Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ibe Children's Treasury.

THE CROWN OF GLORY.
A Tale of Missions in Olden Times.

BY THE AUTHOR OF “ LITTLE SNOWDROP."

66

THE MEETING ON THE BEACH.

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER XIII

"I kno, grandmother," she answered quietly." My father has told me that since ever I can reniem ber."

The old lady paused, put down her work, and folding “My God, I thank thee, who hast made

her hands for a moment, said solemnly,The earth so bright;

“I said was settled. For if what I have heard were So full of splendour and of joy, Beauty and light;

true (which I hope it is not), my son would r.ever give So many glorious things are here

his daughter to William Miretown. They do say strange Noble and right."

things nowadays, and busy tongues have been heard to HE winter sunshine was sparkling on the say that the young laird of Miretown worships neither

dancing waves of the blue sea, as they the saints nor the holy Virgin”—and the lady crossed rolled their white foam on the pebble beach herself as she spoke; "and more than that”-and she

near the village of Crail-or Carrail, as it lowered her voice almost to a whisper—" they say that was then called. The air was frosty and cold, but foreign doctor (ah, me! I always misdoubted him) has pleasant enough withal to one able to take brisk walking got him, poor deluded lad, to read the Holy Book, which exercise. How pleasant, Maude Dunniore was think- is fit for none save the priests. It surely cannot be ing, it must be out-of-doors that fresh February morn- think ye, Maude ?" ing, as she sat at work in her grandmother's house, The girl's cheeks were crimson now. “What cannot which overlooked the beach, and watched the fishers' be, grandmother ?" she said. “If William Miretorn boats as they tossed—now up, now down-on the white- worships and loves the Lord Jesus, he can dispense with crested billows. There was a young heart beating in

the saints;

and as to reading the IIoly Scriptures, I wonMaude's bosom, young blood coursing through her veins, der why they were written at all, if they were not meant and but for the weight of eighteen summers resting on to be read ?" her head, she would have run out and danced with all “Maude Dunmore, where have you learned such her heart as blithely as the merry-looking waves, that opinions as these ?" said her grandmother with dignity. seemed to think it fine sport to keep breaking and Certainly it behoves not a young maidea to speak as if breaking amongst the strange-looking boulder-stones on she knew better what was right than her elders---ay, or the beach. But instead of so doing, Maude had to sit even Holy Mother Church.” with her grandmother in the keeping-room bolt upright In a moment Maude was at her grandmother's side. (young ladies did not loll or lie on couches in those olden “Forgive me," she said. “I meant not to intrude niy days) busy at work. She dearly loved the old lady; but opinions ; but oh, grandmother, if William Miretown, or Maude was in a fidgety humour that day, something in any other, love the Lord Jesus, it matters little what else the fine bracing air had inspired her; and, truth to tell, they do ; and as to where and when I learned to think she was wishing she were at Dunmore Castle, and could so, I believe my first lessons on the subject were learned go riding with her father. But these thoughts were at my dead mother's knee. She loved our Lord, and kept to herself, and the Dowager-Lady Dunmore re- child though I was, taught me to pray to him alonemained in happy unconsciousness of her fair grand-Sir Thomas Godwin knows so; and you know how dear daughter's rebellious thoughts. There had been a long and good and holy my mother was, and I can think it silence, broken only by the plash, plash of the waves, no sin to believe as she did. So forgive ne, grandwhen the old lady spoke at last.

mother; and let me put away my work and go out for a “Maude, my child, William Miretown has come home. stroll.” He arrived last night. The king has kept him long. Very seldom did Lady Dunmore retain anger towards Had you heard the news ?"

her grandchild for many minutes ; so she only stroked “Yes, grandmamma; old Peggie told me he was ex- the brown sunny locks, and printing a kiss on her forepected.” And she bent her head over her work as she head, bid her tell Peggie to make ready to accompany spoke.

her for a walk, if she so desired. “He'll be here to-day, most likely,” continued the But Maude was in no humour for Peggie as a condomager. “It is long since you met, Maude. You panion, she was longing to be alone with her own know it is, or at least was, settled he was to be your thoughts in the “ blithe and open air;" and having husband."

succeeded in gaining her own point, she was quickly equipped, and, with a favourite dog as her only con- bid him beware, for there's many and many a one would panion, was soon outside the walls of the gloomy man- grieve sorely if ill came to hini who has tended so many sion. Oh, it was good, Maude felt, to be out-of-doors on their sick-beds, and comforted them with words out that day. All Nature seemed so glad. Surely 'twas in of the Holy Evangel, such as no priest or friar on earth glee that the waves were leaping, closely following one ever spoke !” another, as if in eager haste to be first to reach the There the conversation came to an abrupt stop, for beach, where they broke in noisy mirth, and swept their Maude had raised her head, and found herself face to waters round into out-of-way crannies among the brown face with William Miretown. We write no love tale, so seaweed-covered rocks, forming clear little pools, where we will not undertake to depict the meeting between the the strange flower-like creatures (whose name and betrothed couple, nor relate the words they spoke-not nature were unknown in the days of which we write) | very different ones, we daresay, from those spoken in lored to dwell. 'Twas more in sport than business that like circumstances in more modern times.

But one the curious little fishing-boats tossed up and down on thing concerns ns to know, that ere Maude Dunmore rethe waves that day, seening to enjoy the fun. The entered her grandmother's stately mansion, she and merry laugh of the barefooted village children, as they William Miretown knew they shared one faith, had one rushed from school down to the beach to gather the hope, and loved and served one Master. Slowly they glossy sea-weed and wealth of children's treasure that retraced their steps homewards, parting at the entrance the waves were scattering on the sand; the loud whistle to the dowager's house ; for the young man was not atof the fishers' boys, as they pushed off in some tiny boat tired as he would have wished to have been, when he to their day's work,—all combined to give life to the presented himself to the old lady as a suitor for the hand scene. The very sea-birds, as they skimmed the waves, of her grand-daughter, the fair Mistress Maude. seemed glad ; and Maude felt as if a hopeful spirit per- So now they parted— Maude to relate to her grandFaded even inanimate Nature, or, as a poet has since mother the unexpected meeting on the beach ; he expressed it,

to walk back to Miretown and give orders to have his

fleetest charger saddled in haste, that he might ride to Winter, slumbering in the open air, Wore on his smiling face a dream of spring.”

St. Andrews and give his loved friend and counsellor,

Paul Crawer, a warning that danger was impending. It was very pleasant to the young girl to stroll about How was it that as he rode, the words, “Be thou faithon that rocky beach, her heart full of holy thoughts. ful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life,” rose As she gazed on the expanse of sea before her, the so often to his lips ? Surely death was yet afar off from thoughts of the Psalmist, as rendered by Wicliffe, rose to him to whom so many looked for help and guidance ; her lips—thoughts which were expressed in the following who for love to poor benighted souls had left home and Fords: “Thou coverest it with the deep as with a gar- country, that by the beds of the sick and sorrowing he ment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy might do as his Master had done-unite the healing of rebuke they tled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasten the body with the preaching of the gospel. Good cause away. They go up by the mountains ; they go down by had William Miretown to give thanks that the Lord had the valleys into the place which thou hast founded for put it into his servant's heart to make such a sacrifice, them. Thou hast set a bound that they might not pass for through his words the darkness which filled his over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.” soul bad been dissipated, and the light of the glorious

She had come opposite the regal palace, which stood gospel of Christ Jesus bad shone on his heart. Old on a cliff overlooking the firth. She had stooped to things had passed away, and all things had become vew. pick up a piece of pretty floating sea-weed which the Faves had thrown, as if in homage, at her feet, when on raising her eyes, she saw the figure of a young man close

CHAPTER XIV. beside her, engaged in earnest conversation with a lad, whose words she could not prevent herself from hearing. He spoke respectfully, as if addressing a superior. "My lord,” he said, “if, as 'tis said, you have any

His all-atoning blood ;

And oh, shall ransomed man refuse influence with the foreign doctor in St. Andrews, let him take heed, for his enemies are on the watch to entrap him. It has reached the ears of the bishop that he

To own the Crucified ? never attends Mass, and that he has meetings with the

Nay, rather be our glory thisstudents in his own house to "-and the lad lowered his

To die for him who died." voice as he spoke-—“ read the Holy Book; and they wait The day was far advanced ere young Miretown reached but for proof to arrest and imprison him, and then the the cathedral city. The sun's rays no longer tempered good God in heaven only knows what may befall him. the frosty air, and a purple glow of light was fa Mind you, sir, what they did to the holy man, James round the brown trunks of the leafless trees. He rode Resby, of whom my mother has so often told me? Oh, I to Doctor Crawer's house, reining up his fiery steed a

THE DOMINICAN MONASTERY.

For man the Saviour shed

To suffer for his God?

Ashamed who now can be

66

[ocr errors]

moment to speak to little Lysken Van Weld, as she was Would my Lord and Master have refused to go? He tripping homeward, closely wrapped up in a warm cloak. set his face steadfastly towards Jerusalemn, knowing all Lysken and he had become fast friends, and he was that awaited him there. He turned not away from the longing to make Maude and she acquainted.

death of the cross for our sakes, and shall we shrink “Are you going Doctor Crawer's ?” she said ; from bearing our cross after him? Nay, my friend. “ Ursula and I have just been there with a message Thanks for your warning. I do not unnecessarily court from aunt, asking him to see a poor sick boy who lives danger ; but I dare not conceal the truth, nor, for fear near the Castle, and we found he was out. And oh, of evil to myself, neglect an opportunity of bearing witMaster Miretown, I want to tell you something; only,” ness for my Master. The friar is dead; but the name said the child, “I must tell it you quite low, and I am of Jesus from my lips was the last he heard, and turnso afraid of your charger.”

ing his eyes away from the crucifix held before him, he The young laird laughed. “Afraid of my charger, fixed them full of gratitude on nie, and said distinctly, Lysken ! fie for a little coward! I must get you to ride ‘Jesus only.' We had met before. I was quoting the pillion on him some day. But now I must hear this Holy Evangel to a dying man, pointing him to Jesus, wonderful secret.—Wanless,” he said, addressing his when this friar entered. He listened quietly, I even attendant, “take Sanspeur;” and vaulting from the then fancied, gladly. I believe “the word was with saddle, he threw the reins to him and stood by the power.' I rejoice to think my presence cheered his child. She led him quite out of hearing even of old death-bed, and-start not, my friend-by that bedside I Ursula, then said with the eagerness of a child,- spoke for Jesus to those assembled there. I pointed

Oh, do you know where the doctor has gone ?-to them from the Cross to him who died thereon. Some the monastery of the Dominicans !"

listened eagerly. Black Tom alone gnashed his teeth, “Wherefore has he gone thither?”

and murmured threatening words. I may have been “ They say,” said the child, “one of the friars took rash; but I dare not be silent. The Word of God has a fit on the street, and Doctor Crawer was passing, and gone forth, and shall not return to him void; for aught he went to help him, and he remained a long while; else, my life is in his hands; and if he deems me worthy and you know, Maste Miretown, those friars hate him, to suffer a martyr's death, by his grace I am ready to and -- and — who knows what harm may befall him be offered.” there?"

As young Miretown gazed on the face of the doctor, For a moment the young man stood irresolute, whilst radiant with heavenly peace and joy, words failed him. the child scanned his face earnestly. At last he spoke. How dare he strive to make one taught of God, filled

" It looks bad, Lysken,” he said; "it may have been with the love of Jesus, draw back or turn cold in his a plot laid for him. Still, we know not; and remember cause. Then they slowly sauntered towards the Castle, all the friars are not like Black Tom.

There are

for Miretown had told the doctor a message had þeen left amongst them men of gentle hearts; and, for aught we by little Lysken to ask him to call there. They spoke know, there may be some with longings after holy of many things,-of Maude and her simple faith; of things. What if the doctor is made the instrument of David, still delicate, but growing in grace daily; of the leading some of these deluded souls to Jesus? But you change in Lady Louise; of the secret meetings; of the must not tarry longer. I'll go to the monastery and quiet yet sure way in which the light was beginning to inquire for the doctor; I, too, have a word of warning dawn both in Scotland and England; and of the infor him. But, little Lysken, we must not forget there is creased persecution the Church in Bohemia was suferOne whose servant he is, who cares for bim more than ing, of which Doctor Crawer had heard in the letters either you or I do, who counteth even the hairs of his brought by the young Fleming from his father and head, we must trust him in his hands, must we not?” sister Liese. As they reached the castle-gate, Bishop

The child gravely bent her head, and bidding her Wardlaw rode past them, having returned from a visit friend farewell, went back to join Ursula and proceed of inspection to the Gair Bridge, which was then being homewards. She had scarce disappeared from sight, built chiefly on bis recommendation. He saluted young when Doctor Crawer approached, and was warmly Miretown, and made inquiries regarding the king, thorn greeted by young Miretown, who had not seen bim for he knew the young man had seen lately; but when many months. The doctor looked grave yet calm, and, Doctor Crawer raised his cap, the bishop returned the as usual, self-possessed. His friend drew him aside.

greeting haughtily and rode on. Young Miretown's “ Crawer,” he whispered, “ beware; you have enemies proud spirit chafed at the marked discourtesy shown to here. What did you in yonder monastery? Your his friend, all the more that the bishop's manners greatest foe lives there.”

were gentle and courtly beyond many in those days, “What did I, Miretown? A fellow-creature was in But the doctor, though at first the blood bad risen to pain and suffering, which, hy God's blessing, I thought his forehead, was calmn, and tried to quiet down bis fiery I could do somewhat to alleviate; and could I refuse companion, saying, “What of it, young master? Has to try because the sufferer lived in yonder monastery, it not been said by our Lord himself, “These things will where, as I well know, resides one who seeks my life? | they do to you, because they have not known the Father por me? A look or a frown even from a bishop need and drag him to his doom. But the knowledge only not kill a man,” he said more lightly; yet from that made him work the more earnestly to sow the seed of hour, both the medical missionary and his friend kneir the true Evangel whilst it was called to-day, rejoicing, that he was a suspected man, and that sooner or later like the disciples of old, at being counted worthy to the meshes prepared for him would be cast over him, I suffer for the name of Christ.

PUCK'S ADVENTURES : NARRATED BY HIMSELF.

(FROM THE GERMAN.)

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

you cannot

a

[ocr errors]

EAR Pussy," said Puck to his friend, cannot come with me to-day; go home, like a good dog!' who sat by the hearth, "

But I was not a good dog, and did not go. Then he think how glad I am that I have got scolded me, and ordered me away so sternly that I had

home again, and can sit here beside you. to run back a little bit and hide till he was out of sight. I am sure I look very dirty, and your fur is so clean! Then I followed him again a long way, keeping always But don't be afraid ; I will not come too near you. I behind so that he could not see me. At last he stopped an dreadfully tired; and if you will stop your purring at the railway-station. I was close behind him, and for a little, I will tell you all about it, where I have when he turned to go in he saw me. Oh, how angry he been all day, and how I got so dirty.

was! He threatened me with his stick, called me a “You know that our master sometimes takes me out bad dog, and then stooped down for a stone. I had for a walk. You have no idea, Pussy, what a pleasure never seen my master so angry before; so I was frightthat is. You would soon get frightened if you were ened, and turned round and ran as fast as I could taken so far from home; but I enjoy nothing in the towards home. But I soon stopped, turned again, and Torld so much as running through the streets. Some- ran back to the station ; for I was determined to go tines when out with my master I meet other dogs of with my master, whether he would or no. I knew he my acquaintance; and then we stand still and wag our must be inside the station ; but the door was shut, and tails, and touch noses with each other, which is our though many people went out and in, the door shut way of saying 'How do you do?' But if I stay behind always so quickly behind them that I was afraid of being to play with them, my master whistles or calls, 'Here, crushed if I tried to slip past. Just then a lady came Puck! and then I must obey. But to-day I did not up with two children; and one of them, a pretty little

1 do as I was told ; and oh, Pussy, I will never forget the girl, noticed me, and said—Oh, Charlie, look at this

I have been punished for my disobedience ! dear little dog! He wants to get in; perhaps he has “This morning I was in the parlour, and saw my lost his master.' And she held the door open for me, master go into the hall and take his greatcoat from the and I went in. stand. I rushed after him, and danced and sprang “I followed the scent of my master ; and just as I about him ; for I was sure he was going for a walk, and got to the platform a train rushed in with a noise like would take me with him. But when he saw me he thunder. What a confusion there was! The whole said, 'No; Puck must stay at home. Then I hung crowd of people pushed and shoved each other about to down my tail, and was very unhappy. But he took no get into the carriages, and the porters cried and shonted; more notice of me. At last he took his hat and stick, but nowhere could I see my master. I ran here and and opened the door. I made a rush, in the hope of there ; I was pushed about and trampled on-now driven getting out unnoticed. But he was quicker than I, to the right, now to the left – till I hardly knew where and called, " Back, Puck, back !' in such an angry voice, I was. At last the crowd seemed to have disappeared ; that I was frightened, and slunk away. I saw him go and then the engine gave a shriek - a great deal louder out and shut the door; and then I gave vent to such a and shriller than you give, Pussy, when some one tramps beartrending howl that our little mistress came out of on your tail. I did not know what to do for fright; the parlour and called me in. But I would not go, and and before I had recovered myself the train was gone. Continued to snuff and scratch at the front-door, and Then I snuffed about the platform till I came to the make as much disturbance as I could. Then all at once very edge of it, and there all trace of my master ceased. I thought of the back-door, through which the horrid What was I to do? I ran through all the rooms of bateher-boy comes who always teases me so. If it was the station ; in one of which some ladies called to me, pen, I could easily get out and follow my master. I but I paid no attention. In another room was a great was there in a minute, and saw it stood wide open. big cat, who set up her back, and curled her thick tail,

“I knew by the scent which way my master had gone, and looked so fearful that I ran away. After all this I and soon made up to him, wagging my tail, and asking by was so tired that I lay down under one of the benches looks if I might not stay with him. He looked quite on the platform. I was too anxious to sleep; but I did sorry for me, and said kindly, “No, my poor doggie, you I not want to go home yet, for I thought my master rould

[ocr errors]

6

6

6

soon appear. After a while another train came, and the with me now. But the good old cook spoke a kind word noise and confusion was repeated ; and I was so stupid for nie. 'Let the poor beast alone, Ann," she said; "he as to run into the middle of the crowd, where I got has heen away all day, and I am sure he is starring. I pushed and struck as before. I howled and barked, will wash him myself when he has had something thinking my master would perhaps be there and hear eat.' 'Will you ?' said Ann. “I'm sure I'll be only tio me; but no one spoke to me except to say, “Away! glad to leave that business to you. Just look what a get off with you! Oh, Pussy, it was dreadful !

mess he has made in your clean kitchen, too! Dogs are “At length it began to grow dark, and I thought it a great plague.' 'Never mind,' said the cook, rising; might be as well to find my way home. But when I'I'll soon put that to rights. Come away, your stupid went to the door it was shut, and I returned to the fellow! You certainly deserve a whipping; but you platform with my tail hanging down, and looking just must be half starved, and that is punishment enough like what I was--a naughty dog, who knew he had done for this time.' And she took me to the cellar, and gave wrong. As I sat there trembling and shivering, and me a large plateful of bones and meat which she bad feeling very miserable, I heard a man say—'Look here, saved for me. Henry! This dog has been here all day; he must have You can't think, Pussy, how fast it all disappearel! come with his master, and have lost him.' Henry I never was so hungry in my life. I was not allowelt) turned to look at me, and said—Somebody will be sure come back to the kitchen till my dirty paws had been to come asking for him ; we had better shut him up in wiped; and then the cook said to me, “Norr, go an] the meantime.' So he came towards me, and called, in rest, and I will wash you after supper.' And nor all a kind voice, ' Come, poor fellow!' But I had no mind my troubles are over; and I can tell you one thin, to be shut up; so when he stooped to seize me I gave Pussy – I will never disobey my master again. And a great howl and ran off. Just then another man opened now that I have told you my story, you may begin to the door; I got through, ard rushed towards home as purr again; it puts me to sleep so nicely." fast as my legs would carry me.

“ It was raining heavily ; but I did not mind that. After supper Puck was washed, and his long silky I ran on throngh thick and thin, and never turned round hair combed out. He was very good, and stood quite till I came to our garden-gate. It was shut. I whined still, and waited for permission before he went to the and barked, and tried to jump over the railings; but it parlour again to ask forgiveness.

If my little friends was no use - no one heard me. Wet and hungry as I had seen him now, they would all have said he was a was, I would have had to stay all night on the street if darling little dog. His bright eyes sparkled out from the policeman had not come past and recognized me. his silky hair; but he did not look quite happy yet. A Why, Puck,' he said, “how do you come to be on the little girl of six years old came into the room, and Puck's street in such weather ?'— and he opened the door for miaster took her on his knee. me. I ran through the garden, and scratched and “Papa," she said, “ does not Puck look pretty and whined at the back-door till the cook came and let me clean again now? And how quiet he is ! He does nk in. The first thing I heard was my master's voice in jump on me, and ask me to play with him. I think he the parlour ; and forgetting my dirty feet, I rushed into is sorry for what he has done. I ronder if he will ever the room. But they all cried ont when they saw me, be disobedient again!” • To the kitchen, you dirty dog! to the kitchen !'-and “ I think not, Clara,” said her father. the bell was rung for Ann. I ran out as fast as I had at the station told me he had got puslied about and run in, and slunk into the kitchen.

struck till he was quite terrified. Dogs don't forget. “How nice and comfortable it looked, with the bright when once they have been in difficulties ; and they take fire burning, the tea-kettle singing on it, and you, Pussy, care another time.” After a pause, the father said – singing hefore it ! – but I think the kettle was singing Clara, do you think dogs have more sense than little the loudest. But I heard Ann's step, and hid myself girls and boys ?" behind the cook's chair, who was sitting at the table “Oh no, papa! they are just animals.” darning stockings. “Where is the dirty dog?' asked “Well, I know a little girl who has been oftes Ann, as she came in. "The mistress says he must be punished for disobedience ; but she always forgets, and washed; but I think a good whipping would he better is disobedient again. Do you know such a little girl, for him. He followed the master to the station this Clara ?" morning; and when he comes back now in such a state Clara hung her head, and did not anstrer; and just of dirt, the first thing he does is to run into the parlour then the nurse came to take her to bed. But as she and leave the marks of his feet all over the clean carpet. gave papa his good-night kiss, she whispered, “ Papa, But he'll catch it from me.' I thought it was all up I'll try and remember too, like Puck.”

6

The porter

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »