Transcriber's Note: Phrases printed in italics in the original version are indicated in this electronic version by _ (underscore). A list of amendments are given at the end of the book.
A Magazine for the Young.
NEW AND ENLARGED SERIES.
CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED.
LONDON, PARIS & NEW YORK.
[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.]
AMUSEMENTS, RECREATIONS, &c.— Pretty Work for Little Fingers— Embroidered Glass-cloth, 13. The Children's Own Garden, 43, 100, 179, 239, 290, 360. Hints on Canvasine Painting, 75. Some more Little Presents, and the way to make them, 139. A New Game for Children, 142. How to make pretty Picture-Frames, 203. A Game for Long Evenings, 275. Little Papers for Little Art Workers— Ivory Miniature Painting, 330.
CHILDREN'S OWN GARDEN, THE— July, 43. August, 100. September, 179. October, 239. November, 290. December, 360.
FANCIFUL RHYMES, PICTURES, STORIES, &c.— Little Miss Propriety, 11. Fighting with a Shadow, 12. A Practical Joke, 28. How Paulina won back Peter (A Fairy Story), 47. A Race on the Sands, 77. The Kingfisher and the Fishes, 81. The Maids and the Magpie, 91. A Game of Cricket in Elfland (A Fairy Story), 105. The Little Flowers' Wish, 116. Their Wonderful Ride, 153. What came of a Foxglove (A Fairy Story), 172. A Foraging Expedition in South America, 207. What the Magic Words Meant (A Fairy Story), 235. The Discontented Boat, 242. The Brownies to the Rescue, 256. The Rival Kings (A Fable in Four Situations), 276. The Fox and the Frog, 288. The Magic Music and its Message (A Fairy Story), 293. The Rival Mothers, 337. A Race for a Cat (A Fairy Story), 361.
HUMANE SOCIETY, THE "LITTLE FOLKS"— Special Notices, 55, 373. Lists of Officers and Members, 55, 121, 185, 249, 313, 372. True Stories about Pets, Anecdotes, &c., 57, 187, 251, 374.
LITTLE MARGARET'S KITCHEN, AND WHAT SHE DID IN IT, 45, 110, 161, 233, 279, 335.
LITTLE TOILERS OF THE NIGHT— The Printer's Reading-Boy, 30. The Fisher-Boy, 151. Young Gipsies, 273.
MUSIC— Three Little Squirrels, 59. A Harvest Song, 112. "Let's Away to the Woods," 181. Dignity and Impudence, 245. The Happy Little River, 316. A Day in the Snow, 376.
PEEPS AT HOME AND ABROAD— Stories Told in Westminster Abbey— How the Abbey was Built, 14. The Coronations in the Abbey, 113. Royal Funerals in the Abbey, 176. Curious Customs and Remarkable Incidents, 222. The Sanctuary, Cloisters, and Chapter-House, 291. The Monuments, 366. The Home of the Beads, 26. Little Toilers of the Night— The Printer's Reading-Boy, 30. The Fisher-Boy, 151. Young Gipsies, 273. Some Famous Railway Trains, and their Story— The "Flying Dutchman," 39. The "Wild Irishman," 86. The "Flying Scotchman," 204. The Continental and "Tidal" Mails, 346. Children's Games in Days of Old, 91. A Day on Board H.M.S. Britannia, 142. The Water-Carriers of the World, 157. The Prince and his Whipping-Boy, 220. A Few Words about the Dykes of Holland, 267. A Few Words about Tattooing, 359.
POCKET-BOOK, THE EDITOR'S: JOTTINGS AND PENCILLINGS HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE— The Natural Bridge, Virginia, 51; The Colossus of Rhodes, 51; Chinese Palanquins, 51; The Flamingo, 51; "God's Providence House," 51; An Ancient Monster, 51; Arabs of the Soudan, 52; A Lesson in Charity, 52; The Busy Bee, 52; The Dwarf Trees of China, 52; What is the "Lake School?" 52; The Cuckoo's Fag, 52; The Greatest Whirlpool in the World, 54; The Dog and the Telephone, 54; The Wounded Cat and the Doctor, 117; A Remarkable Bell, 117; About the Mina Bird, 117; An Historical Cocoa-Plant, 117; The International Health Exhibition, 118; Famous Old London Buildings, 118; Model Dairies, 118; Trades in Operation, 118; The Costume Show, 118; Street of Furnished Rooms, 119; Other Exhibits, 119; Young Heroes, 119; An Intelligent Mare, 119; Who were the Janizaries? 182; A Canine Guide, 182; The Taming of Bucephalus, 182; The Price of a Picture by Landseer, 183; "Ignoramus," 183; Saved by South Sea Islanders, 183; A Strange Vow, 183; Honour among Cats, 183; Memory in Parrots, 183; The Clock-tower in Darmstadt Palace, 183; Oiling the Waves, 183; Spider Knicknacks, 184; An Affectionate Dog, 184; A Sagacious Cavalry Horse, 184; What is a Nabob? 184; A Curious Volcano, 184; How a Dog saved its Blind Master, 246; Abraham Men, 246; Famous Abdicators, 246; Memory in Cats, 247; Fugitives from Siberia, 247; Tame Humming Birds, 247; Intelligent Dogs, 247; Skating Race in Lapland, 247; The Riddle of the Sphinx, 247; The Wolf and the Bees, 248; About Pages, 248; The Union Jack, 248; Glendower's Oak, 248; A Product of the Soudan, 309; The Vallary Crown, 309; Supposed Relic of Trafalgar, 309; The Founder of Ragged Schools, 309; Tallow Trees, 309; A Saucy Sparrow, 309; "Sansculottes," 310; Fresh-water Springs in the Sea, 309; Feathered Thieves, 310; Carlyle's Birthplace, 310; Memory in Dogs, 310; Anecdotes of Apelles, 310; Drawing the Badger, 311; A Gallant Rescue, 311; War Elephants, 311; About the Mistletoe, 370; Badges of the Apostles, 370; The Yule Log, 370; The Senses of Bees, 370; Abolition of Christmas Day, 371; The Dancing Bird, 371; Americanisms, 371; Peacock Pie, 371; The "Ironsides," 371; Migration of Storks, 371.
POETRY— Little Miss Propriety, 11. Madge's Dove, 16. Nessie's Adventure, 21. A Practical Joke, 28. A Summer Hour, 44. A Queen of the Beach, 54. A Race on the Sands, 77. The Children's Light Brigade, 85. The Maids and the Magpie, 91. Harvest Days, 108. Waiting for Father, 113. Summer Visitors, 140, Their Wonderful Ride, 153. An Apple Song, 170. Daisy and Dolly, 176. Legends of the Flowers— The Scarlet Pimpernel, 180. The Sunflower, 280. His First Sketch, 204. Contentment, 217. The Brownies to the Rescue, 256. The Song of a Little Bird, 267. Poor Pussy, 313. A Morning Visit, 333. The Rival Mothers, 337. A Helping Hand, 345. "Father's Coming," 348. The Legend of the Reeds, 358. The Birds' Petition, 368. Little Doctor May, 375.
PRIZE COMPETITIONS— Picture Pages Wanting Words, &c, and Answers, 58, 64, 124, 128, 188, 192, 252, 320, 379. Lists of Honour. 58, 124, 188. The LITTLE FOLKS Special Prize Competitions for 1884, 62. The LITTLE FOLKS Annual for 1885, 252. A New LITTLE FOLKS Painting Book Competition, 319.
PRIZE PUZZLE COMPETITIONS—61, 126, 190, 254, 318, 378.
PUZZLES, OUR LITTLE FOLKS' OWN, AND ANSWERS—58, 60, 125, 128, 188, 189, 253, 317, 320, 374, 377.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS—63, 127, 191, 255, 319, 379.
RAILWAY TRAINS AND THEIR STORY, SOME FAMOUS The "Flying Dutchman," 39. The "Wild Irishman," 86. The "Flying Scotchman," 204. The Continental and "Tidal" Mails, 346.
SERIAL STORIES— A LITTLE TOO CLEVER. By the Author of "Pen's Perplexities," "Margaret's Enemy," &c. &c, 1, 65, 129, 193, 257, 321. THEIR ROAD TO FORTUNE: THE STORY OF TWO BROTHERS. By the Author of "The Heir of Elmdale," &c, 32, 93, 163, 224, 281, 348.
SHORT STORIES— Too Young for School, 21. How Paulina Won Back Peter (A Fairy Story), 47. The King and Queen's Quarrel, 78. Master Tom's "Rainy Weather," 88. Jemmy's and My Adventure, 101. A Game of Cricket in Elfland (A Fairy Story), 105. The Little Flowers' Wish, 116. Andy's Brave Deed, 147. What Came of a Foxglove (A Fairy Story), 172. A Foraging Expedition in South America, 207. Little Fe, 218. What the Magic Words Meant (A Fairy Story), 235.
A Young Roman's Sacrifice (A True Story), 239. The Discontented Boat, 242. Harry's Prize Rabbit, 242. The Rival Kings (A Fable in Four Situations), 276. "Whistling for It," 271. The Magic Music and its Message (A Fairy Story), 293. Mab, the Wolf, and the Waterfall, 299. "Where there's a Will there's a Way," 302. "Home, Sweet Home;" or, Lost in London, 302. Faithful to Her Trust (A True Story), 332. Little Bab and the Story-Book, 341. Hedwig's Christmas Presents, 355. A Race for a Cat (A Fairy Story), 361. Ethel's Pink Plant, and what Happened to it, 364.
STORIES, POEMS, AND PICTURES OF BIRDS, BEASTS, AND FISHES— Fighting with a Shadow, 12. Madge's Dove, 16. A Practical Joke, 28. Mornings at the Zoo— The Stork Family, 41. About the Bats, 104. In the Fish-house, 170. The Kangaroos, 297. A Race on the Sands, 77. The Kingfisher and the Fishes, 81. The Maids and the Magpie, 91. About the Frankolin, 121. Summer Visitors, 140. Buried Alive; or, Love Never Lost on a Dog, 158. A Foraging Expedition in South America, 207. All about Snails, 232. Harry's Prize Rabbit, 242. The Rival Kings (A Fable in Four Situations), 276. The Fox and the Frog, 288. Poor Pussy, 313. Going to Sea in a Cage, 334. The Rival Mothers, 337. A Helping Hand, 345. The Birds' Petition, 368.
SUNDAY AFTERNOONS, OUR— Solomon's Dream at Gibeon, 18. The Dream of the Barley Cake, 82. Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of the Huge Tree, 154. The Dream of Pilate's Wife, 214. A Dream for all Ages, 306. Saved by a Dream, 338. Bible Exercises, 20, 84, 156, 216, 308, 340.
WESTMINSTER ABBEY, STORIES TOLD IN— How the Abbey was Built, 14. The Coronations in the Abbey, 113, Royal Funerals in the Abbey, 176. Curious Customs and Remarkable Incidents, 222. The Sanctuary, Cloisters, and Chapter-House, 291. The Monuments, 366.
A LITTLE TOO CLEVER.
By the Author of "Pen's Perplexities," "Margaret's Enemy," "Maid Marjory," &c.
CHAPTER XX.—MRS. MACDOUGALL FINDS DUNCAN.
A whole week elapsed, in which Mrs. MacDougall received no tidings of the children. Every day she trudged to the market-town and back, not able to bear the suspense without doing something. Every day she received the same answer, and turned away with a weary sigh. The men who answered her questions noticed her change from day to day, and shrank from giving her the same hopeless replies time after time. They were puzzled and astonished, but still confident that the children would ultimately be found. In their own minds they believed the children had fallen in with some wandering gipsies or other vagrants, and were being closely guarded. They knew well enough that there were plenty of ways of stealing children, and keeping them out of sight in barges, colliers, or gipsies' vans, and that the time that had elapsed made the probability of finding the children much less; but this they kept to themselves.
Mrs. MacDougall, however, was not so easily blinded. She knew the dangers that were waiting to engulf them. She called to mind having read, some years ago in the newspapers, of a little fair, delicate boy, who was stolen away and never found. She remembered distinctly enough the agonised appeal of his parents that every man and woman would join in the search for the child by keeping their eyes open wherever they went.
She had been deeply interested, and wondered how such a thing could happen. She remembered that, in spite of all, little Charlie (that was the child's name), had never been discovered, and that his fate had remained shrouded in mystery, the supposition being that the child had been stolen by cruel, wicked people, and perhaps died of fright.
Could such a fate have overtaken her children? A hundred times a day she cried to God that He would save them from a life of sin and degradation, even if by death, and there is no doubt that the mother's prayers had the reward of keeping them out of the dangers she feared for them.
The Sabbath came round. Mrs. MacDougall put on her best clothes, dressed her mother and Robbie, and went off to the kirk as usual.
"The Lord will not ill-requite me for keeping His day holy," she said solemnly, when her mother suggested that news might come in her absence. "The Lord knows I am in His kirk, and He will no seek me in the cottage."
Her simple faith was destined to receive its verification. Early the next morning a messenger arrived, bringing news. He spread out an official document on the table, and began with much unnecessary and tiresome questioning.
"If ye're wanting to send me crazy, you may just take your own time, but if not, will ye tell me right out are they found?" she asked sharply.
"Well, yes, they are," the man replied.
"Then tell me how, and where."
"The boy is in Edinburgh, ill of the fever, but well cared for in a children's hospital. The girl is in London, in a place she won't be running away from in a hurry."
"You mean a prison, surely?" Mrs. MacDougall gasped. "Say the right word, man, and don't put your own gloss on things. It doesn't make them any the better."
"It isn't a prison exactly," the man replied, "except that she can't get free from it without the permission of them that put her there. She got in with some people who are now in custody, and as she will be an important witness, she will be, perhaps, detained there until the case comes before the magistrates; but she is safe and sound, according to our information."
"And can I no rescue her from that place?" Mrs. MacDougall asked.
"That depends upon many things," the officer answered cautiously. "I could not undertake to say."
In a very short time Mrs. MacDougall was ready for her journey. "Ye will nae gang outside the gate whiles I'm gone," she said to Robbie, "an' bless your heart for a good child, I know you will not disobey me." Then to her mother she added, "I will just ask our good neighbour Jarrett to look in an' see ye all right, an' that your wants are supplied." Then she bade them adieu, and departed.
They walked as far as Dunster, calling at the farm on their way, then hired a vehicle to convey them to Killochrie, the nearest place to which the trains ran—not by the circuitous route that Elsie and Duncan had found their way there, but by a direct road.
That night Mrs. MacDougall was in Edinburgh, and was mightily amazed and confused with the grandeur and bustle of the place, which she had never seen before. How her children could have found their way here, and still more, how they could ever have been discovered and identified in such a teeming, bustling, bewildering city, she could not imagine. She had yet to see London, to which Edinburgh could not compare for teeming multitudes, labyrinths of streets, and all the gigantic bustle and confusion of a vast city.
"Ah! but it's a right wicked place," she exclaimed in horror, as she passed by some of the foul-smelling closes, or courts, as we call them, where dishevelled hag-like old women sat on door-steps, and filthy, squalid children played in the gutter, where ill-favoured young people of both sexes hung idly about the entrances, chaffing or quarrelling with each other. "Ye police people must be a poor set out, an' ye can no do away with such dens as these!" Mrs. MacDougall cried in righteous indignation. "And the country folk are all for sending their girls into the towns to get high wages and such gear. I would not have one of mine come to such a Babylon as this!"
But Mrs. MacDougall had not time for more observations, for they were soon at the hospital where sick children were received. They were at once admitted. A kind-looking woman came forward, and asked if it was necessary to see the child.
"Are ye no aware, ma'am, that he is my ain bairn?" Mrs. MacDougall began; but her companion interrupted her.
"Our business is to identify the little laddie," he said, with a tone of authority.
"Then I warn you to be careful," the woman replied. "He is just in a critical condition, and must not be spoken to."
"Ye mean well to say his life is in danger?" Mrs. MacDougall asked quickly.
"I cannot deny it," the matron replied; "but you must not despair. Children make wonderful recoveries," she added, kindly.
She led them to the door of the ward, where a nurse came forward to conduct them to the proper bed.
"It is my ain little bairnie," Mrs. MacDougall whispered; "but sairly altered, sairly changed."
"He couldn't have been worse than he's been," the nurse said, drawing them a little way from the bed. "The delirium was just dreadful to see! But that's past, and we only want him to rally. He's about exhausted now, and must be kept quiet. I would not like him to open his eyes and find you by his side. By my will you would not have been admitted."
"Then I'll go directly," Mrs. MacDougall said, quickly. "I will no beg you to be kind to my bairn, for I can trust your face; but I will pray for you to be rewarded for every act o' kindness done to a poor lost little one. When can I come again?"
"To-morrow's the right day. You can come then," the nurse replied.
"I'll be near at hand, an' they'll let me know if a bad change comes," Mrs. MacDougall said hurriedly. "I'll get the nearest lodging to be had."
When the clothes of the child had been duly identified, the officer and Mrs. MacDougall departed. "I shall no leave this place to-night," Mrs. MacDougall said, firmly. "The lass is safe and sound, and Duncan may be dying. I must be near by."
So a decent lodging was found, in which Mrs. MacDougall took up her quarters, having first taken her address to the matron, who promised her that she should be sent for if immediate danger developed itself. The officer was somewhat puzzled by Mrs. MacDougall's determination; but as his instructions were to proceed with the identification of both children, he determined to go on to London at once, armed with the most minute description Mrs. MacDougall could give him of the missing child.
It is needless to say that the description tallied perfectly. As, however, the examination of John and Lucy Murdoch, known to us by the name of Donaldson, was expected to take place in a day or two, the officer remained in London, waiting to obtain Elsie's full discharge, which could not be hoped for until after this important event.
Mrs. MacDougall was acquainted with her perfect safety, and as Duncan remained on the brink of the grave, she did not, for the present, attempt to leave Edinburgh.
CHAPTER XXI.—BEFORE THE MAGISTRATE.
On a certain morning, not long after her first appearance before the magistrate, Elsie was once more brought into court. She had hailed the appearance of her old acquaintance with something approaching delight, for any change was a welcome one from the hard, dreary, monotonous life she had been leading in the wards of the workhouse.
"Do you know anything about Duncan?" she asked, eagerly. "Did they really take him to the hospital? she didn't turn him into the streets, did she? Oh! I have been so frightened about it. They said they didn't know anything about it in there. You know, don't you?"
"Yes, I know," the man said, gravely.
Elsie looked up in his face questioningly. It was very grave. "Is he—is he—dead?" she gasped.
"Not as far as I know," the man replied; "and he did go into the hospital right enough; but he was as near dead as possible when your mother found him there. I don't think it's certain now whether he'll recover."
"Mother found him!" Elsie cried. "Then—then she knows where we are?"
"Yes, she knows," the man replied.
Elsie involuntarily drew a long sigh of relief. It was only afterwards that she began to be worried with doubts as to what her mother would say or do. In that first moment her first instinct was that being found by her mother was the end of all trouble, and that was, no doubt, a true and natural instinct.
But the after feeling of fear and doubt soon came to cloud Elsie's joy at what seemed such good news. How glad she would be once more to be back in the clean, sweet cottage on her native moor. She had thought that life hard, and so wanted to be a little lady, but it was a perfect paradise compared with her present life; and as for care, which is the greatest enemy to happiness that we can have, she had not known what it meant before she ran away. Food and clothes, and warm, comfortable shelter, were all hers without a thought on her part, and yet she had been so discontented and cross and disagreeable to everybody because she had not dainty food and nothing to do. But she had found out what it felt like to be without a home or a friend, with coarse food, and nothing but harsh words; and she had been continually told that that was far more than she deserved, and was given to her only out of charity, for which she ought to be most grateful.
If only Mrs. MacDougall would let her go home and things be the same as before, she would never be discontented or ungrateful any more, but she could hardly believe that she would ever get back again to that old happy life.
And Duncan? He might die! Then it would never be the same again. Dear little Duncan, who did not want to come away, and had always been contented, but would not forsake his sister. But for her he would be well and happy now, whereas everything was dreadful and wretched. It was quite certain it could never come right. If only she had known beforehand? It seemed so easy and so nice. Was it her fault that things had turned out so different? Was she to blame for not knowing?
In this way she tried to find some excuse and consolation where there was indeed little enough, falling back on the idle excuses people so frequently make. How many people ask "Was it my fault that I did not know?" when that was not at all where the fault lay.
At last the court was reached. Elsie was taken into a small room, where she had to wait some time, and had plenty of time for reflection. She grew very nervous and frightened, and began to wonder whether they had sent for her to punish her, whether the white-haired gentleman thought she had told stories, and was going to send her to prison. Yet the officer had seemed kind, and they had promised her that by-and-by she should be allowed to go home. Could she have told a story without knowing it? She tried to think over all she had said. Suddenly it came into her head that perhaps this clever, wise gentleman knew that her name was not MacDougall, but Grosvenor, and would punish her for that. What ought she to have said? She puzzled and puzzled over it till she grew quite stupid and bewildered.
By-and-by the officer who had brought her took her hand and led her forward. As she entered the great room in which she had been once before, she noticed that it was thronged with people. She was presently placed in a small, square, box-like place, reminding her a little of the pews in the kirk. Before her she soon detected the old gentleman who had questioned her, but there were several others seated near him. Turning her head slightly, her eyes fell with fright and dismay on the figures of the "fairy mother" and a man, who was neither Uncle William nor Grandpapa Donaldson, yet reminded her of both.
They were looking at her, and Elsie saw something in their faces that made her tremble. Yet she could not turn her eyes away till the "fairy mother" dropped hers, and with a heavy sigh made a little movement, as if to hide from herself the sight of her ungrateful child.
Then Elsie caught sight of another face: she recognised the man Andrew. There were others whose faces she did not know.
The Bible was handed her, and again she had to repeat the words of the solemn oath. Again the old gentleman leaned forward and asked her if she knew what an oath was, repeating his solemn warning. Then came the question, "What is your name?"
"Please, sir, I don't know," Elsie faltered, bursting into tears.
"The child is just dazed, your honour!" cried a voice from the crowd, which rang strangely in Elsie's ears, but the venturesome individual was silenced immediately.
"You told us the other day," the old gentleman said kindly. "You have only to tell the truth, then you need not be frightened."
"I'm afraid it was a story," Elsie exclaimed. And the "fairy mother" looked round anxiously. "I don't know whether my name is Elsie MacDougall or Elsie Grosvenor, because I am not sure whether Mrs. MacDougall was our mother or whether Aunt Nannie was."
Again a voice cried out something from the crowd, but Elsie did not catch the words. The person was warned that she would be removed if she interrupted again, and the gentleman continued.
"We will take your name as Elsie MacDougall. Is it true that you ran away from your home on a certain Wednesday?"
Elsie replied that she had done so, and then she was asked a great many questions, first about herself, then about the companions she had travelled with, which it would take far too much room to write down. She was terrified almost beyond measure at answering such inquiries with the terrible "fairy mother" standing close by, especially when other gentlemen began to ask her questions too in a sharp way that confused and bewildered her. Every particular of her acquaintance with these people was drawn from her, and a great deal of interest displayed in her account of how she was separated from Duncan, and the description of "Uncle William's" sudden change into "Grandpapa Donaldson."
"Now look well at this person. Have you ever seen him before?" the magistrate asked, pointing to the man standing near Mrs. Donaldson.
Elsie replied that she had not but he seemed to remind her a little of some one she had seen.
One of the gentlemen then held up a black wig, and whiskers, beard, and moustache.
Elsie recognised them at once. "I know what that is like!" she exclaimed, in great astonishment. "He had hair like that when he was Uncle William."
Another wig was then held before Elsie's wondering eyes. This time it was grey, with a small close-cut beard and whiskers, such as the old man in the railway carriage wore.
They were handed in turn to the man standing by Mrs. Donaldson, with a request that he would put them on. This, however, he indignantly refused to do, but Elsie took a steady look, and felt sure that if he had he would have looked exactly like Uncle William and Grandpapa Donaldson.
The next astonishing thing shown her was a light grey coat, the exact counterpart of the one worn by the gentleman in the carriage and Uncle William. It was turned inside out, and behold, it became a completely new overcoat of a drab colour, like the one worn by Grandpapa Donaldson.
So that was how he had changed himself so completely, by changing his black hair for grey and turning his coat inside out. He must have done it very quickly and quietly, while Mrs. Donaldson kept Elsie's eyes fixed on her. He stoutly denied this, but it was very strange that the black wig should have been discovered in a mysterious pocket of that cleverly-made coat, and that Mrs. Donaldson's papa should be so vain as to go about in a wig, and false whiskers, beard and moustache, because he had none of his own—very strange indeed; and so the lawyers and magistrates seemed to think it.
Elsie was very, very tired with the long examination she had to undergo. All she could make out of it was that these people, whose real names were John and Lucy Murdoch, were suspected of having stolen a great deal of money from rich people. At last Elsie was told she might go, and the officer of whom she had seen so much came forward to lead her away. As she was passing out, who should she see coming towards her but Meg. She lifted her eyes, and looked with a frightened glance at Elsie. Her eyes were red, and she looked altogether most wretched and unhappy.
"I haven't told a word," Elsie couldn't help whispering as she passed close by her; but Meg did not seem to hear, for she never raised her head or even smiled.
Elsie wondered what they were going to do with her, and hoped she would not get into any trouble. But she could not help thinking of her own miseries. Now, she supposed, she must go back again to that dreadful workhouse, with its harsh matron and dreadful companions, its misery, discomfort, and loneliness. She could not help shuddering and gulping back the sorrowful sobs that seemed to choke her. She was very tired and down-hearted.
The man touched her on the arm. She lifted her eyes, and saw standing close by, her mother, Mrs. MacDougall. In a moment Elsie flew towards her with a cry of joy, exclaiming "Oh! take me home, mother; take me away, please."
"I've got the discharge from the magistrate," Mrs. MacDougall explained. "I applied for it this morning directly after the court was opened."
"Quite right, ma'am," the man assented. Then turning to Elsie, he exclaimed, "Now, my girl, you're free to go home with your mother; and if you take my advice, you won't try running away again. You're just fortunate to have got off as you have. If it hadn't been for our tracking the Murdochs just when we did, there's no telling what would have become of you. They are not the sort that would hesitate to get rid of you in any way that came first when they found they didn't want you; and all I say is you may be thankful you stand where you do at this moment."
"You've just had a narrow escape of being drawn into a den of sin and iniquity," Mrs. MacDougall added fervently, "and I'm right thankful to the Almighty for the good care He's taken of you. I'm sure, sir, you're very kind to this erring lass, and I'm right grateful for all your goodness."
"Mother," Elsie faltered, hardly daring to frame the question, "where is Duncan?"
"He's in the hospital yet," Mrs. MacDougall replied. "He lies in a fair way to recover, if no ill turn befalls him, but I doubt me if he'll ever be the same laddie again. He's woefully altered, but the Lord has been good to him too, and put it into the heart of that poor body they call Meg to take him to the hospital, though they had no intention for her to do it. May she be rewarded for her charitable deed!"
At this moment the officer came back to say that a cab was ready to take them to the station.
"And am I going with you now?" Elsie asked.
"Yes; we'll be getting back to Edinburgh to-night," Mrs. MacDougall replied.
They bade the officer good-bye, and drove away. Elsie could hardly believe that she was once more free and on her way home. The revulsion of feeling was too much; she lay back in the carriage, and sobbed as if her heart would break.
"I will no reproach you, Elsie," Mrs. MacDougall said, gently, "for I ken you're punished enough, but it will do ye no harm to feel sore-hearted for all the sorrow you've brought on yoursel and others."
CHAPTER XXII.—THE MURDOCHS.
Mrs. MacDougall and Elsie had some time to wait before the night train started. They spent it in the waiting-room, Mrs. MacDougall having first procured for Elsie as comfortable a tea as her means would allow. To Elsie it seemed a perfect feast.
While they are waiting I must take the opportunity of telling all that had been found out about the Murdochs, and how they came to take charge of the children. Lucy Murdoch had been, as Meg said, quite a poor girl, living in one of the miserable closes in which the old town of Edinburgh abounds. She was very pretty and clever, but naturally inclined to deceit and cunning. When she was about seventeen she went to service, but could never keep a place, because she was impertinent, and so fond of dressing herself up in fine clothes that she at last began to steal things from the ladies she lived with in order to gratify her vanity.
Her friends said she looked like any lady, and this so pleased the vain creature that she tried to pass for one wherever she could, giving herself great airs in shops she was sent to and when walking out of doors. At last it was found that she had been to a shop in Edinburgh and ordered some things in the name of a young lady, in whose mother's house she had been a servant. After this she disappeared from Edinburgh, and her friends saw nothing of her for many years.
When they heard of her again, she was married. She came back dressed as a smart lady, and looking and speaking very much like one. She had been in London, and had picked up all sorts of fine ways. Her husband was just such another as herself: they both disliked honest work, but lived by their cunning.
One of their tricks was to go to a grand hotel where there were rich people, make the acquaintance of some wealthy lady or gentleman, skilfully manage to rob the unsuspicious individuals of any money they might have with them, and then depart, letting the suspicion fall on some unfortunate servant.
Just before they had met Elsie and Duncan they had been staying at a very fashionable resort in the Highlands, where Lucy Murdoch, by her dashing manner and profuse liberality, made a great many friends and was much admired. There happened to be among the company an Australian gentleman just arrived in England, who had brought with him a pocket-book full of notes, which he perhaps intended to pay into an English bank. The gentleman, being boastful and proud of his money, gave broad hints of the wealth he carried with him to Lucy Murdoch and her husband, whom he thought very nice people, and so much more friendly to a foreigner than the cold, proud English folk usually are. One morning the gentleman found his pocket-book gone, notes and all. He came into luncheon full of it, pouring out his indignant wrath to his genial friends, the Murdochs, who commiserated him, and were as indignant as he. One of the waiters was suspected. The wretched man declared that he had seen the gentleman, Mr. Halliwell (the name under which the Murdochs were then going), coming out of the Australian gentleman's bedroom, that he had spoken to him, and that Mr. Halliwell had said that he had made a mistake and just gone inside, but had seen directly his error. The man was not believed, for there were the Halliwells still staying in the hotel, going and coming as freely as could be. The next day they paid their bill (a good long one) and went away, bidding their acquaintances good-bye, and hoping they should meet in Edinburgh.
After they had gone some way on their journey, Lucy discovered that she had lost a letter from one of her bad companions in Edinburgh—no other than the man Andrew, who was one of their accomplices. Fearing she might have dropped it in the hotel, they made all haste to get to London, but their journey was delayed at a certain point by the stupidity of a driver, who had undertaken to drive them to Killochrie, but could not find the way, the consequence being that they lost their train, and would be delayed eight hours.
Now Lucy Murdoch had heard of the missing children, and when she stopped Elsie and Duncan to ask them the way, she immediately supposed, from what Elsie said, that these were the very ones. Being very clever and quick-witted, she saw in a moment she could make use of them to forward her own escape. Driving to the nearest town, she purchased black ready-made garments, retired to a lonely spot, and dressed herself as a widow, smoothing back her curled locks under the close round bonnet. Then she went to the children, dressed them in the clothes she had bought, walked back to the station, and went on by train to a little town some twenty miles off, where she spent the night, her husband having gone first to secure a lodging. On the next day they went on to Edinburgh under the new name of Donaldson, John Murdoch passing as her brother, and the children as her fatherless little ones on their way home from school.
Duncan's illness interfered with her plans, and necessitated her seeking the help of the man Andrew, while she and her husband went to a fashionable hotel. But Lucy Murdoch was not to be daunted. It would do just as well to travel to London with one child as two, and even serve still further to destroy her identity. So she would have cast Duncan off like an old shoe. Elsie's determination made this difficult, but she soon devised a plan to get Elsie off by cunning, and leave Duncan behind. Although she promised Elsie that Duncan should go to the hospital, she had left instructions with Meg that he was to be taken back to Andrew's house. Meg, however, took him to the hospital, and said (poor ignorant thing) that she had found him ill in the street. When she got home she put on her most stupid air, and declared that she didn't rightly know what Mrs. Murdoch meant her to do, that she was very sorry if she'd done wrong, and hadn't she better go and fetch him back? Andrew abused her, but at the hospital the child was left. Poor Meg! she had in her a kind heart, and might have been a good, happy girl but for bad companions.
The police, however, were on the track of the Murdochs. They had been watched from place to place, and evidence collected. When they least thought of danger they found themselves lodged in a prison.
Elsie's account greatly helped to prove their guilt. Meg was examined, and was found to have known a great deal about their doings; but as she was not found guilty of any crime, she was allowed to go free, and advised by the magistrate to forsake her old companions, and endeavour to live honestly and respectably. A charitable lady afterwards took her into a home, being much touched by the account she gave of Duncan's illness, and the way she had done what she could to save his life.
John and Lucy Murdoch were sentenced to be imprisoned for a great many years. The man Andrew was also severely punished.
What they intended, to do with Elsie was not clear. Duncan they had left dangerously ill, without nursing or medical advice. The magistrate pointed out to him that they ought to be grateful to Meg, for if the child had died they would certainly have been charged with causing his death.
Probably they would have left Elsie to a similar fate: unless, indeed, they had succeeded in making her one of themselves, in which case she would, perhaps, have been tempted to join them in some hideous crime, and have ended her days in a prison.
CHAPTER XXIII.—BACK HOME AGAIN.
Elsie and her mother travelled all night, and reached Edinburgh early the next morning. This time it was only a third-class carriage, crowded by very ordinary-looking men and women—a very different journey from the one with the wicked "fairy mother;" but the unhappy child, tired out with all she had gone through, leant her head against her mother's shoulder, and slept through the night with a sweet sense of safety and protection to which she had long been a stranger.
They found Duncan still slowly mending, but looking a mere shadow of his former bonnie self. Elsie was so overwhelmed at the sight of his poor little wasted figure, and cried so bitterly, that the nurse promptly ordered her out of the ward.
"Tell Elsie I'm quite well now," he said anxiously to Mrs. MacDougall. "She needn't cry, because we are going home; aren't we, mother? You did say we might."
"Yes, well all be happy again together soon, little lad," Mrs. MacDougall replied.
"Perhaps they hurt Elsie," Duncan continued, still anxious for Elsie. "They were bad people, mother;" and the little fellow shuddered.
They were obliged to calm him and turn his thoughts away. One of the worst points of his illness had been the fits of terror that came over him when a recollection of the Fergusons or the Murdochs passed through his brain. It had been feared that his mind was seriously affected by the fright he had undergone.
He was not yet fit to be moved, so Mrs. MacDougall decided to take Elsie home, and come again to fetch Duncan when he was ready to leave, as she had barely money enough left to take her to Dunster. Duncan was, however, convalescent, and in a fair way of recovering.
It was only now that Mrs. MacDougall, the more pressing cares of her mind relieved, had time to remember Elsie's curious statement before the magistrates. "What did you mean, child, by saying that you didn't rightly know your own name?" she asked. "Surely you were dazed with the strange faces all round you. I feared you had lost your reason."
Elsie hung her head sheepishly. Although she had heard nothing from any one on the subject, she had somehow a conviction in her mind that she had been very silly. It was easy to talk grandly to Duncan, but quite a different thing to tell the story to Mrs. MacDougall.
"I don't know. I did think that perhaps me and Duncan were the babies of Aunt Nannie's what Uncle Grosvenor sent you to take care of," Elsie stammered, growing very red.
"Good patience, child! What do you know about your aunt Nannie's babies?" Mrs. MacDougall exclaimed, in amazement. "Who have been tattling to you about what don't concern them?"
"Then we are those babies!" Elsie cried, with a flash of excitement.
"You!" cried Mrs. MacDougall; "that you are not. What could make you think such a thing? Whoever told you so much—an' I reckon your foolish old grannie was the person—might as well have told the whole story, which, however, it was my great wish should be kept quite a secret. Robbie was your poor Aunt Nannie's bairn."
"Robbie!" Elsie exclaimed, slowly; "but there were two babies, mother."
"There were twin babies, but one died the next day after it reached me, poor bairn. It was a girl baby, and the one the father took an interest in; but it died, and he cared little or nothing about Robbie, so I kept him my own self, for he was but a poor little lad, and could no bear a rough life. Often I've been tempted to let the child go back to his own flesh and blood, but I hadn't the heart, knowing there was none that would look after him with the care he needed."
"Is Robbie better than we are, mother?" Elsie asked, with the old jealousy cropping up once more. "Uncle Grosvenor is a grand laird, is he not?"
Mrs. MacDougall laughed. "He's just a well-to-do tradesman, though he had mighty fine airs when he used to come to Dunster; but I never liked the looks of him. He broke his poor wife's heart, and never believed it till she lay dead, and then he was sorry, and tried to make some amends. He was a bit touched when he saw his motherless bairns, and did a kind deed when he sent them to me; but he soon grew blithe and gay again, and troubled his head no more. I've never heard from him from that day to this, except that he sends me payment for the babies still. He doesn't even know that the little one died, for he has never written; and I don't know where he is; but any day he may come, and just take it into his head to fetch poor Nannie's bairn away from me: but I hope he won't, for now that he's married again and has many children, as I am told, poor Robbie will be ill-welcomed among them."
What a different tale this was from the one Elsie had concocted in her own mind! How utterly foolish and ashamed she was feeling. She would tell all, and would so ease her mind.
"Mother," she said, speaking quickly, "it was all through a letter I picked up and read, and because I always thought Robbie was your favourite more than me and Duncan. I thought he must be your little boy, and that we were not. You did buy Robbie more things, and never sent him for the milk."
"Ye're right enough, Elsie," Mrs. MacDougall said, with a sigh. "There's many a time, when I've been sore pressed, I've been tempted to take the money that Robbie's father sent to buy the clothes you and Duncan were in need of; but I've always stood against it, and never spent a penny of that money for any other purpose than the right one, and I've taken care of the child more jealously than if he was my own. But the Evil One himself must have put it in your heart to be jealous of that poor little lad. With all my care, I doubt that he'll ever see manhood. And as for the letter, I think I know the one you mean. If you found it, you'd no call to read it."
"But I read it, and I kept it," Elsie confessed, seeing that her mother had quite failed to comprehend all that she had tried to tell her. "It was for that I wanted to run away—to go and find who I thought was our own father—and I took Duncan with me. I thought it would be easy. I didn't mean to hurt Duncan."
"I will be no harsh to you, Elsie," Mrs. MacDougall said, sorrowfully. "It's a sore thing for a mother to think of; but God has taught you His lesson in His own way. I doubt you'll never do the like again."
It was only by degrees that Mrs. MacDougall heard the whole history of the children's wanderings, or Elsie fully understood the terrible dangers to which she had, by her own act, willingly exposed herself and Duncan. Never had she fully realised what the word "home" meant until returning to it, after having been homeless, lonely, and outcast, she was received with the glad welcome that no one else in all the wide world would have extended to her.
Mrs. MacDougall was, like many of her race, a woman of few words, and not given to demonstrations of affection, yet with a deeply-rooted, fervent feeling of attachment to her own flesh and blood that nothing could destroy, that was only equalled by her strong sense of religious duty. In that terrible week of suspense, when she received no tidings of the missing children, her hair had become grey, and her face aged by many years. In seeking them out, she had spent unhesitatingly the hardly-scraped savings of years, laid by for the decent burying of her old mother and herself. These facts spoke more strongly than words. Even Elsie knew well enough the terrible degradation an honest, respectable Scottish woman would feel it that any of her birth and kin should fall upon the charity of strangers.
Elsie had been ever a tiresome child. She was what people call clever—that is to say, she had from an early age the power of thinking for herself, and forming her own ideas on many subjects. This very activity of brain often overwhelmed the better feelings of her heart, which was not really bad. It was her own supposed cleverness that had led her into such a grievous error concerning that unfortunate letter she had found, her restless curiosity that had led her into the temptation of reading it, whereas Duncan's slower brain would have allowed his heart time to speak its protest against an action that he had been trained to regard as mean and dishonourable. Cleverness is a dangerous gift, apt to lead into very stray paths, unless there is firm principle to weigh it. Lucy Murdoch was extremely clever. Better for her to have been without one talent than to have used all ten to her own utter ruin.
Mrs. MacDougall gave Elsie no bitter reproaches. She explained to her how grievous a sin she had committed, and what sorrow she had brought on those who had always shown her the truest kindness. She would allow no one to speak to Elsie about it, except the good old minister at the manse, who had known her from her birth. Farmer Jarrett greatly desired to give her a good talking to, but Mrs. MacDougall said, in her true Scottish fashion, "Nay, neighbour; the Lord had pointed His own moral, an' we can no better it. She has the little brother she loves always before her eyes to warn her." And this was true enough. Duncan had never recovered the effects of the fever. He seemed to have lost all his old robustness and vigour, taking little interest in anything, only caring to sit quiet and undisturbed before the fire. No words could have affected her more than that most pitiful sight. Mrs. MacDougall often caught Elsie's eyes fixed on the child with a wistful, sorrowful expression. She and Robbie waited on him continually, with patient unfailing tenderness, and both the children vied with each other as to who could be the more kind and thoughtful for him.
Mrs. MacDougall from that time changed her treatment of Robbie, and moreover, explained to all three children the circumstances of his birth. She believed that she had erred in practising even this well-meant deceit, intended for the good both of Robbie and her own two children, which had, however, resulted in the very jealousy she had tried to prevent. Robbie benefited by the change, and was certainly far happier. He grew less babyish—stronger both in mind and body. The old jealousy died away, and Elsie liked him far better as a cousin—yet treated in every way like herself—than she had done as a brother.
For several years no one dared to mention in Duncan's presence the sad experience he had lived through. His terror and excitement were so intense at the mere recollection of it, that the utmost care was necessary. He could never go out alone, for if he met a person who seemed to his morbid fancy to resemble either of the Fergusons or the Murdochs, his shuddering fear was shocking to witness. He and Robbie had quite changed places. It was he now who needed all the anxious, watchful care that in former days Elsie would have called petting.
If no one reproached her, it is certain she reproached herself, more and more bitterly as she grew older, and understood how grave a misfortune she had brought upon Duncan, the one person she was most fond of in this world. She had turned his very trust in her into the means of sacrificing him. Sometimes she was so tortured by this thought that she could hardly bear it. "I will never leave him as long as I live," she often said to herself, as a sort of reparation for what he had suffered. "I will take care of him till I die."
But there is a hope that in course of time, after he has passed the years of boyhood, he may recover his old strength, and in this hope Elsie lives.
LITTLE PAPERS FOR LITTLE ART WORKERS.
IVORY MINIATURE PAINTING.
We all know the beautiful miniatures that grandmammas count as some of their greatest treasures, mementoes of the friends of long ago. Some of those little bits of ivory are now worth, over and over again, their weight in gold. The names of Nicholas Hilliard, Isaac and Peter Oliver, Samuel Cooper, Nathaniel Hone, and Richard Cosway, are well-known in connection with the art of Miniature Painting. Photography now supersedes all other modes of taking portraits on a small scale on account of its rapidity, but no photograph, however carefully coloured, ever did, or ever will, equal the exquisite little gems left to us by the men we have reason to honour whose names I have mentioned already. I should, for my part, be glad to see the art, which has never gone quite out of fashion, restored to its old popularity.
The choice of a good piece of ivory is important. You can get the pieces of various sizes from any good artist's colourman, and you must look out for one that has as little grain as possible in the centre, because the space the face will occupy should be free from streaks that would be detrimental to the painting. The remainder of the ivory is not of so much consequence, as in representing the drapery and background the grain can generally be hidden. Large sizes can be obtained, but I should not advise you to begin on one of them; a piece about 3-1/2 in. by 4-3/4 in. does very well for a first attempt. Ivory can be cut with a pair of scissors, but it is a risky operation, and it is far better to get a professional worker to cut it for you if you need the shape or size altered; then, too, if you want an oval shape you will be pretty sure to get a true oval, which very possibly you could not manage yourself. Red sable brushes are used, and you should select those that will come to a good point. You will not require more than three or four, a medium size for washes, a smaller for stippling, and a very fine one for finishing-touches. An oval china palette is also needed; the small slabs sold in ordinary paintboxes are not serviceable for miniature painting, as many colours and tints are necessary. Use the best water-colours if you wish to succeed, and you will find those in pans or half pans are preferable to the dry cakes, as time is not spent in rubbing them down. These are the most useful colours:—Cobalt, French ultra, Prussian blue, carmine, or pink madder, Indian red, vermilion, light red, sepia, burnt umber, burnt sienna, Indian yellow, yellow ochre, ivory black, and Chinese white. I do not consider more than these requisite for an ordinary palette. Then you must have a firm drawing-board, and a bottle of clear strong gum. Some pieces of old linen should be kept at hand for cleaning the palette; if anything else be used for the purpose fluffy particles will be left on it that will get mixed up with the colours, and that we must do all in our power to avoid. I want to impress upon you the importance of choosing a good light for your work; for one reason you cannot get the delicate tints which are the great charm of ivory miniature painting if you sit in a bad position for seeing well; and for a second reason the work is so fine that there is the danger of trying your eyes too much if you are not careful in this respect.
You must never continue the work if your eyes feel tired. Some person's eyesight is so much stronger than that of others that you must judge for yourselves whether or no it is harmful to you to produce such fine paintings. It is best to sketch the portrait first correctly on paper; not many amateurs will be able to do it direct on the ivory without some guide, and as few alterations as possible must be made on the ivory. If the sketch be tolerably dark it may be laid beneath the ivory, and so traced off with a brush filled with light red. It is far easier, of course, to work from a photograph; if you do this you need only to place the ivory over it, and thus you have the features, and the principal folds of the dress, ready to mark off with the brush on the semi-transparent ground. You must be so very careful not to let the ivory slip in the faintest degree out of place, or the likeness will sure to prove a failure.
When you have all the principal points clearly defined, fix it by gumming it at the top to a square of writing-paper, which must be white. At the back of this lay three or four more squares of paper, until the ivory thus mounted looks opaque. Bristol board is used sometimes instead of paper, but it is liable to warp when exposed to heat. The ivory must only be gummed at the top, for if gum were allowed to run under the face the flesh-tints would be darkened; the papers also must be gummed together at the top, and they should be somewhat larger than the ivory. It must be placed aside until dry pressed in a book with a piece of clean paper over it. Lay on the first flesh-tint evenly with a large brush, leaving the whites of the eyes untouched. Light red, or Venetian red, to which the slightest touch of yellow has been added, forms a good tint to work upon; for dark complexion a little more yellow will be requisite.
When the right depth of colour in the lights of the face is properly secured, the shadows may be put in with a good-sized brush. It is a great mistake ever to use very small brushes when larger ones can be equally well employed. In every style of painting we should strive to work as far as possible in a broad manner, and large brushes help us to do this. So, too, we should whenever practicable lay on our colours in washes; if we begin with stippling our drawings they will be "niggling," and will be sure to look poor and "spotty." The shadows differ in shape and in colour on all faces, and to render these accurately is by no means an unimportant part of taking a likeness; the expression depends greatly upon the shadows, and we need to study nature closely if we would represent all the delicate gradations faithfully. As a shadow colour, cobalt, Venetian red, carmine or pink madder, and a suspicion of yellow, will make a good foundation; but the tint must be varied as occasion demands. Under the eyes, the shadows are blueish, whilst those under the eyebrows and nostrils are warm in tint; Indian red serves well for warming shadows. Beginners will very probably fear to lay in the shadows too strongly, but when they see the effect produced, they are likely to go to the opposite extreme and smear in the shadows heavily for the sake of giving character to the likeness. The happy medium is what we must strive to secure; we do not want our paintings to be weak, but neither do we want them "dirty" in tone. The shadows on the throat should be rather grey, but not so much so as to appear livid and unnatural; here light red and cobalt will predominate. On the neck they will be of a soft blue tone. They must all be clearly washed in without reaching too far into the lights, as lights and shadows must subsequently be softened into each other with the lovely demi-tints that afford the pearl-like appearance of the natural clear complexion. These half tints are formed of cobalt and light red, or of French ultra and carmine; pink madder may take the place of carmine if preferred, for though not so brilliant it is more lasting. A fair child's complexion will require more vermilion and less carmine than that of an adult. To keep the form of the lips true to nature is another point that demands our strictest attention. Blue eyes are put in with cobalt, toned with shadow colour; grey, with a mixture of blue and red. There are many varieties of shade in brown eyes, and you must find out by experiment what is best to use for them, as you may have, at one time or another, to depict hazel, chestnut, and deep brown eyes that are called black. You will find burnt terra sienna and shadow colour useful, and in the case of the darkest brown shade, the employment of lake and sepia will be necessary. The pupil is put in with sepia.
On no account must black be used in painting the eyes. Now we come to the eyebrows and eyelashes. These are of the same colour as the hair, but usually darker in tint. Do not try to make out the separate hairs, or hardness, which is very undesirable, will ensue. Sometimes in finishing the eyelashes you will improve them with a few fine strokes after the wash of colour is laid on. The hair must be painted broadly in large masses, and its natural fall on the forehead, its tendency to curl or wave, must be truly rendered. For black hair use neutral tint, and a little indigo for the lights; for the local colour, indigo, lake, and gamboge. For brown hair, sepia, but should it be very dark add a little lake. Burnt umber will give a beautiful chestnut brown if mixed with lake modified with sepia. No part of a miniature should be finished off until all the rest is close to completion; for one colour affects another considerably when they are placed side by side, and so it is impossible to judge of the strength of a tint until all its surroundings are brought near to an equal state of finish. Select a colour for the drapery that will suit the complexion and hair; one that will heighten the effect of each, and produce a pleasing harmony. Nothing is more charming than white for a young girl, who possesses a fair complexion; the ivory itself forms a soft creamy white ground that needs only the shadows and reflections to be thrown in, and a little Chinese white is employed for the lights. If the dress is coloured you should manage to introduce some white lace around the throat. Black velvet is also extremely becoming; the lights are put in with Chinese white.
Brilliant colours for draperies should always be avoided, as there is so little space in a miniature to be given to the accessories that they must be kept low in tone if they are to be subordinate to the likeness. A small quantity of gum is required in the background, and in the draperies just a drop is mixed in with the colours for finishing off the dress. The harmony of the whole will depend greatly on the tint chosen for the background. It may be as dark as you like, only you must not let it be heavy. A neutral tint of grey or brown is easy for a beginner to manage, and a warm red-brown is admirable for the purpose. A soft blue sky with fleecy-white clouds makes the best background for a fair girl in a white dress. Wash in the background colour to the desired strength, then stipple it to get it smooth.
With a few general remarks I must end these suggestions. "Stippling" is the filling in with a small brush, but not too fine, of any spaces left when the colour is washed in. The polished surface of the ivory will not take the wash as paper does, and it requires a great deal of working up before it appears level and smooth. Any touches may be put in with a trifle of gum added to the colour. You will use sepia for the dark touches on the eyebrows and eyelashes, carmine and sepia for those about the mouth and nostrils. The spot of white in the eye must not be forgotten. The lights are always left, not taken out afterwards. Any hairs that may be found on the ivory after a tint is washed in must be removed with a needle or the extreme point of a clean brush. Lay in your colours with decision, and always try as far as you possibly can to work in a broad free style.
FAITHFUL TO HER TRUST.
Far away in the mountains of Westmoreland there is a lonely ravine called Far Easedale, and here was once a cottage called Blentarn Ghyll, where a man named Green once lived with his wife and six children.
One day George Green and his wife went to a sale of furniture at Grasmere. Before starting they spoke kindly to their eldest girl Agnes, who was then only nine years old, and begged her to take special care of all her little brothers and sisters.
"We shall be home to-night, dear," said Mrs. Green, "but you'll be a little mother to them whilst we are away, won't you?"
Agnes promised gaily, thinking it would be rather fun to be left in charge.
All went well till towards evening, when a terrible snow-storm came on. The white flakes fell so fast that the door was blocked up; worse than this, the snow made its way through the windows.
Having put the baby to bed, Agnes and the other children sat up till midnight, hoping that their parents would come, but not a sound was heard, as the snow fell silently thicker and thicker.
In the morning the snow had stopped falling, but it lay so deep that Agnes dared not venture out.
The children were miserable, and Agnes, child as she was herself, forgot her own trouble in trying to cheer and comfort them. Then she boiled what milk there was in the house, to prevent its turning sour, and made some porridge for breakfast, eating very little herself, for she feared the little stock of meal might fail.
After breakfast she asked her two brothers to help her cut a way from the door to the shed where the peat was kept, and they carried in as much as they could. Then they closed the door till night came and they forgot their troubles in sleep.
The next day a strong wind had blown away so much snow that Agnes determined to try to find her way to Grasmere. It was a difficult task, for there were brooks to cross; but the brave girl was urged on by the memory of the little ones she had left behind, and made her way there.
Here she found that her father and mother had started for home on the first night. As they had not since been heard of, she had little doubt that they must have fallen into some hole or brook and have perished in the snow.
Still faithful to her trust, the poor child returned to the cottage, where she carefully watched over her brothers and sisters, until kind friends found new homes for the little orphans.
E. M. W.
A MORNING VISIT.
Darling mother! not to see her For a whole week and a day! It was hard; but she is better, And at last nurse says I may Carry up her morning tea.
Only one wee, tiny minute Must I wait to kiss her cheek, And to whisper how I missed her Every day this long, long week, And to ask if she missed me.
Often, while they thought me sleeping, Did I lie an hour and more, Crying—when the house was quiet— Softly at her bedroom door, Where she could not hear nor see.
Oh, it was so dull without her! Every one was grave and sad; But I think, now she is better, Even the little birds look glad As they hop from tree to tree.
GOING TO SEA IN A CAGE.
AN OLD SAILOR'S STORY.
Aye, aye, sir! I've seen a good many queer things in my time, sure enough; but the queerest thing I ever saw was a bit of work aboard the old Mermaid, when we were homeward bound from Hong Kong and Singapore. Would you like to hear the story? Well, then, if you'll just come to an anchor for a minute or two on this coil of rope, I'll tell you all about it.
The very first day out from Hong Kong I took notice of one young lady, who was lying on a kind of basket-work sofa, on the sunny side of the poop-deck. She had the sweetest face I ever saw, but it went to my heart to see how thin and pale she looked. And well she might, poor thing! for it seems she had something wrong with her back, so as she couldn't walk or stand up, or anything; and she was going to England to see some great doctor or other, and try if he could cure her.
All the passengers were very good to her, I will say that for 'em; and as for us blue-jackets, every man Jack of us would have jumped overboard only to please her, when once we knew how it was. But she was too weak to talk or read much, and the chief thing she had to amuse her was a little grey Java sparrow, which she had with her in a cage. Whenever she came on deck, the bird's cage was brought up too, and put close beside her; and it was Bob Wilkins, the pantry-boy, who always had the carrying of it.
It was a pretty little thing that bird was, and as sensible as any man; fact, it was a deal more sensible than many men that I've met. When she had a headache (and terrible headaches she used to have, poor lass) that bird would be as quiet as a mouse. But when she was well enough to stand it, she'd have the cage brought to her, and open it with her own hands, and out the little fellow would pop, and flutter on to her shoulder, and eat out of her hand, just as natural as could be. And then she used to stroke its feathers with her poor thin fingers and smile such a strange, sad kind of smile, that many a time I've had to go away in a hurry for fear I should cry outright; and I can tell you I wasn't the only one, neither.
But fond as we all were of that bird, there was somebody else that was fonder still, and that was the captain's big tortoise-shell cat: and to see the way it kept its eye on that Java sparrow, and watched for a chance to get hold of it! you never saw the like.
Well, the captain was a kind man, and didn't want to hurt the poor cat, specially as it was a great pet of his wife's; so he tied it up to keep it out of mischief. But of course it took and squalled all night, till nobody could sleep a wink for the noise, and he had to let it loose again. So then he says to me—
"Thompson," says he, "just keep your eye on that cat, and if it ever comes on to the poop-deck, drive it off again."
"Aye, aye, sir," says I, and I kept a bright lookout, sure enough. But one day that cat was too sharp for me, after all.
It was getting towards afternoon, on our second day from Port Said, and Miss Ashton was lying on her couch on the poop-deck, with her bird's cage hanging from one of the lashings of the awning, close beside her. I'd just been down to fetch our third officer's telescope; and as I came up again, something brushed past me. I saw the cat spring up at the cage, the cord snapped, and down went bird, cage, cat, and all, slap-dash into the sea!
The next moment there came a big splash, and there was our pantry-boy, Bob Wilkins (the one that used always to carry the cage up on deck, you know), overboard after 'em. And as if that wasn't enough, Bill Harris the carpenter (who was a special chum of Bob's, and happened to be standing by at the time) catches hold of a life-buoy, and overboard he goes too. So there they all were, the cat after the bird, Bob after the cat, and Bill Harris after Bob.
"Man overboard!" sang out half a dozen of us.
"Stop her!" cried the first officer. "Stand by to lower the boat! Cast off the gripes! let go the davit-tackle!"
You should have seen how quick that boat was lowered, and how the men made her fly along! When we picked 'em up, (though they were a long way astern by this time) Bill was clinging to the life-buoy, and Bob had got hold of it with one hand and the cage with the other. The bird was fluttering about and looking precious scared, as if he didn't like going to sea in a cage; and the cat was sitting on Bill's shoulder, and holding on with every claw he had. The passengers sent round the hat for Bob Wilkins, and a pretty deal of money they got; but I can promise you he thought more of the thanks Miss Ashton gave him for the job than of all the money twice over.
But I was just going to leave out the best part of the whole story. They say it's "an ill wind that blows nobody good," and so it came out that time, sure enough. When the young lady saw Bob jump overboard, and thought he was going to be drowned in trying to save her bird, it gave her such a fright, that she, who couldn't even sit up without help, jumped right up on her feet and looked over the side after him! Well, sir, from that day forth, to the end of her voyage, she was always better able to move than before; and the great London doctor who cured her afterward (for she was cured at last) said that "nervous shock," as he called it, had been the saving of her, and that he'd had just such another case already. Now, that's as true as I sit here; and if you don't believe it, here comes Bob Wilkins, and you can ask him.
LITTLE MARGARET'S KITCHEN, AND WHAT SHE DID IN IT.—XII.
By PHILLIS BROWNE, Author of "A Year's Cookery," "What Girls Can Do," &c.
Many were the consultations which Margaret and Mary held together trying to decide what was to be made at the last Cookery lesson. The last lesson! something wonderful must be accomplished; but what was it to be?—that was the question. Margaret felt as if she should like to take advice on the subject.
"What should you make if you were going to cook something, and were allowed to choose for yourself?" she asked her friend, Rosy Williams.
"I should make some toffee," said Rosy.
Toffee! Margaret had never thought of it, but of course it was the very thing. She had been picturing to herself roasts and broils, and stews and soups, but toffee was worth everything of the sort put together. If only Mary would agree.
Mary was like Rosy, however: she decided instantly.
"And, as it must surely be very easy, why should we not try to make it by ourselves, without mother?" said Margaret. "We might get to know how, and then do it without any help at all."
"Of course you might," said Rosy. "After all the lessons in cookery you have had, I should think you could make a little toffee. Toffee is so easy to do. If you think I could help, I should be very glad to come: if Mrs. Herbert would let me."
"Thank you!" said Margaret; "you are kind."
"My brother Tom could come too," continued Rosy. "Tom is very clever at making toffee; he is quite accustomed to it. Whenever cook goes out for a holiday Tom makes toffee."
So Margaret asked her mother to consent. At first Mrs. Herbert looked rather doubtful; then she glanced at the eager little faces looking up at her, and she smiled. The children at once clapped their hands. They knew what the smile meant.
"Yes, dears, I think you may do as you wish. Only promise that you will be careful not to burn yourselves. There is one thing in our favour: toffee is best made over a slow fire, so there will be less danger. You can make your toffee this afternoon if you wish, and I will tell cook to put everything ready for you."
Punctually at the time appointed Rosy and her obliging brother Tom appeared, and all the children went off to the kitchen, Tom taking the place of master of the ceremonies.
"We shall want a simple brass pan," he said. "Yes, that is just the kind," he added, as cook handed to him a small saucepan, which was so bright inside that it shone like gold. "Now we must weigh out a quarter of a pound of butter, let that melt, then put in half a pound of raw sugar and half a pound of treacle. We stir this over the fire, and when it has boiled a little we add two table-spoonfuls of vinegar, and keep on boiling till it is ready."
"That is very easy," said Mary. "Shall I weigh the butter?"
"Yes," said Tom. "You weigh the butter, I will weigh the sugar, Rosy the treacle, and Margaret measure the vinegar. It is such an advantage to have so many helpers; we get the work done so quickly. There is a proverb which says 'Many hands make light work.' It is quite true."
"How clever your brother is, Rosy!" said Margaret.
"Please, had we better not divide the work, then?" said Mary, "and take it in turns to stir?"
"Yes, we will stir by the clock: six minutes each."
"Who is to begin?"
"Shall I begin, as I understand how to do it? Then Margaret can follow, then Mary, then Rosy."
"But how shall we know when it is boiled enough?" said Margaret.
"That is just what I was going to tell you. We cannot say exactly how long it has to boil, but we must try it. When a little of the toffee which has been dropped into a cup of cold water makes a crackling sound, or breaks clean between the teeth without sticking to them, the toffee is done."
"Which of us is to try whether it is done, though?" said Margaret.
"As we are all going to make the toffee, I should say we had better all try it. We can have four cups of water and four spoons, can't we, Margaret?"
"Oh, yes!" replied Margaret. "Will you fetch them please, Mary?"
Mary went off as requested, but she was away so long that Tom and Margaret had finished stirring, and they were ready for her to take the spoon when she returned, looking hot and excited, but bearing the four cups of water and four spoons on a tray.
"Aunt Bridget wouldn't let me have four cups at first," she remarked on entering: "she said it was too many; but I got them at last."
"That's right," said Tom. "Shall we try if the toffee is nearly ready?"
"We had better not try too soon, because if four of us taste very often, we shall eat so much before it is ready that there will be very little to divide after it is ready."
"Quite true," said Tom; while Mary stirred enthusiastically until her six minutes were gone.
"Now for my turn," said Rosy.
"I think we had better try whether it is done enough yet," said Tom.
"Tom, how unkind you are!" said Rosy. "Everybody has stirred but me, and just as my turn has come you want to try it. Besides, how can I try it when I am stirring?"
"Very well, we will wait," said Tom good-naturedly. "Don't cry, Rosy;" and Rosy's face brightened, while all the children watched the spoon as it went round and round, while the toffee gradually became darker and darker in colour, and an odour more strong than agreeable filled the kitchen.
At length the hand of the clock reached the point which marked Rosy's six minutes. All four cups were brought forward, all four spoons were dipped into the foaming liquid, and then emptied into the water. The toffee fell to the bottom in a dark cake, which hardened almost instantly, and which, when broken between the teeth, snapped without sticking at all, and tasted—ugh!
At this moment Mrs. Herbert appeared.
"I am afraid you are letting the toffee burn," she said; "we can smell it all over the house."
"It is rather burnt," said Tom.
"It does not taste so badly, though," said Margaret.
"Very likely we shall not taste the burnt part so much when it is cool," said Rosy.
"I am afraid you will have to throw the toffee away, my dears. It is sadly burnt."
"Oh, no, no!" said all the children at once.
"I thought we should have done better as there were four of us," said Margaret.
"Perhaps, after all, it is not an advantage to have so many helpers," said Tom.
"At any rate," said Mrs. Herbert; "you will have proved the truth of the proverb, 'Too many cooks spoil the broth'—I mean the toffee. And after all, in cookery, as in other things, nothing teaches like failure which is made the most of."
"Never mind, Mary," whispered Margaret, as the burnt toffee was carried off to cool. "We have made a good many excellent dishes when we two were the only cooks, and mother was the teacher; we will try toffee again another day, when we are by ourselves."
On that occasion I think we may perhaps venture to predict that the toffee will be a greater success.
THE RIVAL MOTHERS.
Said Mistress Bear to Mistress Fox, "Your girl is very small." Quoth Mistress Fox, "It is not so; Your boy is not so tall."
"My boy is tall and sturdy too," Cried Mistress Bear with ire; "And he's a handsome little lad, The image of his sire."
"His sire! Ha, ha! why, all the world Says, 'Ugly as a bear.'" The very trees with laughter shook, As thus they wrangled there.
"Ho, ho! dear ladies, what's the fuss?" Two waggish bears stray'd by. The gentle mothers told their tale, A tear-drop in each eye.
"Call here the foxes," and they came. One was an ancient sage. "Now place the young folk back to back, And simply state their age."
The dames obey'd, the infants laugh'd; Spoke he, Reynard so wise, "'Tis useless; size and beauty lie In love's fond, partial eyes."
OUR SUNDAY AFTERNOONS.
SAVED BY A DREAM.
The sun shone brightly down upon the pretty village of Bethlehem, as, from the top of the hill on which it stood, it overlooked the smiling fields below. And how peaceful all looked, carrying one's thoughts back to the old times, when the loving and gentle Ruth, who had come with her bereaved mother-in-law, to cast in her lot with the people of God, went after the gleaners in the fields of Boaz, and humbly picked up the ears of corn, that were so considerately dropped for her! How greatly she was afterwards blessed, and what an abundant reward was hers!
There in that very neighbourhood her great-grandson David quietly tended his sheep, and, in sweetest strains, lifted up his voice, in love and gratitude, to the Great Shepherd in the heavens. What a peaceful life he led amongst his beloved flock! And how his careful tending of his sheep prepared him for that higher care which he was to take of God's chosen people! And how, ages afterwards, when some other peaceful shepherds were watching over their flocks by night, a wondrous light shone round about them, and a bright angel told them the good tidings of great joy which should be to all people! How to their astonished gaze, there suddenly appeared a whole host of beauteous beings, praising God for His love and mercy to mankind, and filling the whole expanse of heaven with melody sweeter than the sweetest ever before heard upon earth!
How, too, only one mile from where the shepherds lay, a happy mother gazed long and tenderly on the face of her newly-born child, who was to be called "The Son of the Highest," who was to take away the sins of the world, and have given to Him the throne of His father David! And those Wise Men, too, that had come from the far East—how they rejoiced when they saw the bright star that had guided them to the land of the Jews re-appear and twinkle over the lowly place where the heavenly Babe lay! What praise and thanksgiving went up from their grateful hearts, as they looked upon the child-face that they had travelled day and night to see!
Truly, it seemed as if, since the days of the fair and virtuous Ruth, the blessing of God had rested upon that peaceful village, that had come to be called "the city of David," and as if no sorrow was ever to visit its soft green fields.
But, as if to draw our thoughts upwards, there is no spot on earth to which, at some time or other, sorrow does not come; and the hitherto peaceful Bethlehem was to have its full share.
A wicked king sat on the throne of Judea, whom nobody loved and many abhorred. He was an old man, and terribly afflicted; and his temper, which was always ferocious, had become more dreadful than that of the wildest lion that had ever rushed up from the swelling of the Jordan.
His father, Antipater, was an Idumean, and a servitor in the temple of Apollo at Ascalon, whilst his mother, Cypros, was an Arabian. He, therefore, belonged to the despised Ishmaelites and the hated Edomites; and the Jews were by no means inclined to look favourably upon him. To please them he professed to follow their religion, but he was not a Jew at heart. He trampled upon their feelings and prejudices, and leaned to the side of the Romans; and they, therefore, mistrusted him, and longed for the time when they should be freed from his misrule.
He had rebuilt their temple, and made it the most noble and magnificent building on the face of the earth; and they gloried in seeing its white marble pinnacles and golden roof glittering in the sunshine. For nine years he had constantly employed 18,000 men in its re-erection, and for upwards of thirty years more he had kept adding to its embellishments, till for grandeur and costliness it stood unrivalled. But when it was completed he set up over its chief gate the golden eagle of the Romans, and at the sight of that abhorred ensign all their gratitude fled, giving place to bitter resentment.
He married Jewish women, which was a compliment to their race; but his unjust and cruel treatment of them roused up all their worst feelings, and made them regard him for ever as an enemy.
The beautiful and virtuous Mariamne, who belonged to the Maccabees, the noblest of their families, he, in a cruel fit of jealousy, ordered to be put to death. Her brother, the youthful Aristobulus, who was High-priest, he caused to be drowned before his eyes in pretended sport. Her grandfather, the aged Hyrcanus, who had once saved the life of Herod, when threatened by the Sanhedrin, he sent tottering to his death. Her mother, Alexandra, fell a victim to his frenzy, and her two sons,—Alexander and Aristobulus, when they were grown up, and had wives and children dependent upon them, he ordered to be strangled in prison, the chief crime of all these being, that they were justly esteemed and beloved by the Jews.
No wonder that his subjects liked him not, and that he sat uneasily upon his throne! No wonder that when the Wise Men came from the east to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he that is born king of the Jews?" he trembled, for he knew well that should another aspirant to the crown appear, the Jews would only be too ready to take his part.
Insecure as he felt himself to be, he determined on finding out who this new king was, and taking immediate steps for ridding himself of him. So under pretence of desiring to do honour to the young child, he directed the Wise Men to make diligent search for the infant king, and then tell him where He was; that he also might go and worship Him. But in his heart he was anxious to know where the Baby-king was only that he might send some secret assassin to take His life. He had done darker and more difficult deeds than that, and had put safely out of his path far more formidable enemies than a helpless babe. The Wise Men would soon come back, as they had promised, and then in less than a day the dreaded Child would have ceased to live, he would be able to breathe freely again, and unpopular as he was, he would still retain his crown.
But the Magi did not return. Overwhelmed with joy at having at last found the wondrous Babe, to which the strange star had guided them, they lay down to rest, intending, in the early morning, to set out again for Jerusalem. But the great Father above, who knew all the dark secrets of Herod's heart, warned them in a dream not to go back to him; and they returned to their own country by another way.
Herod waited and watched in his palace for the return of the Magi; and his secret executioner was at hand, ready to set out for Bethlehem at any moment. And when he found that they had discovered his hypocrisy and wicked intentions, and that his infamous design was thwarted, his rage knew no bounds; and he vowed to himself that the Child-King should not escape him, and that he would be fully avenged.
From the information received from the Wise Men, he concluded that it was within two years that the mysterious guiding star had first appeared. And a dark and terrible thought came into his wicked heart. If he could not tell which of the many babes in Bethlehem was the long-expected Messiah of the Jews, the great King, whose advent had been revealed in the far east by a bright orb of heaven, then he would kill all the little ones that were two years old and under; and the One that he feared would be sure to be slain amongst them.
To do the dark deed he hastily despatched some of his soldiers; and soon the peaceful pasture lands of Bethlehem, which had so lately resounded with the glad songs of angels with shining wings, rang with shrieks of frantic mothers. For the soldiers of the cruel king entered house after house, and snatching the innocent babes from their mothers' arms, ran them through with their glittering swords; and the bodies of the pretty little things that, but a few moments ago, were looking up with happy smiles into the loving faces that bent tenderly over them, were cruelly thrown on the ground, their red blood streaming along the floors.
Out of house after house the bereaved mothers, wild with grief, rushed into the streets, uttering piercing cries, smiting their breasts, throwing up their arms towards heaven, and calling down upon the committer of the atrocious crime the just vengeance of Him who hears the oppressed.
Never before had the quiet village sent up such cries of despair, or witnessed so cruel a scene! Who could look unmoved upon the poor mothers running frantically about the narrow streets, with wild tearless eyes, dishevelled hair, and, on their blanched faces, looks of terror, that told of the terrible blow that had been struck at their hearts' inmost core? Oh, it was terrible! Yet the ruthless king cared not. His hands were so deeply imbued with the noblest blood of Jerusalem, that the lives of a few tiny babes were nothing in his sight. While the broken-hearted mothers were wildly shrieking, he was rejoicing; assured that the one Child, whose life might perhaps have been something to him, was quieted for ever.
But his wicked design was nevertheless baffled. The great God above, who had foreseen all, had watched over His own Son, and the Holy Child was being borne safely along towards Egypt—that land where so many of his countrymen had found refuge in times of persecution, distress, or famine.
Probably the night before the massacre, whilst Joseph, the husband of Mary, was sleeping peacefully on his bed, a beautiful bright angel appeared to him in a dream, and warned him of the danger to which he was exposed at the hands of the troubled king.
"Arise, and take the young child and His mother," the heavenly visitant said to him, "and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him."
The face of the angel was beaming with love, and he had been sent on an errand of mercy. But how his words thrilled through the just and tenderhearted Joseph! Destroy his darling babe, that holy child whom God had given to his good wife to nurse and bring up for Him! Kill the little One about whom such great things had been said; at whose birth a whole sky full of angels had sung for joy; and before whom the Wise Men, who had been guided from the distant east by God Himself, had bowed in humble adoration. Never. "Man proposes; but God disposes." Man may try to hinder the great, purpose of God, by attempting to take the life of the one whom He would raise up to accomplish it. But God can never be baffled. And not all the plans that a thousand Herods, wicked as the one that sat on the throne, could form, could bring His word to nought.
Suddenly, Joseph awoke; and starting to his feet, thought over the dream. That it was sent from heaven he felt sure; and he must immediately obey it.
He must rouse the mother; and under cover of the darkness, they must set out at once. By the time that the bright sun lighted up the horizon it might be too late; for, even then, the dread messengers of the cruel king might be on their way.
Hastily he awoke Mary, telling her of the dream; and soon the God-fearing man was on the road to Egypt, with the loving mother and her precious child safe by his side.
The dark curtain of night had not yet been lifted from the earth; but they went fearlessly along, trusting to the guidance of Him who had bidden them set out. And when the agonising shrieks of the mothers of Bethlehem rent the air and were re-echoed by the astonished hills, Joseph, with his precious charge, was far away. So, though the swords of Herod did a terrible work, they did not take that one life, to destroy which he had commanded the massacre.
Still, Joseph and Mary journeyed along and along, till, at last, the great Pyramids came in view, and they reached the farthest bank of the river of Egypt, and were safe.
There, it is said, they remained two years, living at Matareeh, to the north-east of Cairo, till the angel of the Lord came again to Joseph, in a dream, to tell him of Herod's death, and bid him return to his own land.
Then away they went, back again to the Holy Land, which was to be the scene of Jesus' ministry, thinking as they went, how "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord," and rejoicing that no plan formed against His people shall prosper.
For even in their sleep He can warn them, by a dream, of the most secret machinations of their enemies.
BIBLE EXERCISES FOR SUNDAY AFTERNOONS.
61. Which of the Psalms gives us a short history of Joseph?
62. Where does St. Paul enumerate the several appearances of Christ after His resurrection?
62. What restriction did Moses lay upon the Israelites with regard to their election of a king, on their settling in the land of Canaan?
64. Where are we assured that the Almighty is not ashamed to be called the God of those who have had faith in Him?
65. What women does St. Paul mention by name in his enumeration of people remarkable for faith?
66. Where is it said that drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags?
67. Where are we told that those who go into great passions shall suffer punishment?
68. Which of the Apostles speak of Jesus as the Shepherd of His people?
69. Which of the three Apostles who witnessed the Transfiguration afterwards refers to it in his writings?
70. Where do we find it said that every word of God is pure?
71. "Then shall come to pass that saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'" (1 Cor. xv. 54.) From which of the prophets does St. Paul quote these words?
72. What king of a heathen nation did God call His shepherd?
ANSWERS TO BIBLE EXERCISES (49-60.—See p. 308).
49. The Wise Men (St. Matt. ii. 1, 2).
50. In Eccles. vii. 19, ix. 13-18; Prov. xxi. 22.
51. Only St. Luke (St. Luke xxiii. 7).
52. Solomon (Prov. xviii. 21).
53. St. James (James iii. 2, 5).
54. The Epistle of St. James iv. 4.
55. In Rev. v. 9, 10.
56. In Prov. xxi. 23, xiii. 3.
57. On his rebuking Elymas the Sorcerer at Paphos (Acts xiii. 8-11).
58. At Gibeon (2 Chron. i. 3-6).
59. Of blue (Exod. xxviii. 36, 37).
60. It is shown in the words, "It is finished" (St. John xix. 30).
LITTLE BAB AND THE STORY-BOOK.
By the Author of "Clare Linton's Friend," "Mr. Burke's Nieces," &c.
Who is this little girl, I wonder, comfortably seated, and with a great book before her, on which she looks with delight? Her hair is tidily brushed, and her nice white collar hangs over the edge of her dress. She is a sweet, pretty little girl, I think, and yet if I tell you the story of her day, and what had happened before she got that book, you will see that she is not so happy after all. Just hear what she was doing two or three hours before.
She stood at the window with a little white nose flattened against the glass, and two big sorrowful, indignant eyes staring out at them, as the merry party left the house. There was Uncle Jem, whom she did love, and whom she felt might have said a kind word for her; and Aunt Anastasia, who was that sort of a person that no one since she was born had ever thought of diminishing the five syllables by the use of any shorter name given in playfulness or love. No one, till that moment at least, had ever thought of calling her anything but Anastasia; but at that moment naughty Bab, with her little flattened nose and big mournful eyes, broke the spell by calling out, "Anasta-sia, indeed! Aunt Nasty, I think!"
Then there was her Cousin Robert, whom poor Bab honestly believed to be a much naughtier boy than she was a girl, and yet who generally managed to keep out of scrapes; and Selina, demure and well-mannered, but whom Bab's unruly, affectionate little heart had never been able to love; she was followed by Miss Strictham, the governess. And then there was Mr. Beresford, the kind, good-natured friend who was staying in the house; and Bab, just for a minute, felt that she would rather have died than that he should know she was in disgrace.
She watched them all go off under the bright blue sky, and then she turned round, and with her back to the window, faced the rather dingy, dull-looking schoolroom, and burst into a loud roar.
For Bab was only seven years old, and had not yet lost the first intensity of crying with which power every baby is born. She roared for two or three minutes, plenty of tears coming with the roar, after which she felt a good deal better.
"I'm such a little thing to be punished," she said to herself. "I don't think they ought to punish such a little thing as I am. I must be young when people live to be as old as grandpapa, with wrinkles over every scrap of his face, till it looks just like no face at all, only wrinkles."
Then Bab examined her little round, rosy, pleasant face in a mirror over the fireplace.
"Not a single wrinkle," said she. "I must be very young; but if they punish me this way, I shall get wrinkles. I'm sure I shall, because I'm so miserable!"
I am afraid poor Bab often deserved to be punished. She was idle at her lessons and extremely saucy, and she was a quaint little thing, so that sometimes she seemed to be impertinent when she really did not intend it, though I must own that at other times she did intend it as much as any other young lady seven years old possibly could. On the present occasion, when her governess scolded her for her idleness, she said she had not been idle, but had been making a charade; and then she began dancing about the schoolroom, and jumping on tables and chairs, and all the time shouting loudly, "Selina, guess—this is the charade—guess, Selina, guess! My first is what nobody should be, my second is what everybody should eat, and my whole is—oh,—Strict-ham, Strict-ham. Why don't you guess, Selina? Oh, why don't you?"
Miss Strictham marched her off in dire disgrace. The picnickers would be absent four hours, and during that time Bab was not to quit the schoolroom. Maria, the housemaid, would bring her dinner, and nurse would look in on her now and then, but she was not to have the younger children with her. She was to be a solitary prisoner in solitary confinement, and she was on her parole. Her aunt made her promise not to leave the room, and having done so, was content, for, as she said to Uncle Jem in rather a complaining way, "It is a very odd thing that Bab never tells a falsehood or breaks her promise. Robert and Selina both do sometimes, and yet they are so much better children. Isn't it odd?"