and received their gifts from the minister, who
shook each of them by the hand, and spoke a few
kind words to them. Then the name of "Jessie
Dyson was called, and Mrs. Dyson's heart leaped
with joy, for she did not expect that Jessie would
get one, she had been there so short a time.
Jessie walked up and received her prize. The
minister took her by the hand, and said how
pleased he was to present it to her; and how the
boys clapped as she came away bearing her trophy
under her arm !-for the story of little Pat Mehan
had got spread abroad, and the part she had taken
in his conversion was known to many of them, so
that she had become a great favourite.
Then when the prizes were all distributed, and
the Anthem had to be sung, everybody was calmed
into silence, for it was known that little Jessie was
going to sing a hymn.
As the first note of the harmonium was struck,
Jessie's voice rose up in tremulous accents, so
softly, so sweetly, that every eye was transfixed and
every heart moved; even the choir, who were so
familiar with musical sounds, listened with real
delight, and viewed their young minstrel with
unconcealed admiration. They would have ap-
plauded as loudly as any, had they not to follow
on with their own parts. As it was they had to
sing the chorus for some time almost in dumb
show, so enthusiastic had the audience become.
They wanted Jessie to sing her part over again,
but it was wisely decided otherwise. Her triumph,
however, was complete. And when the Anthem was
concluded, Miss Hartley caught her up in her arms
64 Jessie Dyson.
and kissed her, and called her "her little angel;"
and every one pressed round to shake her hand.
Little Bob went up also, but was afraid to go
near her, he thought her so great! And her
mother and father kissed her, and said what a
blessing she had been to them. She was very
happy with all this; much more because she had
helped to make her parents happy, than with any-
Not many months after this, James Dyson left
his room in Back Lane for a comfortable cottage
not far from Jessie's school.
He regularly attends the house of God now, as
also do the Mehans, whose worldly circumstances
are likewise improving; and he blesses the day
that his dear child was first led to peep in through
the door of the Sabbath school.
S. W. PARTRIDGE AND CO., 9 PATERNOSTrR ROW, LONDON
__ iffrustrafe6b oois
K for l@itibren
W. W. P71RRIDGE CO.,
8 Z 9, PT EIRNOjwTER I ow, IONDON.
Bible Pictures and Stories. Old Testament. By
I). J. I)., author of "Pets Abroad," etc. With about Forty-five
full-page Illustrations. Coloured paper boards,ls. Cloth gilt,1s.ld.
Bible Pictures and Stories. New Testament. By
James Weston and I. j. D. With Forty-five beautiful full page
Illustrations by W \. Vebb, Sir John gilbert, and others.
Fcap. 4to. Illustrated boards, Is. Cloth extra, Is. 6d.
Frolic and Fun: Pictures and Stories for Every One.
Hy Uncle lack, Author of Follow the Drum," etc. Four full-
page coloured and numerous other Illustrations. Colored
paper board Is.
Cloth gilt, Is. lid. L
Merry Playmates: blei itures-
Pictures and ..... ;
Stories for Little ..
Author of i **.1
ne0s and -
etc. Four full-page
coloured and nu-
merons other Illus-
paper boards, Is. 1*
Cloth gilt, Is. Gd.
Holiday Hours in
(New Series.) By y
Uncle HI carry. Four
and nuincrols other
oured paper boards,
Is. Cloth gilt,ls.Gd. "
Parents will find these books very helpful to them in the proper
education of their children."-- ejterin Morning Nc's.
S. IV. PARTRIDGE &- CO.,
PICTURE BOOKS FOR THE LITTLE ONES.
THE PRETTY "GIFT BOOK"
With Coloured Frontispiece and Illustrations on every page. Paper
boards. Covers printed in Five Colours, and Varnished. Or in
Cloth boards, -Id each.
BOH11 1 0 PIC1TU1R. BOOK. RIETTO Y 111B li aTOHI[.S. I- CTUl E FOR A eIGIIeING
TINY TOT'S TURiAa'(IRKS BTIL.'s K lISAKE.
NEW FOURPENNY SERIES
Of C/loth-bound Books for Jite Young. Tit/l Coloured
Fron/is5fiece. 64 pfoes. WIell Il/us/raled.
Handsome Clot// Covers.
Poppy; or, School Days at A Troublesome Trio.
Saint Bride's. Perry's Pilgrimage.
Carrie and the Cobbler. Nita; or, Among the
Dandy Jim. Brigands
Six others in this series uniform in style and price.
8 &- 9, Paternoster Row, E.C.
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
Brought to Jesus: A Bible Picture Book for Little
Readers. Containing Twelve large New Testament Scenes,
printed in colours, with appropriate letterpress by Mrs. G. E.
Morton, author of "Story of Jesus." Size 13 by io inches.
Handsome coloured boards, with cloth back, 2s. ? d.
Sunshine for Showery Days: A Children's Picture
Book. By the Author of "' Light for Little Footsteps," etc. Size
15( by ii inches. Coloured Frontispiece and 114 full-page and
Readers. Containing Twelve large New Testament Scenes,
printed in colours, with appropriate letterpress by Mrs. G. E.
Morton, author of Story o1 Jesus." Size 13} by 1o inches.
I-Handsome coloured boards, with cloth back, 2s. lid.
Sunshine for Showery Days: A Children's Picture
Book. By the Author of Light for Little Footsteps," etc. Size
15 by it inches. Colored Frontispiece and 114 full-page and
other Engravings. Coloured paper boards, with cloth back, 2s. 6d.
Light for Little Footsteps; or, Bible Stories Illustrated.
By the Author of Sunshine for Showery Days," etc. With
beautiful Coloured Cover, and Frontispiece. Full of Pictures.
(Uniform with A Ride to Picture Land.") 2s. 6d.
S. W. PARTRIDGE 6- CO.,
-^ PICTURE BOOKS
Crown 4to. Fully Illustrated. Handsomely bound in
paper boards, with design printed in eight colours.
SWEET STORIES RETOLD: A BIBLE
PICTURE BOOK FOR YOUNG FOLKS.
AFTER SCHOOL: PICTURES AND STORIES
DOGGIE'S DOINGS AND PUSSIE'S WOOINGS.
LITTLE SNOWDROP'S BIBLE PICTURE
Three other volumes uniform in style and price.
This Ne-w Series of Picture Books supasses, in excellence of
illustration and careful pfrintinT all others at the price.
8 &- 9, Paternoster Row, E.C.
THE RED DAVE SERIES
ILLUSTRATED REWARD BOOKS.
New and enlarged Edition, with Coloured Frontispieces,
handsomely bound in Cloth Boards.
Ii- f i l l- -
:-.v -. .....---,._J.
That Boy Bob. By Jesse Page.
Buy Your Own Cherries. By J. W. Kirton.
Owen's Fortune. By Mrs. F. West.
Mother's Boy. By M. B. Manwell.
A Great Mistake. By Jennie Chappell.
From Hand to Hand. By C. J. Hamilton.
Only Milly; or, A Child's Kingdom.
Shad's Christmas Gift.
Greycliffe Abbey; or, Cecil's Trust. By Jennie Perrett,
Author of Ben Owen," etc.
The Pearly Gates. By Mrs. Rigg.
Maud's Visit to Sandybeach. By Mrs. Waller.
Twelve others uniform in style and price.
S. W. PARTRIDGE & CO.,
OF POPULAR STORIES,
BY VARIOUS AUTHORS
f 96 Pages. Well Illustrated.
i a Handsomely Bound in Cloth.
S The Babes in the Basket; or,
Daph and her Charge.
HIow Paul's Penny became a
S Pound. By Mrs. Bowen, Author
I '.'of I)ick and his Donkey."
.". .. How Peter's Pound became a
-: __ .Penny. By the same Author.
-'..'- P, ul,a Little Mediator. ByMaudeM.
i ..ler, Author of The Story of Little I-al,"etc.
". A Flight with the Swallows. By Emma
S .,shall, Author of" The Mother'sChain,"etc.
Love's Golden Key; or, The Witch of
Berryton. By MI. E. Lester.
Letty; or, The Father of the Fatherless. By H. Clement.
A Sailor's Lass. By Emma Leslie.
A Boy's Friendship. By Jesse Page.
Bel's Baby. By Mary E. Ropes.
Ben's Boyhood. By the Author of "Jack the Con-
Ben Owen : A Lancashire Story. By Jennie Perrett.
Dawson's Madge; or, The Poacher's Daughter.
For Lucy's Sake. By Annie S. Swan.
Foolish Chrissy; or, Discontent and its Consequences.
Giddie Garland; or, The Three Mirrors. By Jennie
Grandmother's Child. By Annie S. Swan.
Into the Light. By Jennie Perrett.
Left with a Trust. By Nellie Hellis.
Master Lionel, that Tiresome Child. By E. M.
Nine others uniform/ in style and price.
8 & 9, Paternoster Row, E.C.
THE CHILDREN'S FRIEND,
The Oldest and Best Magazine for the Young.
ill ,usit, ation .,. .
etc. etc. f,?i I
7 --1 -
1 DELii6l- lFil
PI)I?ESEE NTI FOR
FIr I N .
S. W. PARTRIDGE &- CO.
--. ONE PENNY MONTHLY.
Full of Bright Pictures
and Pleasant Reading
to delight the little
S' ones; printed in
^ Large Type.
S -" 'A sure
YKEJ Y > T
Coloured paper boards,
with cloth back and
cloth 2s,; gilt edges,2s,6d,
"One of the very best
gift-books for little tod-
lers who have not yet
ventured far beyond the
realms of one syllable."