« PreviousContinue »
A sailor boy, some lowly mother's pride,
Lay on the beach in death's ignoble rest; Stripped as he swam for life, and struggling died, A kerchief held one treasure closely tied
Across his breast. Some straggling wreckers found him on the strand,
They seized the kerchief, tore the knot apart; For plunder, not for pity, there they stand'Tis but a Book they pluck with ruthless hand
From next his heart.
Its worth outvalues all the gold they crave;-
Beneath the wave.
No trusted talisman of false renown.
Nor oceans drown.
To all the “pride of life” it adds a prop ; Its pomp gilds every spot whereon it dwells, And reaches to the sepulchre's dark cells
There it must stop !
Could lighten all earth's sorrow, toil, and strife;-
And deathless life.
Or keep a living mother's tears from starting; But it could cheer the lonely mourner's gloom, And save both loved and loving from the doom
Of endless parting.
With varied hopes and fears from life we part ;-
Found next the heart.
H. E. HUNTER
Home Makers, and how they Made them, .
BY MRS. CLARA L. BALFOUR.
II. STRIVE AND THRIVE. -Do not think that my neigh- thousands of other young men have to bours, a young married depend, on his own diligence to gain a
, couple named Peters, were living for himself and his Bessy. They very happy in the early were young, loving, and healthy. Surely part of their career, as far they had some of nature's best gifts; and as I knew it. Mr. Peters if
grace to use these gifts aright had been was a bookbinder, and a added, they would have begun the world clever young man, but he was not " dili- well. gent in business," nor did he at all think But the gnawing of discontent was about the whole of that wonderful text - eating into Peters's heart. He got work “ fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." and hated it, because he was only a jour
A friend of mine, a surgeon in Battersea, neyman. He disliked his master, for the attended Mrs. Peters in an illness she had, simple reason that he was his master. Is and I heard from the good doctor's wife, not a dislike always the most bitter when that there was heavy trouble in the humble it is unreasonable ? He disliked the men, dwelling.
his companions, because he thought them It did not arise from this illness, for his inferiors. He would have seen in Mrs. Peters soon recovered; but her hus- another the folly and sin of such feelings, band had a dislike to his business, thought but he did not see himself. Had he looked himself above it, and was neither punctual in the Gospel mirror he would have seen nor industrious; and I need not tell my “the beam” in his own eye, and ceased to readers that those two qualities are in- complain of "the mote" in his brother's eye. dispensable if a man-or a woman either
It was very weary work with him; and if -is to succeed in life.
his wife had not possessed a gentle temper, Some small acts of neighbourly kindness there would have been dark days indeed that I was able to render to Mrs. Peters in their dwelling in her illness, made me intimate with her. It was wonderful how she contrived to I learned that her husband, of whom she make the home comfortable, and keep was both fond and proud, had been led to herself neat, and their one little child expect that an old uncle of his would put bright and even smart, on the small wages him in business; and that on the expecta- her husband earned ; for he wasted so tion of being a “master-man," as it is much time, what with his low spirits, and called, he had taken a wife, and launched his going off to inquire about some easier out into many expenses on his marriage, way of getting a living, that he lost in the way of clothes and a wedding trip his regular situation, and often had only to the Channel Islands. To his great piecework." This was the case when, in dismay, on his return he found that his the second winter of their union, Mrs. aged uncle had married also, a widow with Peters fell ill; and I suspected that the a large family, and that all the expec- illness was caused by a want of the comtations in which he had indulged for years forts needful in the depth of winter for a were overthrown.
nursing mother. So Alfred Peters had to depend, as But one thing was certain, whoever
went short of anything in that home, it These were her human consolations. But was not the husband. There was a clear she had more than these. In the dreary fire and a clean hearth when he came weeks that followed, old teachings of a home; and as all her little stock of coals higher hope, old prayers uttered in childwas bought a scuttle-full at a time, I fear, hood, old memories of a mother's dying nay I know, she often went without fire in
words, came to her mind; and in her lonethe day, so as to have one at night for her liness and desolation she prayed-prayed husband. I think I see, even now, the for her husband, for her child, and for bright-eyed fragile little creature, still in herself. I saw her on the Sabbath, sitting her earliest womanhood, and the smile of in a pew near the door of the house of welcome on her face that almost hid its God, hushing her baby, and listening with 'thinness.
tearful eyes to words that never fail to But who can minister to a mind diseased comfort mourning souls. with discontent? Peters loved his wife, That she found such comfort I felt sure, but that very love made him bitter about by what I saw of a new energy manifested what he considered his misfortunes.
by her. She was a skilful needlewoman, I called just as Mrs. Peters was again and it was in the days when baby-caps beginning to do the work of her little were most beautifully and elaborately home. I found her crying bitterly, with worked. With all a young mother's parher baby in her lap. To my endeavour at donable vanity, she had worked a very consolation, she replied in such anguish exquisite cambric cap for her little one; as I had seldom seen. Amid her sobs I but she had never been able to buy a lace gathered that Peters had “resolved to go to trim it. She took this cap to a shop, to America to better himself :” that his kept then by a Scotchman in Burlington uncle had agreed to advance the money Arcade, where embroidery for ladies was for him as steerage passenger, but not a sold. She was paid more than she had fraction to enable him to take his wife expected, and, better still, she had work with him. They owed rent, and the land- offered her. That summer saw her early lord's claim prevented his selling his furni- and late at her task-a labour of loveture, nor did he seem to wish to encumber for she was intent to get enough to take himself on the voyage with a wife and her out to her husband. infant, both then very helpless.
But the murmuring complaining spirit I need not dwell on the wife's bitter was still his cherished companion; and when
The parting took place. He was she had good hope of attaining her object, to send for her as soon as possible: nay her husband's letters told her he was he talked himself and her into the belief "not satisfied with New York-it was that he would be so fortunate,—that his worse than England.” talents would so immediately command Weeks followed and he wrote again, from success,—that he should return speedily, Boston. “Ill luck," he said,
“ followed and take her out in comfort- as his wife him, and he meant to go West." ought to go."
Then came a long time when she had no I did not see Mrs. Peters for a few days letters; and the poor thing who had worked after her husband left. When I called, I in hope, now worked with the energy of saw the parting, and those days, had done despair, and actually saved enough by the the work of years. She had hope to sus- year's end to send him his passage money tain her-the full belief that her husband to bring him back again. would succeed and she had her child. Somemay say,-many did, "Whata sim
pleton!” Yes; love is both the most foolish write, and it was perhaps as well that his and the most wise thing in this world. It wife did not know of his trouble. He was is not measured by the merit of those placed in the hospital of the district, and his towards whom it is felt; and in this it
recovery was very tedious. But long beresembles Love DIVINE, all love excel- fore his body grew strong, his soul sprang ling."
up to the light. All his discontent, neglect An anxious grave
little woman was Mrs. of God, and of His best blessings, all his selfPeters, but a tender holy sweetness often ishness, became clear to him. Ah, it would came into her pale face; and all who knew have been too terrible the storm of his her (they were but few) respected her. feelings would have overwhelmed him—but She was so industrious, so kind and wise that there came a Divine voice, saying in a mother to the little prattler that toddled the depths of his spirit "Peace, be still." about her room, and cheered her with her In that peaceful stillness he found the smiles.
Saviour. Meanwhile her work increased. Her During the long interval when Mrs. landlady had two young daughters willing Peters had no letters, and feared she knew to learn, and she taught them, and was able not what, she had to remove to Pimlico. to find employment for them. A business The people she lodged with removed, and grew up under her skilful fingers. “Oh, she went with them to a better residence. if I had but known I could do what I have Owing most likely to this cause, one letter done, Alfred need never have gone !” she sent from America did not reach her. often said.
She had now been left alone for four years, It was a bitter trial to her that she never and it was the fear of the voyage for her got a letter that seemed to tell her he was child, and the advice of friends, that alone settled. He was always going somewhere kept her from going in search of her huselse, and her replies she justly feared often band, though she had never gone twenty missed him. There was no want of ap- miles beyond London in her life. parent tenderness in his letters, and the One Friday morning there came a letter faithful wife never doubted his love. If with a Liverpool postmark. It had evi. she came to the conclusion that the fault dently made a circuit. She did not know was in himself, his want of stability and the handwriting, for it was written with settled principle, she never said so.
the left hand, but it was from her But God was now dealing with her husband. absent husband, as in after years he him- He was ill in Liverpool. In an hour self told her. It was the third winter after, she and her little one were gone. after he went that he fell down in the
The journey was long then. She did not streets of Cincinnati, and broke his wrist. reach Liverpool until Saturday night; and In all his wanderings he had managed, and there, in a poor lodging in Park Lane, down barely managed, to keep himself from want; by the docks, she found her husband, but how bright to him now was the sweet crippled in his right hand, poor, indebted vision of a past that he had murmured to some kind souls for the means to reach over. Bessy had not been much prized in his native shores. England, but when he was without her he Oh, what must it have been to the
poor learned her value. On his sick bed he met wanderer, to see his Bessy come to welwith kind Christian friends; but he was come him! For welcome him indeed she lonely and wretched, and his misery threw did. There were no words of reproof, him into a fever. He was not able to however deserved, in that glad hour. The
lost was found, and the tears of the wan- savings enabled them to take a fancy shop; derer proved that manly feelings were stir- and he could transact the business matring in his breast.
ters, while Bessy's taste and skill brought I have little more to tell. They came customers. I cannot say they were ever back wiser and happier than from their anything but hard-working striving folks ; first wedding trip. He brought the new but God's blessing was on them, and heart and the changed nature to his new they had,-ay, and yet have, now the grey home. His hand did not permit his hairs are sprinkled on their heads, -a working at his former trade, but Bessy's happy, thriving, pious Home.
Thoughts on Things in Cottage Homes.
HEN I have been what are these small twinkling lights,
travelling on a dark bright, and yet not so bright or large as
night, lights from the others,—that flame and glitter as they time to time have seem- run up to us, and then seem to run away ? ed to come towards us It cannot be a bank lined with glowworms and then to run from they are too large, though not too many
us, because the train for that. What are they? Every one of was rushing towards them first and then those twinkling lights is from a candle in rushing away from them ; just as the sun a cottage. seems to rise, because our earth is turning Men, and women too, that have got up round so fast towards it in the morning, very early in the morning, perhaps with
, and rolling away so fast from it in the the sun, and worked hard all the day, are evening. No one could doubt what those glad to get to bed early in the evening. In great volleys of flame are that make the
the summer, when the great sun himself air so red all round them. A stranger scarcely lies down all night long in these indeed might think that those flames are northern parts of ours, when you may bursting up from below the earth; that follow him by a bright light almost to his they are vents to let the fires, of which we rising again, candles are not wanted. But are told the middle of our earth is full, when winter comes, with its short days and get out. We, however, know how the long dark nights; when the sun that did Black Country looks by night when it is not rise till nearly eight goes down over
lighted up,” and that these fires come the moor a little after four, and the work. from furnaces where day and night the ing man plods homeward in the dark, -then hard-working men of England are follow- they must have some light; and it is those ing their useful and laborious trade. lights twinkling in every cottage that we
Look at that long line of lights, at see as we rush by the villages in the dark regular paces from each other. We know winter's night. . that they are gas-lights, and that we are What a difference does that one little passing some town, or very large village candle make in that cottage. The light almost like a town, such as are called in indeed is not such as the many flaring gasthe Greek language, "village-towns." But lights in the gin-palace, but it makes us