limitless kindness, and hope to see it pres- men and women, are their slave-owners. ently in practice. There is a tyranny in We whip them, imprison them, reduce the world from which our grand-children their allowance of food, and, strange perwill not be emancipated, because it rests versity of nature, they grow up ungratein the selfishness and in the pride of men. ful! Deep and subtle as parental love is, it is soon reconciled to the shifts which selfishness imposes upon children, and to the

TO-DAY AND TO-MORROW. hard laws with which pride rules them. High hopes that burn'd like stars sublime, For the sake of quiet, in the quest of Go down i' the heavens of Freedom, economy, how soon is the father ready to

And true hearts perish in the time

We bitterliest need 'em! turn his child from home, to the care of a

But never sit we down and say stranger! He cheats himself generally There's nothing left but sorrow; into the belief that he is sorry to part with We walk the wilderness to-day, his child, but that the step is for its ulti

The Promised Land to-morrow. mate good. More, his mother is spoiling

Our birds of song are silent now, him. True, the poor mother may have There are no flowers blooming, worked upon the child's fears to keep Yet life beats in the frozen bough, it quiet ; true, she may have created in its

And Freedom's spring is coming !

And Freedom's tide comes up alway, mind a horror of our old friend and tutor,

Though we may strand in sorrow; Bogie ; but has she not, too, held it to her And our good bark, aground to-day, bosom? It will run to fetch mamma's Shall float again to-morrow. scissors with a nimbler foot than that

Through all the long, dark night of years, which follows the paternal orders; for the

The people's cry ascendeth, father is but a mild form of Bogie-a Bo And earth is wet with blood and tears, gie tempered with occasional flashes of

But our meek sufferance endeth! kindness. If there be punishment to in

The few shall not forever sway,

The many moil in sorrow; flict, it is he who chastises. If there be

The powers of hell are strong to-day, a lecture to deliver, his deep voice pro But Christ shall rise to-morrow. nounces it; and the child listens very

Though hearts brood o'er the past, our eyes gravely. This is, we are told, proper

With smiling features glisten! respect for the parent-the duty of the

For lo! our day bursts up the skies ! child to the father.

Lean out your souls and listen! But what if we say that the child, when

The world rolls Freedom's radiant way, it comes into the world, owes the parent

And ripens with her sorrow :

Keep heart! who bear the cross to-day no duty whatever ; that what we call duty

Shall wear the crown to-morrow. is simply bondage; if we assert that the true and only duty due from the child, is

O youth! flame earnest! still aspire, its acknowledgment of the parental love

With energies immortal,

To many a heaven of desire that may be lavished upon it. But sup Our yearing opes a portal! pose no love warms its childhood-suppose And though age wearies by the way, that the father mistakes stern authority

And hearts break in the furrow,

We'll sow the golden grains to-day; for parental dignity-is the child a debtor

The harvest comes to-morrow. for its mere existence? “Non est bonum vivere, sed bene vivere,” said Seneca. Build up heroic lives, and all And he declared that he who gave him

Be like a sheathen'd saber,

Ready to flash out at God's call, nothing more than life, gave him only

o chivalry of labor ! what a fly or a worm might boast. Well, I

Triumph and toil are twins, for aye is he a benefactor to the child or to the Joy suns the cloud of Sorrow, state, who nurses the child's fears and And 'tis the martyrdom to-day works upon them chiefly ? In no sense.

Brings victory to-morrow. Constant fear degrades the moral sense. It is the basest of all influences ; it chops Never regret an act of generosity, howthe fingers of the dying wretch over- ever worthless the object. If you act nobly weighting the raft; it turns crowds into to one that deserves nobly, you confer a wild animals, even in a place of worship. benefit on him and yourself; if he be unYet, Old Bogie is our witness that fear is deserving, still the very action does good brought to our children's cradles. We, I to your own heart.

[ocr errors]

was a

with dignified ill-humor into a corner of LITTLE BRIDGET.

the window, THE correspondent to whose graceful “Yes,” continued the mother, “what

pen the National is indebted for a is to become of her I don't know. She series of articles on Humane Institutions, can do nothing, and she has learned nothhas given several biographical sketches ing. It is a sad thing when the two come of those who, in God's inscrutable provi- together.” dence, have come into this weary world “ Is she a good child ?" without those faculties, in possession of “Good ? well, I hardly know myself ; which most of us rejoice. The deaf, and I have so little time, and she doesn't talk the dumb, and the blind, have excited our much, but goes her own way. She does warmest sympathies. The various forms not beat her brothers and sisters ; I must of insanity, and the philanthropic means say that ; and when I ask her to do anyused for its alleviation, have also been de- thing that she can do, peel potatoes, or scribed in former pages. There is another anything of that sort, she does it without large class of our fellow-creatures, the any objection, and is very industrious about silly, the half-witted, who pass through it; but, at the same time, most dreadfully life, too frequently the mere sport of the slow.". thoughtless, and who, nevertheless, have I looked, with unspeakable compassion, warm hearts, and whose lives might, by a at the poor little thing; it grieved my little care, be rendered, if not happy, at heart to look, and yet I could not help least not altogether wretched. Read the doing so. I gave a small piece of money simple account which follows, from the to each of the children, simply for the pen of a German philanthropist.

sake of an excuse for giving a trifle to Little Bridget, when I first saw her, was Bridget. When her mother called her to no longer quite a child, being already thir-me, she gave me a disdainful look, held teen years of age; but she was very little out her hand sullenly, and muttered a few and a sad cripple. Judging from her words, which I did not understand ; if it height, you would have taken her for six " thank you," it was, at any rate, an or seven. She was very deaf, spoke most unfriendly one. I went away, but the unintelligibly, was most painfully deform- | image of the little one went with me. I ed, and her face looked as if it belonged to a could think of nothing but that miserable, person of forty years of age. She always old-looking face, and the gray eyes that appeared very serious and ill-tempered, had been fixed upon me so scrutinizingly. I had almost said morose ; and if she did in a few days I had arranged my plans ; occasionally smile, it had such a painful I begged Bridget's parents to confide the appearance that one hardly knew whether child to me, and, taking her to my country to grieve or to rejoice.

estate, placed her under the village schoolHer parents were poor people ; and one master, who had an excellent wife, and day, as I entered their cottage to offer was himself a very good man. her father a job of work, I saw Bridget In three years' time Bridget had acstanding amid a merry, rosy-cheeked quired some notion of religion—as much, group of her brothers and sisters. I was perhaps, as was requisite for her; she so startled by her appearance that I had could read and write too, but no one unalmost forgotten the object of my visit, derstood what she read. I called often to and could only stand staring at the poor see her: she had gradually become aclittle girl's old wizened-looking face. customed to me; I often praised her; and

“Yes," said Bridget's mother, who when I first told her that she was a sensiseemed to guess the current of my ble little girl, to whom a great deal could thoughts, “ that child is a sad trouble ; be trusted, she smiled gratefully and joy. she is nearly thirteen, and can neither ously. read nor say her prayers. At school they I reflected a long time upon the position can do nothing with her, and I have no time that Bridget seemed fitted to fill in the to devote to her ; so, you see, she grows world; at last I discovered a suitable up any how; though, goodness knows, one occupation, and, after the expiration of cannot exactly say that she grows." those three years, took her on to the estate,

The little one, perhaps, understood a and gave her the charge of all the poultry. great part of this speech, for she retired | The employ ent seemed made for her ;

she had not grown at all, and a curious They told me that she never left the room sight it was to see her, when, armed with excepting to see after the sick chickens ; her little switch, she went the round of that she had eaten nothing, and had only the poultry-yard, calling the fowls to- had a little inilk to drink. gether in her murmuring way, and taking The schoolmaster's wife died a week care of them. It was easy to see, in her afterward. Bridget had not been in bed anxiety about them, that a rich treasure once ; in fact, she never stirred from the of love lay hidden in the heart of this poor invalid. She neither spoke nor cried; only little cripple.

now and then she stroked the sufferer's Her sole thought, from morning till hand, who smiled every time she did so, night, was how best to preserve her hens, for she loved the poor little creature who ducks, turkeys, and geese ; the sick, the was so devoted to her. lame, and, above all, the crippled among As soon as I heard of the poor woman's them, she nursed with unwearied care. death, I drove over to fetch Bridget, who Every morning she handed over the eggs refused at first to return with me, till I in the kitchen ; she would walk in with asked her, “What will become of the her dignified air, noticing no one, lay the poultry if you do not look after them, eggs on the kitchen table, and go away Bridget? That is your duty, you know." again without uttering a syllable. The After the death of her foster-mother, number of the eggs and of the fowls that Bridget held herself more than ever aloof had been killed, or sold, she reckoned from every one, living only for the fowls. after a singular fashion. For every egg Half a year afterward she was taken she made a stroke in her book; and then, ill; I sent for a doctor, but he said that further off, was written, in letters an inch he could not save her, and that it was long," for one hen,” “ for one duck," " for quite a wonder that the poor little girl had one goose ;" and the price of each was lived so long. I could not help feeling indicated by strokes. She handed this very sad, having become so accustomed account in to me, and I always told her to the poor little creature, whom I had that I understood it all, and that she was tried to benefit by kind treatment. very neat, which made her happy for a I went to see Bridget on her sick bed ; long time to come.

she could only converse with me by signs; Bridget had had the charge of the her face looked graver and older than ever, poultry-yard for a year, when the school as her eyes wandered now and then to master's wife was taken ill. She came some crippled birds, who lay or ran about to me, and I guessed, rather than under in the room. When I last saw her, her stood, what she wanted, and said, “You glance rested uneasily upon one spot; I wish to go and see your foster-mother ?" saw that her eyes were riveted upon a

She nodded her head, and still con bundle which was carefully wrapped up in tinued mumbling.

paper. At length she feebly raised her “You would perhaps like to stay all little hand, and signed to me to give it to night there, if things are very bad ?" her. When I had done so, she handed

This was what she wished; so I pro- the packet to me with a great effort. She posed that some one should drive her smiled, almost pleasantly, and attempted over ; but she declined the offer con- with her little, hard, deformed hand, to temptuously, and soon after left the yard, press mine. her switch in one hand, and in the other a It was very affecting, and I could not little basket containing a few sick chickens. restrain my tears ; she signed to me to

The next day I went to see the invalid : leave her then, and a few minutes aftershe was suffering a great deal. Bridget ward they told me she was dead. was seated on a little stool by her side. The packet contained the feathers which The poor woman told me, in a feeble Bridget had collected from the ducks, hens, voice, that the child had been keeping and peacocks, which were on the estate. watch by her all night, and could not be I placed some of them in a vase, in made to move away ; but that it was too which they may still be seen, for I shall much for one so delicate, and begged me keep them ever in remembrance of the to desire her not to do it again.

poor little girl who was externally so unI spoke to Bridget about it. She looked prepossessing, but was, nevertheless, enat me disdainfully, but made no reply. I dowed with a heart so warm and faithful.


THE PLEIADES-A TRUE TALE OF the shore was at too great a distance for THE SEA.

me to reach it by swimming. Upon look

ing around, I found that my companions was a lovely night; “the moon, part- were near me buffeting the waves. For

ing aside the light clouds” that floated several hours we tossed about, looking out in the heavens, peered forth with her anxiously for a sail, and striving to keep brilliant face. The sea, sparkling beneath up each others' fast drooping spirits. As her earnest glance, seemed like one vast long as I saw my companions near, I felt casket of gems ; each ripple appeared a buoyed up, and continued to combat with diamond, and from each billowy wave

the waves. But the fearful agony of that gleamed forth “the ever-changing opal's moment I shall never forget, when, looking light.” Truly, Luna had never a more again on the spot where I had last seen “shining bath in which to lave” than on them tossing wildly their hands as if imthis night. For hours I had stood watch- ploring for aid, I found that they had dising " the sea of fire" as it appeared in its appeared. I called aloud, I implored them brilliancy. I had never recollected seeing to answer; only one word, I said, to tell it more dazzling bright; and calling to me that I am not all alone-alone on this Henry Maxwell, who was standing near, I horrible deep. But 0! my God, my God, invited him to share the glorious spectacle (said the speaker, overcome by his emowith me. He came, I thought, rather re- tion,) no voice replied ; they were gone. luctantly ; and after giving one rapid The waves had opened and ingulfed glance, turned coldly away. I followed them. Yes, I was alone : alone to combat him, for I had noticed that he shuddered, with the fierce elements that seemed driv. as if in horror at the sight. On similar 'ing me on to eternity ; alone with my fast occasions I remembered his exhibiting the failing strength; no voice near to cheer same apparent disgust, and I felt somewhat me, no human arm to uphold me. To add anxious to find out the cause. He had to my horrors, night threw her mantle seated himself when I reached him, in covering over the earth and sea, and soon thoughtful attitude, and placing myself by its shadows darkened all around. It was his side, I gathered from him the following the first quarter of the moon, and 0! how thrilling incident:

I looked up and blessed her, as she hung It is some years since the vessel I then out her brilliant crescent, “like a silver belonged to was taking in a cargo of sugar boat launched on a boundless flood.” at Barbadoes. We were obliged to go While I lay gazing up to heaven and from our ship, which was anchored at some thanking God for even this little ray of distance from the landing, in boats, and light, which was enough to enable me to transport our cargo in that manner. The distinguish surrounding objects, I saw a afternoon was a very windy one, when shark moving its ponderous form toward two comrades and myself pushed off in our

I felt as if divested of all powers of boat, “nothing fearing," to take in a load volition, and it seemed as if I had been of sugar. We had got out of sight of the spared the fate of my companions to meet vessel, when suddenly there came upon us with this more horrible death. Slowly the one of those violent gusts so often experi- creature advanced, and then remained enced in a tropical climate. It seemed as perfectly motionless at a little distance, if the

caverns of the wind” had been watching me. I bent my gaze upon it, and suddenly opened, and their pent-up prison- kept it fixed steadily ; it moved not, neither ers rushed out to scatter with their foot- | did I, save the gentle motion of my body steps the ocean's foam around. The boat caused by the rocking of the waves. All reeled as the blast descended, which was was still and silent; the winds had mur. sweeping over us with a mighty power, mured themselves to sleep; the billows hurling us from our places with a giant's moved quietly, as if fearful of disturbing strength. 0! the horror of that moment, the slumbers of those who slept beneath when I found myself tossing about on the them. It must have been about ten minmerciless deep; and how cold the waves utes (to me it seemed an “age of ages") felt as, dashing over me, I would rise and that this strange scene continued. At sink with their swell. I had caught two last I saw the creature move gradually pieces of timber that were floating past, off, and with a deep plunge that agitated and in that manner sustained myself, for the waters around, it sunk beneath the


waves. After this I lay perfectly exhaust- stant would hurl me to destruction. But ed from terror and fatigue ; I felt that my even during that long and terrible scene, wasted strength was fast giving way, and the Pleiades seemed ever before me, and I knew not what instant the shark would I would murmur Pleiades, Pleiades, as if return eager for its prey. Completely I thought that bright band would come overcome by exhaustion, you would scarce down and succor me. At last I made a ly believe it, I slept-yes, slept, and vigorous effort, and gathering up my redreamed. It could not have been more maining strength, I dealt the monster a than a minute I lay in this deep slumber, blow on the head that seemed to stun it. and 0! what a vision swept across my It remained perfectly motionless for a brain. I thought that as I lay gazing up moment, and then I saw it move gradually to heaven, a delightful strain of music filled off, and disappear in the depths of its ocean the air, and slowly arose that brilliant group home. I was so completely exhausted of sisters—the fair Pleiades. They rested after this, that I had scarcely strength to their “starry instrument" in the azure breathe, but was compelled to make an skies, and striking its shining chords, they effort to keep myself from sinking. Worn breathed forth a strain of peace and com out as I was, I dared not close my eyes, but fort. Again and again the delightful tones kept them fixed upon the starry lyre of breathed out, then died away “the faint the sisters," which seemed to be echoexquisite music of a dream," until at last ing back my murmurings of Pleiades, no sound could be heard, but the dying Pleiades. echoes that gradually expired in their own As I lay tossing about on the deep, it sweet music. At the same moment an appeared to me memory was gifted with increased ripple in the waters aroused me ten thousand eyes, that, glancing back, from my sleep, and I can never forget the brought to light every action of my past thrill of horror that ran through every existence. Not a deed, not a thought, but nerve, when I perceived the shark slowly sprung to life once more ; every friend I moving around me in circles, as if prepar- had known, every hope I had cherished, ing to seize upon its victim. Maddened every sorrow I had wept over, seemed almost to insanity, I believe that I should actually present. Then, for the first time, have made no effort at resistance, but, on did the freak that made me leave the comraising an appealing look to Heaven to forts of home appear a crime; and again pray for strength to sustain me, I saw, glit- did the tearful voice and subduci "goodtering in all their beauty, the Pleiades. by" of my mother sound mournfully disIn a moment my dream rushed across my tinct, as it seemed to blend itself with mind, and I fancied I saw Hope written the dreamy sound of the waves. While I in burning letters upon their brows, and, thus pondered on the past, the lovely Pleinerved by that sign, I prepared for the con ades gradually “sunk into their ocean Alict. Silently the horrible creature re- bower,” and “night with all her starry volved around me, and every instant would host” passing away, morning broke upon open its huge mouth as if to ingulf me Upon looking around at the vast therein. At last it came closer, and I felt waste of waters that encompassed me, I its cold nose touch my face. In a moment, espied a sail; my heart beat joyously ; with all the energy of despair, I rushed again I seemed endowed with supernatural upon it. The piece of timber I had under energy, and I called aloud for assistance. my right arm now served me as a weapon My cries were heard, and in an instant a of defense, and sustaining myself by the boat was lowered, and came wending its left, I fought with the other. For about way through the waters. I watched it an hour I struggled with the fierce monster. with intense anxiety. As soon as it reached I beat it about the head, trying to stun it, me I was taken in, and on arriving on and every fresh dart it would make at me board I saw painted on its stern in large I would renew the attack with increased golden letters its name—“ The Pleiades !" vigor. I screamed with all my might to Yes! that glorious sisterhood upon whom attract any vessel that might be near, until I had anchored, as it were, my hopes, was at last it seemed as if all strength was de- / to me the harbinger of life, the ark of safety serting me. It was a desperate and fear- | from the storm. ful struggle between life and death, and I Do you wonder now that the glittering dared not relax one moment, for that in- l of the waves is to me but as a dark shad

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »