Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAPTER II.

A VISIT TO THE CELLAR.

[ocr errors]

66

ever.

“Tim," said Mary timidly.

“ Well ?" said Tim.

“You won't like me to say what I want to say."

“Yes, I will," said Tim.
“ And you won't be angry ? "

“Not a bit," promised Tim. "All the same, you women don't understand these things as we men do, you know. But you may have your say."

“I don't know as it is quite right to be wishing to be somebody else,” said Mary. “Don't you ?

Well, I do," said Tim. “ There ain't one bit of harm in it whatso

I'd change this minute, I tell you, with any one of them fellows, and lots besides, if I had the chance. Ah! if I only had.

“Don't you think we'd ought to be contented ?" asked Mary, who could be very meekly persistent in her ideas, when she knew them to be right.

Maybe," said Tim. "If I'd anything to be contented about, I'd be contented fast enough. I haven't, though. Things all seem wrong and of a muddle this year.”

“I shouldn't wonder if they was all to come right by next year,” said Mary hopefully. “And somehow we do get along, you know, Tim.”

Things won't come so right as we shan't have trouble,” said Tim. Never has yet, and never will. I just want an easier sort of a life,-like what others have."

“I shouldn't wonder if folks hadn't 80 easy a life as you think, after all,” said Mary.

“I shouldn't wonder if you don't know nothing about the matter," said Tim.

Mary took refuge in silence after her usual fashion, and Tim gradually came round to a pleasanter mood.

“ There's old Mr. and Mrs. Berriman as have made their fortune and retired,” said he. “Do you mean to say folks such as them haven't an easy life,-and that you and I wouldn't have it if we was in their shoes P”

“I don't know how I'd like it without trying," said Mary doubtfully; for unques

tionably the worthy couple alluded to had a remarkably easy life to live.

“Well, and I wish we had the chance of trying,” said Tim.

But that was just where Mary could not think Tim quite right, and her face showed it.

“Not as I'm thinking now of folks being all on an equality," explained Tim. "I've

given up thoughts of that, since the queer dream I had.* But I don't see no harm in just wishing I was somebody else.”

Mary did see harm, but she found some difficulty in explaining how or why.

Folks ain't all equal, nor they ain't all equally happy,” said Tim.

“ And if I'm one of the least happy ones, why mayn't I wish I was one of the more happy ones P"

“Seems to me a bit like coveting," said Mary, bringing out the word which had long simmered in her mind.”

“No, it isn't,” said Tim. Coveting is, is-wanting to take something away from somebody else. I don't want that."

“But if you exchange-if you stand in their shoes-wouldn't they have to exchange and stand in yours, Tim P

Tim hesitated, -rather at a loss.

“But I don't want that. I only want to be in the same sort of position.”

“Only if everybody wanted that, and got it, everybody'd have to be equal ; wouldn't they, Tim po

It was very provoking to have such a mild, gentle, logical, unanswerable little wife.

“I say, Mary, shut up!” said Tim.

Mary was quite ready. She never minded holding her tongue,-therefore when she did speak she usually spoke to some purpose. Tim put back his head against the mantel-shelf, folded his arms, shut his eyes, and pretended to be fast asleep. Of course the pretence very soon became reality.

But Tim's thoughts were not asleep. Whether it was that he had eaten too much that day, or whether it was that he had eaten too little for a week previous, or whether it was that his own allusion to that strange past

66

* " Tim Teddington's Dream." Our readers who do not possess the volume of Home Words for 1873, can obtain Miss Giberne's Tale in a cheap and separate form from the London publishers, J. Nisbet & Co.

dream of his set him off again upon something of a like tack, or whether it was that his brain happened to be in an excited condition, -whatever might have been the cause, Tim had another dream as he sat there. And this was Tim Teddington's Second Dream.

was

big shoes and little shoes, old shoes and new shoes, black shoes and brown shoes, white shoes and red shoes, handsome shoes and ugly shoes,-nothing but shoes of every description, including not only the numberless varieties of English wear, from a farmer's substantial foot-gear to a lady's Parisian slipper, but the doll-like covering which graces the tiny foot of a Chinese dame, the wooden sabot of the French peasant, and the sandals of tropical countries. Added to this the old gentleman himself bore a huge and well-filled blue bag, from the top of which peeped out a toe of shining leather.

Tim looked hard at the old gentleman, and the old gentleman gazed still harder back at Tim.

“Well ?" said the old gentleman.

"I-I-should be very glad if you would let me get up,” faltered Tim, who was no doubt at this moment suffering under a severe attack of nightmare, though relieved to find that he could speak. But the sensation of being helplessly bound down, whatever may be the cause, is never pleasant.

“ Business first," said the old gentleman curtly. “I believe you require another pair of shoes."

“Shoes !” said Tim. And looking down he perceived that his feet were bare. Dear me ! I must have dropped my own."

“Shoes !" reiterated the old gentleman. "You're not particular about the fit, of course."

[ocr errors]

Tim opened his eyes.

The room strangely dark, and he could not see a yard before him. What was the matter? What bad become of Mary ? Where was he bimself?

It was very silent,-very still. Tim tried to move, and found that he could not stir. He wanted to put up his hand to rub his eyes, and try to clear off this strange dimness; but he found that it was apparently glued to his side. Tim's heart began to beat most unpleasantly fast,-thump-thump -like a hammer.

Suddenly a cold damp breeze seemed to pass over his face, and he felt the chair on which he was seated sinking downwards, downwards, through the floor. Never in Tim's life before had he made so unenviable a descent. He was perfectly helpless himself. The boarded flooring just parted to let him through, and closed again, and Tim wondered what sort of sensation he should create in the room below; but all was dark and still as night. Tim could not think where he was going. Cold drops broke out upon his brow; but still his hands remained helplessly glued to his knees, and his tongue seemed to be paralysed; and the chair went sinking slowly down through the next floor, and down through the ground floor, down through the kitchen, and down into the cellar below.

There it stopped. Tim gazed round him, aghast and bewildered. It was a low damp miserable cellar, with a table in the corner, and an old man on one side of it. He was the very queerest old man that Tim had ever seen, with a long grey beard, and a fine wrinkled forehead, surmounted by a cocked military hat, while his swallow-tailed coat and brass buttons and green tights were just like certain costumes of a hundred years ago, which Tim had recently seen depicted in a magazine.

The oddest part of the matter was that the cellar, instead of being empty, bad shelves all round; and upon every shelf lay piles of shoes:

[ocr errors]

"I-a-ha-hum–I beg your pardon,"

faltered Tim, in consternation. “I-a-really - most sincerely-beg your pardon--but may I ask-who are you?”

“ Shoemaker and Cobbler in Ordinary,” said the old gentleman, with polite responsiveness, Now then!"

“I-a-hum-ahem-don't quite understand," said Tim.

If Tim didn't understand, the old gentleman evidently did.

“ Pair of shoes-heavy, thick, strongHarry Perret's; yes. Sebastian Smith's first mentioned, but not available at present moment. Harry Perret'sthat's it!” exclaimed the old man triumphantly, and he held a pair aloft. “I believe these are what you wish ?"

“I really-I-don't exactly know," said Tim, in great alarm. “By all means,-oh Tim, whose only free member

was his

yes, indeed, just what I wanted.” tongue.

“Put them on!” said the old gentleman, The old gentleman wheeled round and with such an air of command, that Tim felt faced him with a most portentous frown. perfectly certain he must have been a general

“Don't know! What did you say? Don't officer long before he took up the profession lenow! Are my ears deceiving me? Don't of cobbler. And all in a moment Tim's arms KNOW !"

wery, free. He picked up the shoes which “I don't exactly,” murmured Tim.

were flung towards him; pulled them slowly, “Don't know! Didn't you distinctly state that you desired to be in Harry Perret's What had happened now? Where was shoes P Did you, or did you not? Speak he? Poor Tim! No wonder he felt bewil. the truth, man.”

dered. No wonder his head went round. “Oh, to be sure-I-ah-oh yes,"exclaimed

(To be continued.)

on, and

He had regarded the doctrine as read that " the Father saw him, and had

Common Mistakes about Religion.
BY THE RLV. GEORGE EVERARD, M.A., AUTHOR OF DAY BY DAY," 'NOT YOUR OWN," ETC.

I. MISTAKES ABOUT GOD'S LOVE.
N crossing the Channel many page of the inspired Word. It is proved

years ago, I had a conversa- by every blessing which we daily receive
tion with a fellow-passenger

from our Father's hand. We may learn it who argued very strongly from His patience and forbearance towards against the doctrine of Christ sinners. No words could set it forth more bearing our sins. The chief clearly than the story of the Prodigal.

reason for his objection seem- When the wanderer was yet far off, ere ed to be that he looked at it in a wrong a word of confession had been uttered, we light. teaching that the Father was One whose compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, only attribute was justice, and then that and kissed him." the Saviour came and by His death turned Yes; our God is indeed full of mercy away the sword of Divine vengeance and and compassion towards sinners. It is obtained for us God's love. I tried to show true that He is holy, just, and hateth all him that this was quite a mistake. I told that is evil. Nevertheless He is not will. him that we were not to regard the Fathering that any should perish. He hates the as a stern and angry Judge, holding out in sin, but is very pitiful toward the sinner. His hand the rod of punishment, and then He is the Source and Fountain-head of all the Son coming between and moving the grace and salvation. So,out of His boundFather to lay aside His wrath and to for- less love, He sent His only Son to live and give us our sins. I told him we must cast die and rise again that we might have aside this idea altogether. The whole eternal life. Bible reveals to us that “God is Love." Christ did not come to make the Father This blessed truth was seen in Paradise, love us, but because He loved us. He did and on every part of that fair creation not come to purchase God's love for us, which God made. It is written in every but to teach us to know it, and to open

ana

the

way by which all its blessings might other favourable to us, or which removes flow down to us.

his

anger or displeasure. Jacob sent to If we had never known Jesus, we could his brother Esau a gift of two hundred shenever have known how tenderly our Father goats, twenty he-goats, and other animals, in Heaven loved as. He is the Image of and these were intended as a propitiation the Invisible God. So that when we see to turn away his brother's anger. Abigail, Jesus day by day going about doing good, the wife of Nabal, brought wine and raisins healing the sick, comforting the sorrowful, and sheep to David, hoping in this way to forgiving the sinful, and showing kindness make a propitiation for the ingratitude and to all, we know what God is, and how He surliness of her husband. loves and cares for us in spite of all our But what propitiation could we offer to anworthiness.

God ? Our utmost efforts, our best works, Then again it was by the work of Jesus our greatest sufferings, our richest offerings, that the Father opened a way by which He could not in any way remove the least of might freely pardon and bless us.

our sins, or be any makeweight in the If the course of a mighty river were balances of justice for the evil that we blocked up by the fall of a great mass of have done. rock or soil from the mountain-side, it So our Father provided the propitiation might be needful, at the cost of great Himself. He saw we could not do it, so labour and expense, to cut out a fresh

He did it for us. He

gave us that which channel, and then it would flow forth again, we could present to Him as the answer to bringing fertility to whole valleys and every sin. He laid our sins on Jesus, and countries. Thus man's fall and disobe- was pleased to bruise Him for our sakes. dience, so to speak, blocked up the channel, And now He bids us all make use of and put a hindrance in the way of our

Christ's death and sacrifice as our allrejoicing in God's love. But He still loved sufficient plea. He has made the promise us, and opened a new and blessed way by that if we will only come to Him in Christ's which His love might again be poured Name, if we will only present to Him forth in abundant measure on the children Christ's blood, Christ's finished work on of men.

He
gave

Jesus to die. He recon. the cross, as the only ground of our hope, ciled us to Himself by the blood-shedding He will accept us as His dear children, and of the Saviour on the cross. The Father our sins and iniquities He will remember freely gave Him for us, and spared not His only-begotten Son. Jesus freely gave His

Father's love in the life for our salvation. So it was alike the death of Christ more than in any other love of the Father and the Son by which way, because He has thus opened wide sin is forgiven and the sinner is saved. to every one the gate of everlasting life.

Nowhere do we see so much of God's Dear reader, always remember it. The love as in the work of Christ: “Herein Father is Love; for He so loved the world is love, not that we loved God but that He as to give His only-begotten Son. The

and
gavo

His Son to be the pro- Son is Love; for He freely gave Himself, pitiation for our sins."

His life, His precious blood, to redeem and It is well to understand very clearly the save us. So, too, the Holy Ghost the Commeaning of the word "propitiation," for it forter is Love ; for He teaches us to know helps us to see more clearly the love of and believe the love of the Father and the God.

Son, and writes on our hearts love to God A propitiation is that which makes an

and man.

no more.

we see our

loved us,

was his

“I really-I-don't exactly know,” said Tim, in great alarm. “By all means,-oh Tim, whose only free member

yes, indeed, just what I wanted." tongue.

“ Put them on!” said the old gentleman, The old gentleman wheeled round and with such an air of command, that Tim felt faced him with a most portentous frown. perfectly certain he must have been a general

“Don't know! What did you say ? Don't officer long before he took up the profession lenow ! Are my ears deceiving me 8 Don't of cobbler. And all in a moment Tim's arms KNOW !"

wery, free. He picked up the shoes which I don't exactly,” murmured Tim.

were flung towards him; pulled them slowly, “Don't know! Didn't you distinctly state

andthat you desired to be in Harry Perret's What had happened now?

Where was shoes P Did you, or did you not? Speak he ? Poor Tim! No wonder he felt bewil. the truth, man."

dered. No wonder his head went round. “Oh, to be sure- -I-ah-oh yes,” exclaimed

(To be continued.)

on,

[ocr errors]

Common Mistakes about Religion.
BY THE RLV. GEORGE EVERARD, M.A., AUTHOR OF “DAY BY DAY,” NOT YOUR OWN," ETC.

I. MISTAKES ABOUT GOD'S LOVE.
N crossing the Channel many page of the inspired Word. It is proved

years ago, I had a conversa- by every blessing which we daily receive
tion with a fellow-passenger from our Father's hand. We

may

learn it who argued very strongly from His patience and forbearance towards against the doctrine of Christ sinners. No words could set it forth more bearing our sins. The chief clearly than the story of the Prodigal.

reason for his objection seem- When the wanderer was yet far off, ere ed to be that he looked at it in a wrong a word of confession had been uttered, we light. He had regarded the doctrine as read that “the Father saw him, and had teaching that the Father was One whose compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, only attribute was justice, and then that and kissed him." the Saviour came and by His death turned Yes; our God is indeed full of mercy away the sword of Divine vengeance and and compassion towards sinners. It is obtained for us God's love. I tried to show true that He is holy, just, and hateth all him that this was quite a mistake. I told that is evil. Nevertheless He is not will. him that we were not to regard the Father ing that any should perish. He hates the as a stern and angry Judge, holding out in sin, but is very pitiful toward the sinner. His hand the rod of punishment, and then He is the Source and Fountain-head of all the Son coming between and moving the grace and salvation. So, out of His boundFather to lay aside His wrath and to for- less love, He sent His only Son to live and give us our sins. I told him we must cast die and rise again that we might have aside this idea altogether. The whole eternal life. Bible reveals to us that “God is Love." Christ did not come to make the Father This blessed truth was seen in Paradise, love us, but because He loved us. He did and on every part of that fair creation not come to purchase God's love for us, which God made. It is written in every but to teach us to know it, and to open

sach us to 1

« PreviousContinue »