Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2007 with funding from
Author of ^A Blue Distance,'' ^A Green Pasture,'
and ''Father Damien'
The Church Army Book Room,
14, Edgware Road, W.
• • •.
By the kindness of Messrs. Macmillan, I am enabled
to reprint my story of Father Damien — with a few
additions, and some omissions of what was only of
It is good to find how his character and work
still influence the world at large. How little he
guessed in that distant island — almost cut off from
humanity — that his life there would prove a power
to lead numbers of people whom he had never seen
or heard of into paths of greater devotion and use-
fulness. Truly, "He that doeth the will of God
abideth for ever."
I have added a selection of short stories. Many
of them have appeared before. My hope is that
they may prove interesting and not wholly unprofit-
able to other people than those who are directly
connected with the Church Army. Some may judge
them to be a very mixed collection, but my friends
will not be surprised, for they know that I have
found it good to learn from the vision which
teaches us to reckon nothing which God has cared
for common or unclean.
Father Damien .....
Quartus, a Brother ....
Felix and Byal . .
Miss Graves .....
My Little London Garden ....
Mr. and Mrs. NichoUs ....
A Tale for a Mother ....
Edward and Oliver ....
A Talk about Art
A Story of Stinginess ....
Whose shall he be? ....
Emma, and others (by Mrs. Kobert Cholmeley)
The Lady and the Van ....
The Crisis of Middle Age ....
The Beast's Mark .....
Saint Patrick's Invocation
The Issues of Death .....
1. — Forgiven but Disapproved
2.— A Most Dreadful Surprise
3.— A Likely Story
4. — Alexander Butts ....
5.— The Mirror ....
6.— Entering Maimed ....
7. — The Evening Primrose
8.— Bad Taste .....
Why not Confess ? . . . .
Unwelcome Autumn .....
Sir Owen and Mr. Orme ....
My Brother's Farewell ....
Easton and Grant ....
A Snubbed One .....
(The following accoitiit is reprinted by the kind iDerniission of
IMessrs. Macmillan & Co. It is selected from my book, " Father
])amien," published by them in 1889.)
I MUST begin my story of Father Damien by a short
account of the place where he lived and worked.
The Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands lie in the Pa-
cific Ocean, about half-way between America and
Australia, and they were discovered about a hundred
and twenty years ago by Captain Cook. For fifty
years they were visited by no white people except
merchantmen and whalers, who often exercised a per-
nicious influence which it makes one's blood boil to
read of. The natives were a fine muscular race, with
brown skins and handsome countenances. They were
hospitable, and they welcomed the foreigners almost
as if they had been gods, giving them freely the best
of their food, their shelter, and their daughters.
They numbered about four hundred thousand. Their
visitors brought them vices — drunkenness and evil
diseases— and now the number of natives has shrunk
to forty thousand. Of these it is feared that two^
2 FATHER DAMIEN.
thousand are infected with leprosy. But the same
hospitable smiles adorn their friendly faces, and the
same simple manners grace their behaviour.
Happily there is a bright side as well as a dark
side to the incoming of the whites.
"In the year 1809 a brown boy w^as found crying
on the threshold of Yale College, in America. His
name was Obookiah, and he came from the Hawaiian
Islands. His father and mother had been killed in
battle in his presence, and as he was escaping with
his baby-brother on his back, the little one was slain
with a spear and he himself was taken prisoner. By-
and-by circumstances brought him to x4.merica, and at
last to the doorsteps of Yale College. In his ex-
tremity he was taken in and kindly used by Mr.
Dwight, a resident graduate.
Obookiah loved his people, and soon he asked that
he might "learn to read this Bible, and go back home
and tell them to pray to God up in heaven." Two
other lads, Tennooe and Hopu, had come to America
with him. They were all taken and educated by Mr.
Dwight, and the result of intercourse with them was
that in ten years a band of twelve men and women
started from Boston for the Hawaiian Islands, with
Tennooe and Hopu as guides. Obookiah had died a
peaceful Christian death about a year after his arrival
When the party left Boston it was said to them at
their farewell meeting, "Probably none of you will
live to witness the downfall of idolatry, but you will
FATHER DAMIEN. 3
SOW the good seed, and doubtless your children or
grand-children will reap the fruit."
But when the missionaries reached the islands the
downfall had already mysteriously come.
Kamehameha the First — a king as great in his way,
perhaps, as our King Alfred — had effected a revolu-
tion. He had, after long wars, united all the islands
in one sovereignty, and he had abolished the degrad-
ing laws of caste, or " tabu." By this system it was
death for a man to let his shadow fall upon a chief,
to enter his enclosure, or to stand if his name were
mentioned in a song. No woman might eat with her
husband, or eat fowl, pork, cocoanut, or bananas —
things offered to the idols. Death was the penalty.
" How did you lose your eye ? " said Mrs. Thurs-
ton, a missionary's wife, to a little girl. "I ate a
banana," replied the child.
'If any man made a noise when prayers were being
said he was killed. When the people had finished
building a temple some of them were offered in sac-
rifice. I myself saw a great quadrangular temple, on
the coast of Hawaii, which contained hundreds of
decapitated human skulls. A cord is preserved with
which one high priest had strangled twenty-three
victims. Infanticide was a common practice. Maniacs
were stoned to death. Old people were often buried
alive or left to perish. There was no written lan-
The missionaries reached Hawaii on the 31st of
March, 1820, after a long, wearisome journey round
4 FATHER DAMIEN.
South America, and one can imagine how delightful
the sight of these delicious islands must have been
when they came in view. The whole scene is so ex-
actly described in the following lines from Tennyson's
"Lotus Eaters," that it seemed to me, when I was
there, as if they must have been written to describe
" Courage I " he said, and pointed toward the land,
"This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon."
In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon ;
And like a downward smoke, the slender stream
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.
A land of streams ! some, like a downward smoke,
Slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn, did go;
And some thro' wavering lights and shadows broke,
Rolling a slumbrous sheet of foam below.
They saw the gleaming river seaward iiow
From the inner land : far off', three mountain-tops,
Three silent pinnacles of aged snow,
The mountains and the river are there, and the
streams are for ever falling by scores down the green
precipices of Hawaii into the blue sea. How lovely
that sea is can scarcely be told. One puts one's hand
in, and all round it is like the softest and most brilli-
ant blue velvet ; below are growths of pure white
coral, and among them swim fishes as brilliant as
paroquets. Some are yellow like canaries, some are
FATHER DAMIEN. 5
gorgeous orange of bright red. I tried to paint a
blue fish, but no pigment could represent its inten-
sity. The loveliest of all was like nothing but a
rainbow as it sported below me. Groves of cocoanut
trees rise from the water's edge. The gardens are
rich with roses, lilies, myrtles, gardenia, heliotrope,
Near by is a tropical forest, which I almost feared
as I entered, for there is an element of the terrible
in this tremendous vegetation, and in the silence of
it all. The trees are wreathed with humid creepers ;
the ferns are fourteen feet high ; even the stag's-horn
moss grows taller than a man. Every foot of space
is occupied with rank vegetation.
When the Bostonians reached the coast they sent
Hopu on shore to reconnoitre. He soon returned, and
as he came within hail he shouted, "Kamehameha
is dead. His son Liholiho reigns. The tabus are
abolished. The images are burned. The temples
are destroyed. There has been war. Now there is
peace ! "
This was news indeed. The great king had one
day risen up from the place where he was feasting
and had stalked over to his wives' table, and sat down
with them to eat and to drink. The high priest had
followed' his example. The people were aghast with
apprehension ; but no judgment from heaven followed,
and soon the tabu was broken everywhere, and a new
freedom spread through the islands.
Kamehameha's work was done ; he fell ill, and took
6 FATHER DAMIEN.
to his bed. As he lay dying he asked an American
trader to tell him about the Americans' God. "But,"
said the native informant, in his broken English, "he
no tell him anything." Alas ! alas I
The missionaries had arrived at the right moment,
and they were cordially welcomed. The new king,
with his five wives, came to call — straight out of the
sea, and all undressed. The missionaries hinted that
it would be better if they wore clothes, and the next
time the king came he wore a pair of silk stockings
and a hat. He threw himself down on the bed (the
first he had ever beheld), and rolled himself over and
over on it with extreme delight.
The Princess Kapuliholiho said to the missionary's
wife, "Give us your eldest son, and we will adopt
him." But the tempting offer was politely declined.
There were five dowager-queens, one of whom was
dressed with great state in a robe made of seventy
thicknesses of bark. The white ladies found favour
in the eyes of the brown ladies, who described their
visitors in the following terms : — " They are white
and have hats with a spout. Their faces are round
and far in. Their necks are long. They look well."
The royal feasts were on a large scale ; sometimes
as many as two hundred dogs were cooked, and it was
a favourite joke to put a pig's head on a roasted dog,
to deceive a too fastidious white visitor.
The royal personages and the chiefs claimed the
privilege of first learning to read, but the king's in-
temperate habits make him an irregular pupil.
FATHER DAMIEN. 7
A majestic chieftainess, six feet high, named Kapio-
lani, was one of the first converts to Christianity, and
a faithful ally of the teachers of the new faith. It
was she who in 1824 broke the spell which hung over
the great volcano, Kilauea, the supposed home of the
terrible goddess Pele. She marched with her retinue
across the plains of lava till she reached the lake of
tire. On the brink of the crater she had gathered a
quantity of the sacred red and yellow ohelo berries,
which ripen there every month of the year (it is
said), and are a delicious fruit to eat. These berries
(sacred to Pele) she Hung into the boiling lake of
fiery lava, and defied the goddess to avenge the insult.
There was a horror-stricken silence, but no calamity
followed, and Kapiolani calmly turned to her people
and told them of Jehovah and of her new-found
faith in Christ. It is said that a third of the popula-
tion became Christians in consequence of this brave
We who do not believe in Pele may scarcely ap-
preciate the heroism of Kapiolani's action, but she
had all the beliefs of her youth to combat, and must
have stifled many qualms before she performed her
act of desecration and defiance.
I have heard an interesting account of the first
Sunday school held in Hawaii. The native monitor
was found arranging the classes into divisions of
Christian and non-Christian. He asked every one the
question, " Do you love your enemies ? " If they
said " Yes," they were arranged with the Christians, if
8 FATHER DAMIEN.
they said "No" with the heathen. I have known
less sensible divisions made in England ; but the Mis-
sionaries took a different view, and checked their
pupil, much to his surprise.
Only one thing was taught on this first occasion to
the scholars. They were asked, " Who made you ? "
and they were taught to answer, "the great God, who
made heaven and earth."
It was a simple beginning, but great results soon
began to appear. The most intense religious interest
was felt all over the islands. Thousands of converts
were baptized, a wonderful devotion became apparent,
and in a comparatively small number of years the
whole population became nominally Christian, and
has remained so ever since.
The first band of missionaries were Congregation-
alists, and to their zeal and godly living is due mainly
the praise of changing the religion of the Islands
from heathenism to Christianity.
The Roman Catholic religion was established there
in 1839, and our English Church raised its cathedral
later still, at Honolulu.
It was about forty or fifty years ago, I believe, that
the terrible scourge of leprosy made its appearance in
the Hawaiian Islands, and it spread with quite un-
paralleled rapidity. When I visited Molokai in 1888,
Father Damien had been working there nearly sixteen
years, and the leper settlement had been established
for about 22 years.
The following account of my visit to him was
written at Honolulu, in January, 1889.
FATHER DAMIEN. 9
I reached the Islands in November, and on the
17th of December (1888) I took my passage to Molo-
kai, and went on board the little steamer " Mokolii."
The sunset was orange, with a great purple cloutl
fringed with gold. It faded quickly, and by the time .
we reached a small pier-head outside the town, the
moon was casting a long greenish light across the sea.
From the pier came a continuous wail, rather mechan-
ical, but broken by real sobs. I wondered what it
meant, but soon I could see a little crowd of lepers
and lepers' friends waiting there. "0 my husband!"
cried a poor woman again and again. Thirteen lepers
got into the boat and were rowed to the steamer.
Then we sailed away, and gradually the wailing grew
fainter and fainter till we could hear it no longer.
These partings for life between the lepers and their
families are most tragic, but they are inevitable ; for
however the disease is propagated, the necessity for seg-
regation is certain. And the Hawaiian Government
has risen to the emergency — would that our Indian
Government, with its probable two hundred and fifty
thousand lepers, w^ould do likewise ! — and, sparing
neither labour nor expense, has sought out the cases
one by one, and provided a home so suitable to their
needs, so well ordered, and so well supplied, that,
strange to say, the difficulty often arises of preventing
healthy people from taking up their abode there. I
know many sadder places than Molokai, with its soft
breezes, its towering cliff's, and its sapphire sea.
The Hawaiians are a happy, generous people, the fit
10 FATHER DAMIEN.
offspring of these sunny windy islands; they yield
themselves up readily to the emotion of the present
whether for grief or laughter, and smiles and play
follow close behind tears and sorrow.
The sleeping accommodation on the Mokolii is ne-
cessarily limited, but being a foreigner, and therefore
a passenger of distinction, a mattress was spread for
me on the little deck. It was very short, and, more-
over, it was soon invaded from the lower end by two
pairs of legs — Chinese and Haw^aiian. I could not be
so inhospitable as to complain of their vicinity, and
as a lady enlivened the company by continuous guitar
music, accompanied by her own voice and by as many
of the passengers as chose to chime in, I relinquished
my couch, and retiring to another part of the vessel,
gave myself up to the enjoyment of the moonlit pre-
cipices and ravines of Molokai, which we began to
coast about midnight. Very solemn they looked.
The island is long, and shaped like a willow-leaf ;
it lies in the form of a wedge on the Pacific, very
low on the south coast, and gradually rising to its
greatest altitude, from which the descent — 1500 feet —
to the northern coast is precipitous. Between the
base of these precipices and the sea lie the two leper
villages of Kalawao and Kalaupapa. Not improbably
half the island is sunk in the sea, and if so the
villages are in the actual cup of the crater of an im-
mense volcano, half of which is submerged.
The Hawaiian Islands are a collection of volca-
noes of which the fires appear to have died out in
FATHER DAMIEN. 11
southward order. In Hawaii, the largest and most
southerly island, they still rage. Out of its great lake
of liquid boiling lava (Kilauea) the fire-fountains toss
themselves high into the air, red as blood in daylight,
orange at twilight, and yellow as a primrose by night
— a fearful sight, and approached by three miles of
scarcely less terrible lava, black and glittering, and
hardened into monstrous shapes like gigantic croco-
diles and serpents. Sometimes the traveller sees that
it is red-hot only eight inches below the sole of his
foot. Sometimes the surface is torn by earthquakes
into great cracks and rents.
Even more wonderful, perhaps, is the great extinct
crater of Haleakala on the island of Maui. It is the
largest crater in the world — nine miles in diameter —
and it contains in its hollow fourteen great tumuli or
extinct volcanoes, some of them 700 feet high. As I
watched the scene one day at sunrise, it seemed to
me as if I were not only in another planet, but in
another dispensation. Except the crater, there was
nothing to be seen around or below me but miles
and miles of white clouds, slowly turning pink before
the coming sun. Above them arose two distant moun-
tain-tops, Mona Loa and Mona Kea, and occasionally
there was a gap in the tracts of cloud, and a bit of
blue sea appeared.
The vast crater yawned in the foreground, a deathly
abandoned place, but not without the beauty which
almost always marks Nature's works, if we have but
eyes to see them aright. The lights and shadows
12 FATHER DAMIEN.
were unlike anything which I have beheld before or
since. The colours of the tumuli were dim but splen-
did, going through the rarige of dull purple, dull
pink, dull brown, dull yellow, dull green. The floor
of the crater was gray and black, composed of the
dust of lava accumulated through centuries, and prob-
ably never trodden by the foot of man. Long ago
it was an expanse of boiling fiery liquid similar to
that which is still to be seen at Kilauea, but nine
miles in extent.
As we approached Molokai I found that the slow
work of centuries had nearly covered its lava with
verdure. At dawn we were opposite Kalaupapa. Two
little spired churches, looking precisely alike, caught
my eye first, and around them were dotted the white
cottages of the lepers, who crowded the pier to meet
us. But the sea was too rough for us to land. The
coast is wild, and, as the waves dashed against the
rocks, the spray rose fifty feet into the air. I never
had seen such a splendid surf.
We steamed on to Kalawao, but were again disap-
pointed : it was too dangerous to disembark. Finally
it was decided to put off a boat for a rocky point
about a mile and a half distant from the town.
Climbing down to this point we saw about twenty
lepers, and "There is Father Damien ! " said our
purser ; and slowly moving along the hillside, I saw
a dark figure with a straw hat. He came rather
painfully down, and sat near the water-side, and we
exchanged friendly signals across the waves while my
FATHER DAMIEN. 13
baggage was being got out of the hold. The captain
and the purser were both much interested in my me-
dicinal oil, and they spared no trouble in unshipping
it. At last all was ready, and we went swinging
across the waves, and finally chose a fit moment for
leaping on shore. Father Damien caught me by the
hand, and a hearty welcome shone from his kindly
face as he helped me up the rock. He immediately
called me by my name, "Edward,'' and said it was
"like everything else, a providence," that he had met
me at that irregular landing-place, for he had ex-
pected the ship to stop at Kalaupapa, whither Father
Conradi had gone, expecting that we should come on
He is now forty-nine years old — a thick-set, strongly-
built man, with black curly hair and short beard,
turning gray. His countenance must have been hand-
some, with a full, well-curved mouth, and a short,
straight nose ; but he is now a good deal disfigured
by leprosy, though not so badly as to make it any-
thing but a pleasure to look at his bright, sensible
face. His forehead is swollen and ridged, the eye-
brows are gone, the liose is somewhat sunk, and the
ears are greatly enlarged. His hands and face look
uneven with a sort of incipient boils, and his body
also shows many signs of the disease, but he assured
me that he had felt little or no pain since he had
tried Dr. Goto's system of hot baths and Japanese
medicine. The bathrooms that have been provided
by the Government are excellent.
14 FATHER DAMIEN.
I think he had not much faith in my gurjun oil,
but to please me he began using it, and after a fort-
night's trial the good effects became evident to all.
His face looked greatly better, his sleep became very
good instead of very bad (he had only been able to
sleep with his mouth open because of an obstruction
behind the nose), his hands improved, and last Sun-
day he told me that he had been able that morning
to sing orisons — the first time for months. One is
thankful for this relief, even if it should be only
temporary ; but it is impossible not to fear that after
several years' progress the disease has already attacked
the lungs or some other vital organ, and that the
remedy comes too late.
I had brought with me a case of presents from
English friends, and it had been unshipped with the
gurjun oil. It was, however, so large that Father
Damien said it would be impossible for his lepers
either to land it from the boat or to carry it to Kala-
wao^ and that it must be returned to the steamer and
landed on some voyage when the sea was quieter.
But I could not give up the pleasure of his enjoy-
ment of its contents, so after some delay it was, at
my suggestion, forced open in the boat, and the things
were handed out safe and unspoiled one by one across
the waves. The lepers all came round with their
poor marred faces, and the presents were joyfully
carried home by them and by our two selves.
First came an engraving of the "Good Shepherd,"
from Lady Mount Temple ; then a set of large
FATHER DAMIEN. 15
pictures of the Stations of the Cross, from the Hon.
Maude Stanley ; then a magic-lantern with Scriptural
slides, which I had used the winter beforQ during a
Mission tour in India, then numbers of coloured
prints ; and finally an ariston from Lady Caroline
Charteris, which would play about forty tunes by
simply having its handle turned. Father Damien im-
mediately began to play it, and before we had been
at the settlement half an hour he was showing his
boys how to use it.
There were beautiful silver presents from Lady
Grosvenor and Lady Airlie, and several gifts of
money. And, most valuable of all, there was a
water-colour painting of the Vision of St. Francis by
Burne Jones, sent by the painter. This now hangs
in Father Damien's little room.
I did not feel disposed to have my bag carried by
a leper, so the walk to Kalawao was a tiring one,
partly through a broad stream, and then along a
beach of boulders shaded by precipices. But the
pleasure of discovering that Father Damien was a
finer man than I had even expected made the walk
delightful. And about half-way I refreshed myself
by a bathe in the foam of the waves, which were too
big to allow of a swim, even if the sharks which in-
fest the place had not been a sufficient reason against
it. I was impressed by the quiet way in which he
sat down and read and prayed while I bathed, retir-
ing at once into that hidden life which was so real
to him. When I was ready to walk on with him he
16 FATHER DA MIEN.
was all animation again, and pointed out to me all
the objects of interest.
The cliffs of Molokai are in many places almost
perpendicular, and rise to a great height from the
water's edge. They are generally in shadow, but the
sun casts long rays of light through their sundered
tops, and I shall always remember these rays as a dis-
tinguishing mark of the leper towns. The sea foam,
too, rises up from their bases in a great swirling mist,
and makes an enchanting effect in the mornings.
Where the slopes are not precipitous the tropical veg-
etation grows very rank, and not beautiful, I think,
to eyes that have learned to love the birch, the gorse,
and the heather.
The coarse wild ginger with its handsome spikes of
flowers grows everywhere, and quantities of the Ki-
tree, from the root of which can be made the intoxi-
cating spirit which has done such a disastrous work
among the natives. The ferns are magnificent. Of
birds, the most noticeable that I saw were an ex-
quisite little honey bird, with a curved beak and
plumage like scarlet velvet ; a big yellow owl, which
flies about by daylight ; a golden plover, which is very
plentiful and very nice to eat ; and a beautiful long-
tailed, snowy-white creature called the bos'un bird,
which wheels about the cliff heights. Besides these
there are plenty of imported mynahs and sparrows.
The curious little apteryx is almost extinct, I only
saw it stuffed.
As we ascended the hill on which the village is
FATHER DAMIEN. 17
built, Father Damien showed me on our left the
chicken farm. The lepers are justly proud of it, and
before many days I had a fine fowl sent me for
On arriving at Kalawao we speedily found ourselves
inside the half -finished church, which is the darling
of his heart. How he enjoyed planning the places
where the pictures which I had just brought him
should be placed ! He had incorporated as a transept
of the new church the small building which had
hitherto been in use. By the side of it he showed
me the palm-tree under which he had lived for some
weeks when he first arrived at the settlement in 1878.
His own little four-roomed house almost joins the
church, and here Father Conradi, who lives on the-
ground-floor, and who is a man of considerable refine-
ment, met us, and ushered us into the tiny refectory
where a meal was prepared. Here we found Brother
James and Brother Joseph Button, who had arrived
as helpers not many months before.
By Father Damien's desire we sat at a separate
table, as a precaution against contagion. But he was
close by, and we were all very happy together.
After dinner we went up the little flight of steps
which led to Father Damien's balcony. This was-
shaded by a honeysuckle in blossom. A door from
it led into his sitting-room — a busy-looking place, with
a big map of the world — and inside it another door
opened on his bedroom.
Some of my happiest times at Molokai were spent
18 FATHER DAMIEN.
in this little balcony, sketching him and listening to
what he said. The lepers often came up to watch
my progress, and it was pleasant to see how happy
and at home they were. Their poor faces were
often swelled and drawn and distorted, with blood-
shot goggle eyes ; but I felt less horror than I expected
at their strange aspect. There were generally several
of them playing in the garden below us.
I offered to give a photograph of the picture to
his brother in Belgium, but he said perhaps it would
be better not to do so, as it might pain him to see
how he was disfigured.
He looked mournfully at my work. "What an ugly
face ! " he said ; " I did not know the disease had made
such progress." Looking glasses are not in great re-
quest at Molokai !
While I sketched him he often read his breviary.
At other times we talked on subjects that interested
us both, especially about his family, to whom after
24 years absence he was still deeply attached.
His mother was an earnest praying woman, and it
was probably from her that he had first learned his
habit of continued and instant prayer.
In a letter home to Belgium he writes, "My dear
parents, In the midst of the waters of the Pacific
Ocean, on this island you have a son who loves you,
and a priest who daily prays for you. I am in the
habit of daily paying you a short visit in spirit."
I much like the following story of his early life,
while yet a student.
FATHER DAMIEN. 19
When the Picpus Fathers were building the chapel
of their Louvain house, the younger members of the
college assisted the workmen when and where they
could. In preparing the site, a high and rickety
chimney had to be taken down. All the workmen
refused the dangerous task. Damien quietly asked
for a ladder, got someone to steady it, and fetched
down the chimney brick by brick. The men stared.
" Mon Dieu ! quel homme ! " they cried.
He often talked to me about the work of the Church
Army, and sometimes I sang hymns to him — among
others, "Brief life is here our portion," "Art thou
weary, art thou languid ? " and " Safe home in port."
At such times the expression of his face was particu-
larly sweet and tender.
One day I asked him if he would like to send a
message to Cardinal Manning. He said that it was
not for such as he to send a message to so great a
dignitary, but after a moment's hesitation he added,
" I send my humble respects and thanks." (When
I gave the message to the Cardinal, he smiled and
said, "I had rather he had sent me his love)."
I need hardly say that he gives himself no airs of
martyr, saint, or hero — a humbler man I never saw.
He smiled modestly and deprecatingly when I gave
him the Bishop (Magee) of Peterborough's message.
"He won't accept the blessing of a heretic bishop,
but tell him that he has my prayers, and ask him to
give me his." — "Does he call himself a heretic bishop ?'*
he questioned doubtfully. I tried to explain.
20 FATHER DAMIEN.
One day he told me about his early history. He
was born on the 3rd of January, 1841, near Louvain in
Belgium, where his brother, a priest, still lives. His
mother, a deeply religious woman, died about two
years ago, and his father twelve years sooner.
On his nineteenth birthday his father took him to
see his brother Pamphile, who was then preparing for
the priesthood, and he left him there to dine, while
he himself went on to the neighbouring town.
Young Joseph (this was his baptismal name) decided
that here was the opportunity for taking the step
which he had long been desiring to take, and when
his father came back he told him that he wished to
return home no more, and that it would be better
thus to miss the pain of farewells. His father con-
sented unwillingly, but, as he was obliged to hurry to
the conveyance which was to take him home, there
was no time for demur, and they parted at the station.
Afterwards, when all was settled, Joseph revisited his
home, and received his mother's approval and blessing.
His brother was bent on going to the South Seas
for mission work, and all was arranged ; but at the
last he was laid low with fever, and, to his bitter
disappointment, forbidden to go. The impetuous
Joseph asked him if it would be a consolation for
his brother to go instead, and, receiving an affirma-
tive answer, he wrote surreptitiously, offering himself,
and begging that he might be sent, though his educa-
tion was not yet finished. The students were not
allowed to send out letters till they had been sub-
FATHER DAMIBN. 21
mitted to the Superior, but Joseph ventured to dis-
One day, as he sat at his studies, the Superior came
in, and said, with a tender reproach, " Oh, you im-
patient boy ! you have written this letter, and you
are to go."
Joseph jumped up, and ran out, and leaped about
like a young colt.
" Is he crazy ? " said the other students.
He worked for some years in the island of Hawaii,
but it happened that he was one day in 1873 present
at the dedication of a chapel in another island, when
the bishop was lamenting that it was impossible for
him to send a missioner to the lepers at Molokai, and
still less to provide them with a pastor. He had only
been able to send them occasional and temporary help.
Some yoimg priests had just arrived in Hawaii for
Mission work, and Father Damien instantly spoke.
" Monseigneur," said he, " here are your new mis-
sioners ; one of them could take my district, and if
you will be kind enough to allow it, I will go to
Molokai and labour for the lepers, whose wretched
state of bodily and spiritual misfortune has often
made my heart bleed within me."
His offer was accepted, and that very day, without
any farewells, he embarked on a boat that was taking
some cattle to the leper settlement. He told me that
when he first set his foot on the island he said to
himself, "Now, Joseph, my boy, this is your life-
22 FATHER DAMIEK.
I did not find one person in the Sandwich Islands
who had the least doubt as to leprosy being com-
municable, though it is possible to be exposed to the
disease for years without contracting it, and it is said
to be five years in the system before it shows itself.
Father Damien said that he had always expected that
he should sooner or later become a leper, though ex-
actly how he caught it he does not know. But it
was not likely that he would escape, as he was con-
stantly living in a polluted atmosphere, dressing the
sufferers' sores, washing their bodies, visiting their
deathbeds, and even digging their graves.
I obtained while I was in the islands a report he
had written of the state of things at Molokai sixteen
years ago, and I think it will be interesting to give
a portion of it in his own words.
"By special providence of our Divine Lord, who
during His public life showed a particular sympathy
for the lepers, my way was traced towards Kalawao
in May, 1873. I was then thirty-three years of age,
enjoying a robust good health.
About eighty of the lepers were in the hospital ;
the others, with a very few Kokuas (helpers), had
taken their abode farther up towards the valley.
They had cut down the old pandanus or punhala
groves to build their houses, though a great many had
nothing but branches of castor-oil trees with which
to construct their small shelters. These frail frames
were covered with ki leaves or with sugar-cane leaves,
the best ones with pili grass. I myself was sheltered
FATHER DAMIEN. 23
during several weeks under the single pandanus-tree,
which is preserved up to the present in the church-
yard. Under such primitive roofs were living pell-
mell, without distinction of age or sex, old or new
cases, all more or less strangers one to another, those
outcasts of society. They passed their time in play-
ing cards, hula (native dances), drinking fermented
ki-root beer, home-made alcohol, and with the sequels
of all this. Their clothes were far from being clean
and decent, on account of the scarcity of water, w^hich
had to be brought at that time from a distance.
Many a time in fulfilling my priestly duty at their
domiciles I have been compelled to run outside to
breathe fresh air. To counteract the bad smell I
made myself accustomed to the use of tobacco, and
the smell of the pipe preserved me somewhat from
carrying in my clothes the noxious odour of the
lepers. At that time the progress of the disease was
fearful, and the rate of mortality very high. The
miserable condition of the settlement gave it the name
of a living graveyard, w^hich name, I am happy to
state, is to-day no longer applicable to our place."
In 1874, a "cona" (south) wind blew down most
of the lepers' wretched rotten abodes, and the poor
sufferers lay shivering in the wind and rain, with
clothes and blankets wet through. In a few days the
grass beneath their sleeping-mats began to emit a
very unpleasant vapour, " I at once called the at-
tention of our sympathising agent to the fact, and
very soon there arrived several schooner-loads of
24 FATHER DAMIEN.
scantling to build solid frames with, and all lepers in
distress received, on application, the necessary material
for the erection of decent houses. Friends sent them
rough boards and shingles and flooring. Some of the
lepers had a little money, and hired carpenters. For
those without means the priest, with his leper boys,
did the work of erecting a good many small houses."
Since the accession of King Kalakaua the care and
generosity of the present Hawaiian Government for
their lepers cannot be too highly praised. The Queen
and the heir - apparent (Princess Liliuokilani) have
visited the settlement. The cottages are neat and
convenient, and raised on trestles so as not to be in
contact with the earth. There are five churches, and
the faces one sees are nearly always happy faces.
Each person receives five pounds of fresh beef every
week, besides milk, poi, and biscuits. There is a
large general shop where tinned fruits and all sorts
of things can be bought. The food no doubt, is some-
what monotonous in quality, and it pleases me to
remember how Father Damien enjoyed some raisins
which I had brought from America as he sat on my
Of course I saw cases in the hospitals that were
terribly emaciated and disfigured, but there is no
doubt that the disease has taken a milder form than
it wore years ago. As a rule, the lepers do not suffer
severe pain, and the average length of life at Molokai
is about four years, at the end of which time the
disease generally attacks some vital organ. "Women
FATHER DAMIEN. 25
are less liable to it than men. One woman accom-
panied her husband to Molokai when he became a
leper, and at his death became the bride of another
leper. He died, and she married another, and another
after his demise. So that she has lived with four
leper husbands, and yet remains healthy.
The children are well cared for in the Kapiolani
Home at Honolulu if they show no signs of disease,
and those in Molokai certainly do not lead an un-
They sing very nicely. One man had a full sweet
baritone, and there was a tiny child who made a
great effect with a bawling metallic voice. A refined-
lookiDg woman played the harmonium well, with
hands that looked as if they must have been disabled.
She had been a well-known musician in Honolulu. '
I enjoyed the singing of the Latin Christmas hymn
"Adeste fideles." But the most touching thing was
the leper song (composed by a native poet), a kind
of dirge in which they bewailed the misery of their
lot. When I visited the boys with Father Damien
in the evening they were drawn up in a long narrow
lane, which it was rather terrible to inspect by the
dim light of oil lamps.
On Sunday evening I showed them the magic-
lantern, and Father Damien explained to them the
pictures from the life of Christ. It was a moving
sight to see the poor death-stricken crowd listening
to the story of His healings and then of His suffer-
ings. His crucifixion and His resurrection.
26 FATHER DAMIEN.
How wonderful is the power of Christ to give joy
to sufferers ! I shall never forget visiting last March
an asylum for lepers at Agra, in India. Their faces
were dreadful to look at ; they were lame and maimed
and mutilated, and they were paupers. But they
were singing with husky voices the praises of Jesus
Christ, and as I spoke to them of Him they kept
repeating the last words of every sentence with the
greatest delight, and when I left them the cry rang
out again and again, "Victory to Jesus." An Ameri-
can Baptist missionary, Mr. Jones, had found time to
visit them about once a fortnight, with the good news,
and here was the result manifested.
In the daytime at Molokai one sees the people sit-
ting chatting at their cottage doors, pounding the taro
root, to make it into their favourite food poi, or gal-
loping on their little ponies — men and women alike
astride — between the two villages. And one always
receives the ready greeting and the readier smile.
It would undoubtedly be a great trial to heart and
nerve to live even now at Molokai, as eight noble
men and women have elected to do for Christ's sake.
I found it very distressing, to see none hut lepers,
and it often came with a specially painful shock to
find a child of ten with a face that looked as if it
might belong to a man of fifty. But I had gone to
Molokai expecting to find it scarcely less dreadful
than hell itself, and the cheerful people, the lovely
landscape, and the comparatively painless life were
all surprises. I was much impressed by a good old
FATHER DAMIEN. 27
blind man in the hospital, who told me that he was
thankful for the disease, because it had saved him
from an evil godless life.
God's care is surely over all His children, and
sooner or later the darkest horrors reveal Divine wis-
dom and love.
"I learnt by experience," said a friend of mine to
me once, "that in falling over precipices, in sinking
in swamps, in tumbling into pits, in drowning in
seas, I did but find God at the bottom " —
" Thus does Thy hospitable greatness lie
Outside us like a boundless sea ;
"We cannot lose ourselves where all is home,
Nor drift away from Thee."
"On my first arrival," says Father Damien, "I
found the lepers in general very destitute of warm
clothing. If they have suitable clothes to protect
themselves from the inclemency of the weather, they
usually resist the cold very well, but they suffer
greatly if, through neglect or destitution, they have
barely enough to cover them. They then begin to
feel feverish and to cough badly, swelling in the face
and limbs sets in, and if not speedily attended to the
disease generally settles on the lungs, and thus hastens
them on the road to an early grave.
A person afflicted with leprosy who quietly gives
himself up to the ravages of the disease, and does not
take exercise of any kind, presents a downcast appear-
ance, and threatens soon to become a total wreck.
I remember well that when I arrived here the poor
2b . FATHER DAMIEN.
people were without any medicines, with the excep-
tion of a few physics and their own native remedies.
It was a common sight to see people going around
with fearful ulcers, which, for the want of a few rags
or a piece of lint and a little salve, were left exposed.
Not only were their sores neglected, but anyone get-
ting a fever, or any of the numerous ailments that
lepers are heir to, was carried off for want of some
In the fulfilment of my duties as priest, being in
daily contact with the distressed people, I have seen
and closely observed the bad effect of forcible separa-
tion of the married companions. It gives them an
oppression of mind which in many instances is more
unbearable than the pains and agonies of the disease
itself. This uneasiness of the mind is in course of
time partly forgotten by those unfortunates only who
throw themselves into a reckless and immoral habit
of living. Whereas, if married men or women arrive
here in company with their lawful mates, they accept
at once their fate with resignation, and very soon
make themselves at home in their exile. Not only is
the contented mind of the leper secured by the com-
pany of his wife, but the enjoyment of good nursing
and the assistance so much needed
" Previous to my arrival here it was acknowledged
and spoken of in the public papers as well as in
private letters that the greatest want at Kalawao was
a spiritual leader. It was owing in a great measure
to this want that vice as a general rule existed in-
FATHER DAMIEN. 29
stead of virtue, and degradation of the lowest type
went ahead as a leader of the community
When once the disease prostrated them women and
children were often cast out. Sometimes they were
laid behind a stone wall, and left there to die.
"As there were so many dying people, my priestly
duty towards them often gave me the opportunity to
visit them at their domiciles, and although my ex-
hortations were especially addressed to the prostrated,
they would fall also upon the ears of public sinners,
who little by little became conscious of the conse-
quences of their wicked lives, and began to reform,
and thus, with the hope in a merciful Saviour, gave
up their bad habits.
"Kindness to all, charity to the needy, a sympa-
thising hand to the sufferers and the dying, in con-
junction with a solid religious instruction to my
listeners, have been my constant means to introduce
moral habits among the lepers. I am happy to say
that, assisted by the local administration, my labours
here, which seemed to be almost in vain at the be-
ginning, have, thanks to a kind Providence, been
greatly crowned with success."
The water supply of Molokai was a pleasant sub-
ject with Father Damien. When he first arrived the
lepers could only obtain water by carrying it from
the gulch on their poor shoulders ; they had also to
take their clothes to some distance when they re-
quired washing, and it was no wonder that they
lived in a very dirty state.
30 FATHER DAMIEN.
He was much exercised about the matter, and one
day, to his great joy, he was told that at the end
of a valley called Waihanau there was a natural
He set out with two white men and some of his
boys, and travelled up the valley till he came with
delight to a nearly circular basin of most delicious
ice-cold water. Its diameter was seventy-two feet by
fifty-five, and not far from the bank they found,
on sounding, that it was eighteen feet deep. There
it lay at the foot of a high clifl", and he was in-
formed by the natives that there had never been a
drought in which this basin had dried up. He did
not rest till a supply of water-pipes had been sent
them, which he and all the able lepers went to work
and laid. Henceforth clear sweet water has been
available for all who desire to drink, to wash their
clothes, or to bathe. Lately the water arrangements
have been perfected under Government auspices by
Mr. Alexander Sproull, who was engaged in this
work while I Avas at Kalawao, and who was my
companion at the guest-house.
Father Damien was not hopeless about the dis-
covery of a cure for leprosy. " But, to my knowledge,
it has not yet been found," he said. "Perchance, in
the near future, through the untiring perseverence of
physicians, a cure may yet be found."
When newcomers arrived at Molokai there were
plenty of old residents ready to preach to them the
terrible axiom, "Aole kanawai ma keia wahi" — "In
FATHER DAMIEN. 31
this place there is no law." With the greatest indig-
nation Father Damien heard this doctrine proclaimed
in public and private, and with the whole force of
his being he set himself to combat it.
Along the face of the cliffs there grows very abun-
dantly a plant which the natives call "ki" (Draccena
terminalis)^ and from the root of which, when
cooked and fermented, they make a highly intoxica-
ting liquid. When Father Damien arrived he found
that the practice of distilling this horrible drink was
carried on largely. The natives who fell under its
influence forgot all decency and ran about nude, act-
ing as if they were stark mad. It was illegal to
distil spirits, and the brave man, having discovered
that certain members of the police were in league
with the evil-doers, set to work and went round the
settlement with " threats and persuasions," till he
had induced the culprits to deliver up the utensils
which were employed for that purpose. Some of the
most guilty persons were convicted, but they w^ere
pardoned on giving a promise that they would never
offend again. These reforms were of course very
unpopular with evil-doers, and there was fierce oppo-
sition to his influence. He learnt what it was to be
hated for righteousness' sake by the people for whom
he was giving his life, and the tide of angry re-
sistance did not entirely turn till it became apparent
that the disease had claimed him also as its own.
Then his adversaries were ashamed, and became his
friends and servants.
32 FATHER, DAMIEN.
It was after living at the leper settlement for about
ten years that he begun to suspect that he was a
leper. The doctors assured him that this was not the
case. But he once scalded himself in his foot, and
to his horror he felt no pain, till he put his hand
into the pail and felt how hot the water was. xlnaes-
thesia had begun, and soon other fatal signs appeared.
One day he asked Dr. Arning, the great German
doctor who was then visiting Molokai, to examine
" I cannot bear to tell you," said Dr. Arning, " but
what you say is true."
" It is no shock to me," said Damien, " for I have
long felt sure of it."
I may mention here that there are three kinds of
lejprosy. In one kind the whole body becomes white
and of a scaly texture, but the general health is un-
affected comparatively. This is the sort repeatedly
mentioned in the Bible. In modern times it is some-
what rare, though I have seen cases of it in India.
In the anaesthetic variety the extremities become
insensible to pain, and gradually slough away with
sores. The whole body becomes weak and crippled,
and an easy prey to dysentery or diarrhoea. The
third kind of leprosy is named tubercular, and is
distinguished by swellings and discolourations. This
is the most painful kind to see. Father Damien
suffered (as is often the case) both from the anaes-
thetic and the tubercular forms of the disease.
" Whenever I preach to my people," he said, " I
FATHER DAMIEN. 33
do not say 'my brethren,' as you do, but 'we lepers.'
People pity me and think me unfortunate, but I
think myself the happiest of missionaries."
Henceforth he came under the law of segregation,
and journeys to the other parts of the islands were
forbidden. But he worked on with the same sturdy,
cheerful fortitude, accepting the will of God with
gladness, and undaunted by the continual reminders
of his coming fate which met him in the poor creatures
" I would not be cured," he said to me, " if the
price of my cure was that I must leave the island
and give up my work."
A lady (Miss Mary Stuart) wrote to him, "You
have given up all earthly things to serve God here
and to help others, and I believe you must have now
joy that nothing can take from you and a great re-
ward hereafter." — " Tell her," he said, with a quiet
smile "that it is true. I do have that joy now."
" I believe that I am the happiest Missionary in
the world " he said on another occasion.
He was very anxious that I should attend his church
services, though, as they were in Hawaiian, I could
not understand what was said. English was the lan-
guage used by educated Hawaiians. He pressed me
to help in his choir, and was delighted when I sang
" Adestes fideles " with the boys, and some of the
tunes that the ariston played. He had his own
private communion in the church on Sunday morn-
ing, followed by a general service, at which there
were about eighty lepers present.
34 PATHEE, DAMIEN.
He seldom talked of himself except in answer to
questions, and he had always about him the sim-
plicity of a great man. He was not sentimental, and
I was therefore the more pleased that he gave me a
little card of flowers from Jerusalem, and wrote on
it, "To Edward Clifford, from his leper friend, J.
Damien." He also wrote in my Bible the words, "I
was sick, and ye visited me. — J. Damien de Yeuster,
Kalawao, Molokai, December 20th, 1888." He liked
looking at the pictures which were in my Bible,
especially at the two praying hands of Albert Diirer
and at a picture of Broadlands. I told him all the
names of the friends who had given me presents
for him, and he asked questions, and was evidently
touched and happily surprised that English Protestants
should love him.
I gave him on Christmas Day a copy of Faber's
hymns which had been sent him by Lady Grosvenor's
three children.* He read over the childishly written
words on the title-page " Blessed are the merciful, for
they shall obtain mercy," and said very sweetly that
he should read and value the book.
I wished I could have understood the sermon he
preached on Christmas Day. It was long and ani-
mated. In the afternoon he was catechising the boys,
and he translated for me some of his questions and
some of their answers, chiefly bearing on the Nativity
and on the nature of God.
* (Now (1904) The Duke of Westminster, Lady Shaftesbury, and
FATHER DAMIEN. 35
In speaking to me he used English, which he said
was now the language most natural to him.
He told me that there had been beautiful instances
of true devotion among the lepers. Roman Catholics
were nearly as numerous as Protestants, and both
Churches were well filled. He gave me good accounts
of the Protestant native minister, who had come to
Molokai in charge of his leprous wife. I visited him,
but we could only understand each other through an
interpreter. The total number of lepers in the settle-
ment was a thousand and thirty.
Christmas Day was, of course, a feast, and in the
evening the lepers had an entertainment and acted
scenes in their biggest hall. The ariston played its
best between whiles. To English people it would pro-
bably have seemed a dreary entertainment, but the ex-
citement was great. Belshazzar's feast was a truly
wonderful representation, and not much more like
Belshazzar's feast than like any other scene. The
stage was very dark, and all the lepers seemed to
take their turns in walking on and off it. Belshazzar
had his face down on the table, buried in his arms,
nearly all the time, and it really seemed as if he
might be asleep. Nobody did anything particular, and
it was difficult to say who was intended for Daniel.
The queen-mother was a little boy.
The fathers were on very affectionate, playful terms
with the lepers. I found Father Conradi one morn-
ing making a list of the boys' names, which I think
are worth recording with some others that I got from
36 FATHER DAMIEN.
Mr. SprouU and Dr. NichoUs. It must be remem-
bered that they are hoys' names; Jane Peter, Henry-
Ann, Sit-in-the-cold, The Rat-eater, The Eyes-of-the-
fire, A Fall-from-a-horse, Mrs. Tompkins, The Heaven-
has-been-talking, Susan, The Window, The wandering
Ghost, The first Nose, The tenth Heaven, The Dead-
house, The white Bird, The Bird-of-water, The River-
of -truth. The Emetic.
The following names were found by Dr. Nicholls
at Honolulu : — Mr. Scissors, Mrs. Oyster, The Fool,
The Man who washes his Dimples, The tired Lizard,
The Atlantic Ocean, The Stomach, The great Kettle,
Poor Pussy, The Pigsty.
Father Damien would never come inside the guest-
house while I was staying, but gat in the evening on
the steps of the verandah and talked on in his cheery,
pleasant, simple way. The stars shone over his head,
and all the valleys glimmered in golden moon-light,
There is often wild weather in Molokai. The cona
wind rushes up from the southern coast, and reaches
with steady force the heights of the island ; then it
seems staggered at finding the ground suddenly come
to an end, and descends through the gorges to the
leper villages in gusts which, though warm, are so
violent that one evening our roof was mainly torn off,
and the rain came pouring through a dozen fissures.
The china-roses by the balcony were ruthlessly with-
ered and torn to pieces, and in a ride from Kalau-
papa, I was driven in exactly opposite directions with-
in a distance of two hundred yards, while the rain in
FATHER DAMIEN. 37
my face felt more like gravel than water. This
weather sometimes lasts for days together, and the
wind continues, though the skies may be full of star-
light or sunshine.
Generally the climate is what would universally be
described as lovely ; but Mr. Sproull told me that the
heat and stillness were sometimes so exhausting that
every one got " as limp as a wet collar."
The ground at Molokai is strewn with great black
blocks of lava, round which grows a tall delicate grass
so closely that one has to be careful of pitfalls as
one walks. There are not many wild flowers in the
Hawaiian Islands. The lilac major convolvulus, a
handsome white poppy, the diverse-coloured lantana,
and a bright orange blossom with a milky stem are
among the principal. On the hills grow the crimson-
blossomed Lehua, and various pretty berries, white,
black, purple, yellow, and red — some of them (the
ohelo especially) excellent to eat.
Half-way between the two leper towns rises a lowish
hill, which is found, on ascending it, to be an ex-
tinct volcano with a perfect cup, and at the bottom
of the cup a hole 130 feet wide, which is said to be
unfathomable. It is nearly full of turbid green water.
Half skeleton trees grow on its sides, and some big
cactuses. The place looks like the scene of some
weird fairy tale.
At Kalaupapa there live and work Father Wendolen
and three Franciscan sisters. Mother Marianne, the
Superior, is a very gentle sweet woman, with con-
38 FATHER DAMIEN.
siderable organizing powers, and a taste for art and
beauty, which can find little scope in that outcast
The Roman Catholic Church in the village was built
partly by Father Damien's own hands. He is good
at carpentering and building, and is apparently able
and ready to work at anything as long as it is work.
He is scrupulous and businesslike about accounts and
money matters, and he was anxious that I should see
how carefully he had kept his books, and that I
should understand that the presents sent him had
been dispensed with impartiality among Protestants
and Roman Catholics.
The given time for me to remain at the leper settle-
ment came to an end only too soon, and one day the
steamer arrived which was to take me away. It
brought two hundred friends of lepers to spend a few
hours at Molokai — a treat generously provided by Mr.
Samuel Damon of Honolulu. The sea was unfortu-
nately so rough that only the men were allowed to
land, but the women were taken close to the shore
in boats, so that they could see their friends and con-
verse with them. One girl leaped on shore in defiance
of all rules. When the vessel sailed away all the
population seemed to have come out to say farewell,
and there was much wailing and waving of handker-
As our ship weighed anchor the sombre purple
cliffs were crowned with white clouds. Down their
precipices leaped the cataracts. The little village, with
FATHER DAMIEN. 39
its three churches and its white cottages, lay at their
bases. Father Damien stood with his thousand lepers
on the rocks till we slowly passed from their sight.
The sun was getting low in the heavens, beams of
light were slanting down the mountain sides. And
finally I saw the last of Molokai in a golden veil of
London, May, 1889.
And now the news of Father Damien's death has
come to us. Friends have said to me, "You must be
glad to think that he has passed away to his reward."
Yes, I feel that all that God does is best, and that
therefore this must be best. But I do not feel glad
except from that highest point of view. Looked at
with human eyes, it would have seemed to most of
us that so useful and happy a life might have been
prolonged with great blessing to himself and to the
suffering ones among whom he worked.
I think that in the last few weeks he had himself
begun to feel the desires for paradise quickening, as
the weariness of the flesh grew heavier.
The hopes of better health raised during my last
days at Molokai were dashed by a letter written on
the 21st of February. It gave a distressing account
of his bodily condition. "But, nevertheless, he is as
energetic as ever in bettering the condition of the
40 FATHER DAMIEN.
lepers, and there have been added to our number
since you left about a dozen new cases ; all are com-
The postcript to this letter is —
" My love and good wishes to good friend Edward.
I try to make slowly my way of the Cross, and hope
to be soon on the top of my Golgotha. —Yours for ever,
The last letter from him is as follows : —
"Kalawao, 28th February, 1889.
" My dear Edward Clifford — Your sympa-
thising letter of 24th gives me some relief in my
rather distressed condition. I try my best to carry
without much complaining and in a practical way,
for my poor soul's sanctification, the long foreseen
miseries of the disease, which, after all, is a provi-
dential agent to detach the heart from all earthly
affection, and prompts much the desire of a Christian
soul to be united— the sooner the better — with Him
Who is her only life.
"During your long travelling road homewards please
do not forget the narrow road. "We both have to walk
carefully, so as to meet together at the home of our
common and eternal Father. My kind regards and
prayers and good wishes for all sympathising friends.
Bon voyage, mon cher ami^ et au revoir an ceil. —
Afl^ Y>^ J^ Ic^-iv^ <»4n.*Vviin?P vfl^/^
42 FATHER DAMIEN.
This was probably the last letter he ever wrote,
and soon he felt that his end was near. On the 28th
March he took to his bed.
"You see my hands," he said. "All my wounds
are healing and the crust is becoming black. Look
at my eyes. I have seen so many lepers die that I
cannot be mistaken. Death is not far off. I should
have liked to see the Bishop again, but le hon Dieu
is calling me to keep Easter with Himself. God be
blessed ! How good He is to have preserved me long
enough to have two priests by my side at my last
moments, and also to have the good Sisters of Charity
at the Leproserie. This has been my Nunc Dimittis.
The work of the lepers is assured, and I am no
longer necessary, and so will go up yonder. Bury
me by the Church, under the palm tree, which was
my roof when I first came to live here."
"And will you, like Elijah, leave me your mantle,
my father, in order that I may have your great
heart ? " said Father Wendolen.
" Why, what would you do with it ? " said Father
Damien ; " it is full of leprosy."
He rallied for a little while after this, and his
watchers even had a little hope that his days might
be lengthened. Father Conradi, Father Wendolen, and
Brother Joseph were much in his company. Brother
James was his constant nurse. The Sisters from
Kalaupapa visited him often, and it is good to think
that tlie sweet face and gentle voice of the Mother
were near him in his last days. Instead of his straw
FATHER DAMIEN. 43
mattress on the ground they put him comfortably to
bed. Everybody admired his wonderful patience. He
who had been so ardent, so strong, and so playful,
was now powerless on his couch. "And how poorly
off he was ; he who had spent so much money to
relieve the lepers had so forgotten himself that he
had none of the comforts and scarcely the necessaries
of life." Sometimes he suffered greatly ; sometimes
he was partly unconscious.
He said that he was continually aware of two per-
sons being present with him. One was at the head
of the bed and one at his feet. But who they were
he did not say.
The disease had concentrated itself in his mouth
and throat, and had also attacked the lungs.
The end was near, and he was at peace. The last
sixteen years spent among the lepers had been full
both of difficulties and of blessings. Enemies had
lurked near at hand. His motives had been impugned,
his character had been falsely assailed. Not much
praise had reached him. The tide of affection and
sympathy from England had cheered him, but England
was so far off that it seemed almost like sympathy
and affection from a star. Churches were built, schools
and hospitals were in working order, but there was
still much to be done. He was only forty-nine, and
he was dying.
"Well ! God's will be done. He knows best. My
work, with all its faults and failures, is in His hands,
and before Easter I shall see my Saviour."
44 FATHER DAMIEN.
Again and again he received the Sacrament.
The breathing grew more laboured, the leprous eyes
were nearly blind, the once stalwart frame was fast
becoming rigid. And then the sound of the passing
bell was heard, and the wail of the lepers pierced the
air. The last flickering breath was breathed, and the
soul of Joseph Damien de Yeuster arose like a lark
All that is mortal of him lies under the palm tree
by the little Church, near the place where one by
one his flock have been laid.
The strong, active figure and the cheery voice are
no longer to be found at Molokai. But his work
abides, and brings forth fruit a hundredfold. Who
can measure the results of a life spent in obedience
to the will of God, and of actions performed from
love to Him and to humanity ?
"Fear no more the heat of the sun,
Kor the furious winter rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages."
(Note, April, 1904. — My readers will like to
know that the work among the lepers in Molokai is
carried on most generously by the Hawaiian Govern-
ment, now amalgamated with the United States. The
friends of Father Damien are still living and work-
ing there, and I often hear of them through my
friend the devoted brother Joseph, who is mentioned
above, and who gives his whole life and energy to the
lepers. Some day I should like to write more fully
about him. Father Wendolen and the Sisters are still
actively and nobly working there. Soon after Father
Damien's death we English friends of his sent out a
beautiful granite cross, to which was attached a white
marble relief with his sculptured profile. Underneath
are the words, "Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.")
46 FATHER DAMIEN.
Note. — I feel that I must not close an account of
my dear and honoured friend, Father Damien, with-
out saying what my chief reasons are for standing
apart from the Church which he loved and to which
he belonged. I need scarcely say that I believe that
all who have the Christ life belong to the Church of
Christ (whether Roman Catholics, Nonconformists, or
belonging to the Church of England). But I have
five strong reasons which would prevent my ever
feeling even inclined to become a Roman Catholic.
They count of course much more against joining
a Church than against remaining in it, if born and
bred there and unconscious of its faults.
Firstly then it seems to me that the Church of
Rome is not primarily faithful to truth, or to the
great eternal difference between right and wrong.
And this is the chief reason why I stand apart from it.
A Roman Catholic's opinion on religious subjects is
not formed by the simple conviction of what is right
or wrong, or true or untrue, but by the authority of
a Church which claims infallibility. The question is
closed of whether the Church was or is right or
wrong, for there is "no possibility of error." So it
means slavery of thought, both for individuals and
nations. Slaves may be good and happy, but English
people do not generally wish to be slaves. For my-
self, the more I see of Roman Catholics, and the
more I love them, the less I wish to become one of
them. It seems almost ungracious to say this, but I
dare not leave it unsaid.
FATHER DAMIEN. 47
Secondly, The Church of Rome, in spite of expla-
nations and protestations, fears the Bible, and dis-
courages its use. I know and thankfully admit that
in some places there is an improvement in this respect.
But the charge has again and again been proved just.
Thirdly, The priests of the Church of Rome are
compulsorily celibate. The rule may be a wise one
as far as the attainment of worldly power goes. But
it is not possible to believe that out of the tens of
thousands of young men who, in their youth vow to
live celibate lives a majority preserve their purity
through all the conflicts of life. And when they fall
the soul gets crooked, and does crooked work. An
unmarried clergyman is a good thing, but he must
be free to marry if he should by and bye very
much wish to marry. Moreover, it is practically
decided when a boy is eight years old that he shall
go to a priest's school and be trained for a celibate
life. This is surely iniquitous.
Fourthly, I could not join the Church of Rome
because it so little recognises other Christians that a
Roman Catholic is actually forbidden even to pray in
union with a member of our Church. The spirit is
so intolerant that I doubt if there are many Roman
Catholics even now who woiild condemn the barbarous
destruction of Protestants in the reign of Queen Mary.
Fifty thousand of them were ruthlessly destroyed in
the Netherlands by the Duke of Alva at about the
same epoch. Roman Catholics are apt to say that
Queen Elizabeth destroyed as many people for their
48 FATHER DAMIEN.
religion as her sister did. But this is absolutely un-
true. She never killed one person for his religious
convictions. She had many faults, but to her honour
be it said that in a bigoted age she was nobly tolerant.
Fifthly, the heart's devotion vrith the great body of
Roman Catholics is apparently given to the Virgin
Mary and to the Church rather than to Christ. I
say this unwillingly, and I know that there are many
exceptions to the rule ; but, alas ! it is true in the
These are my five chief reasons for not being a
Roman Catholic, in spite of the love and honour in
which I hold many who belong to the Roman Church.
I believe they will forgive me for my frankness, and
will feel that if I write about Father Damien I am
bound to speak truly of my own convictions.
QUARTU5, A BROTHER.
"QuARTUS," said a Corinthian lady to her slave
one Sunday morning, "I feel rather exhausted, I am
yawning, and that is always a sign that I need some-
thing to eat. Get me ready a bowl of soup, and then
you can go to the general assembly."
Quartus, who was cook, at once set about prepar-
ing the soup, but by the time he had served it, the
hour was so late, that when he arrived at church, he
could not find a seat. This was a distress to him,
for besides being naturally methodical, he was devout,
and valued a quiet place where he could be undis-
tracted in his worship. He was a simple child-like
person. The door-keeper, who was a friend of his,
came up to him and whispered that there were three
places still vacant in front. "Go round and slip in
by the back way," he said.
"I don't like to sit in the front," said Quartus,
hesitating, " It seems too much." " Nonsense," said
his friend, " I'll take you round."
They went together, and he showed him the empty
places and pushed him in. So Quartus sat in a seat
of honour with eyes cast down, and with a depre-
A few minutes after the service had begun, there
was a little commotion, and three elegant smiling
strangers made their way up through the aisle.
50 QTJARTUS, A BROTHER.
One of the elders of the church, who sat on the
platform, beckoned them politely to come forward,
and then casting his busy eyes around to find seats
for them, he discovered Quartus in the front row.
He spoke in a low voice to Nicias, Quartus' master,
who was sitting near him, "Nicias, isn't your cook a
little out of place ? He is excellent in the kitchen I
know, but we don't need him to be so apparent here,
do we ? " Nicias smiled, and stepping softly down,
said not unkindly, "Try and find a seat somewhere
else, there's a good fellow. We want these front
Covered with shame, and longing to explain that
his place was not of his own choosing, Quartus shrank
away further and further down the crowded church
seeking vainly for standing room.
About two-thirds of the way down, an old man
whom he had never seen before, made room for him
behind a pillar, where they both sat almost hidden.
Quartus was deeply grateful, but he could only ex-
press his feelings by an eloquent look at his bene-
factor. The old man's face was so beautiful, and his
slight smile was so sympathetic that he felt drawn to
him with quite a rush of emotion, and his eyes even
filled with tears. The stranger's mantle was thread-
bare and his shoes were worn, but he did not look
like a poor man. On the contrary, he had an air of
dignity and even of command. When the smile left
his face he looked extremely grave, and the deep
caverns of his eyes were full of mystery and of fire.
QUARTUS, A BROTHER. 51
Quartus felt a little afraid of him, but more of love
Meanwhile the service proceeded, and he soon heard
with admiration, his master beginning to speak in an
unknown tongue. This phenomenon, though it always
filled him with delight and awe, was too common to
excite much interest in the congregation generally.
The listeners soon got a little weary, and when on
Nicias ceasing, two others rose together and consider-
ably lengthened the exercise, there were even a few
looks of dismay.
Then some one rose and interpreted what Nicias
had said. Quartus thought it was beautiful, and did
not dream of complaining that it was very similar to
many of such utterances which he had heard before.
It was ecstatic, but tritely commonplace. Then one
of the three strangers rose, and preached with fine
oratorical power. There was a distinct sensation pro-
duced, and someone whispered, " What a gift ; it is
Demas. He speaks like an angel." Several people
Then came a hymn, and then a very mystic dis-
course in an almost inaudible voice from Phlegon, an
old citizen of considerable social position and wealth.
He was always listened to with a very polite show of
attention, for though rather a crank, he was known
and respected as a truly good man. And, moreover,
he had borne the chief burden of the expense of
building the church, and could always be depended
on for liberal giving.
52 QUARTUS, A BROTHER.
Quartus felt grieved that even by straining his at-
tention, he could gather scarcely anything from this
discourse. " How I waste my opportunities ! " he
sighed to himself. "But what a noble old white-
headed saint he is. He told us to trust in the Lord.
How good that is ! "
Then an interesting man named Cleon spoke — a
man who had once been cruelly tortured for his
faith's sake, by the Pagans, and who had been the
means, years before, of converting many persons to
Christianity. He was not a great preacher, but Quartus
loved to hear him, and envied him greatly for his
experience. His spiritual power was somewhat waning.
A sickly looking lady had been brought in on a
couch, and listened to everything that was said with
almost unnatural eagerness and with distended strain-
After Cleon had spoken, two brethren came for-
ward, and spoke and prayed with her. Then after
laying their hands on her, they took her by the hand
and lifted her up ; whereupon she walked and de-
clared herself cured. There was great rejoicing, and
a good deal of noise and excitement. Then after
more singing, the blessing was given, and the assem-
bly began to disperse.
Quartus was always too modest to go out with the
grand people, and to-day he felt more than usually
uncomfortable, and as if all the congregation would
mark him as a forward pushing fellow, who had been
told to take a lower place.
QUARTUS, A BROTHER. 53
"And well they might blame me," he thought,
"for indeed, I am nobody. It is not only that I am
a slave, but I have no spiritual gifts at all as so many
have. Oh ! if I could heal the sick, or if I could
speak with unknown tongues ! Many who are no
better scholars than I am, can preach and convert
sinners. I am almost useless. I feel I am out of it
altogether. How happy Cleon must feel to have so
bravely yielded himself up to the torturers. But I
feel that such experiences are not for me. To the
end, I shall only be Quartus the cook, a fourth-rate
man. I am not even holy, like Junius and Alexander ;
surely everyone is richer than I. And I know that
it is entirely my own fault.
When the church was half cleared, he came for-
ward, and stood a little way back in the portico.
His companion who had sat quietly by his side, also
rose, and remained standing near him.
They could look out through a space between two
pillars, and they soon saw that as the congregation
streamed out, a well-known, but disgusting object met
A filthy, old, half -imbecile woman, named Christina,
who had been sitting at the bottom of the church,
was now standing clamouring in the way. She seemed
abandoned to misery and degradation, and to be with-
out a sign of self respect.
Nicias, who had very hospitable instincts, had in-
vited the three strangers to come home to dinner with
him, and the four gentlemen were coming down the
steps and talking agreeably together.
54 QUARTUS, A BROTHER.
" I think you are perhaps right," Nicias was say-
ing. " I have always felt some degree of suspicion
about these healings. I am almost sure that the case
to-day was mere hysteria, and that to-morrow we shall
hear of a relapse. But the people crave for that kind
of excitement, and are a great deal more eager to see
a miracle than to listen either to preaching or un-
known languages. I must admit, however, that both
Phlegon and Cleon are rather long-winded in their
At this moment, the wretched mad woman thrust
herself forward and cried out, "Help me, I am in
prison and in chains, I am a miserable wretch." And
then her speech became an indistinguishable gibber.
" I know her," said Nicias with some disgust ; " She
is drunk as usual. It is no use helping her."
" Such cases are too common, alas ! " said his com-
panion, and passing on they continued to speak of
the morning service.
" Help me ! help me ! I am sick and wretched, and
ill and wicked. I am in prison ; I am in chains,"
cried Christina again as the rich and good old Phlegon
approached, followed by his servant.
" Do not give her money," whispered a deacon who
was accompanying him, and who had seen Phlegon
motioning to his servant to give her alms. " It is
better to let our association deal with such cases.
She is either drunk, or possessed, or both." Christina
either caught the words or guessed them, for she
cried out, " And how can I do anything but drink 1
QUAHTUS, A BROTHER. «»5
I am on lire. Help me. I am in prison. Chained.
Help me ! "
" Who is she ? " said Phlegon, half frightened.
"She was once a member of our church," replied
the deacon. "But she fell into sin, and we had to
" Why does she sslj she is in prison ? " asked
" She is mad, I suppose," said the deacon.
Cleon was close behind. He fixed his sad dark eyes
on Christina and said, " If you will turn from your
sin and do righteously, the Lord will pardon and re-
ceive you, sister. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses
from all sin."
" Don't preach to me, you chattering fool ; I am in
prison ; help me," said the woman frantically, and
she caught hold of his mantle violently and tore it.
For a moment his anger rose, but he prayed that
he might have the grace of meekness, and disengag-
ing himself from her clutch, he sighed and passed on.
" Will no one help me out of prison ? " moaned
Christina, and sank on the ground, with her head
between her knees.
Quartus did not doubt that the brethren must be
right to refuse her appeal, but he was extremely sorry
each time that it failed. His heart had caught fire
with pity for her. His hopes rose again when the
men who had laid their hands on the sick lady ap-
proached. They were almost the last of the congre-
gation, and he ventured to come forward and say ;
56 QUARTUS, A BROTHER.
" Sirs, can you help this poor woman ? You have
such a gift."
Their reply was, "My good man, I'm afraid we
can't do everything ! You should try and persuade
some of these wonderful brethren who speak with
tongues and prophecy to look after her; you all seem
to think so much of them. What a dreadful old
creature she is. Drunk, I suppose. Ah I it is her
own sin that has brought her to this state, and it is
no use trying to help her till she helps herself."
They passed on, and Quartus turning to his com-
panion who had stood quite motionless said to him,
" Sir, I am only a cook, but my master allows me a
little house, and if you are a stranger and would be
the guest of a slave I should feel grateful."
"Thank you, brother, I will come," said the old
Quartus hesitated, "Sir," he said timidly, "Do you
mind my asking this poor woman to come with us ?
I am almost ashamed to ask you, for I know that
she is no fit company for you. But I don't like to
go home and leave her here without any food."
" Ask her," said the stranger, with rather a peculiar
manner, "she is fit company for me."
So Quartus went up to Christina, and touching her
gently with his hand, said "I should like to help
you." She was mute, and he had to speak again be-
fore she raised her head and looked half vacantly at
him with her rheumy eyes.
" Come home with us and have some food," he said
in a kind voice.
QUARTUS, A BROTHER. 57
" Who are you ? " she said dreamily.
"My name is Quartus," he replied, and he took her
by the hand and raised her up. She was a dreadful
object — her face bloated, her clothes ragged and foul.
"Come with us," said he again, and the three
moved together towards his little house.
Christina seemed to have spent her passion, and
walked quietly but feebly. She only muttered an
answer when she was spoken to.
The stranger questioned Quartus about the service.
He asked who the speakers were, and Quartus answered
him with enthusiasm. " The first who spoke was my
master Nicias, Sir. Don't you think that he speaks
with tongues better than almost any one ? I always
feel as if he were saying the best things, and that
none of the interpreters bring out all the beauty of
it. It was Demas who spoke so eloquently after-
wards. A very good man I believe, and one of the
greatest preachers living. He preaches somewhere
nearly every day of his life, and sometimes two or
three times, besides being always ready to say a few
words. I believe he sometimes even preaches in his
sleep. He is a lesson to us all. I think you would
enjoy Phlegon's speaking. Sir ? He is so deep — in-
deed, I am too stupid and ignorant to understand
much of what he says. But it is always good. I am
glad that you saw the healing of that lady. We often
have cures like that in our church and other miracles
" And do you ever take any part yourself ? " asked
58 QUARTUS, A BROTHER.
Quartus' face fell.
" No Sir, I do nothing," he said very sadly, " I am
nobody in the church. Sometimes I am afraid that I
scarcely have a right to be a member. I have always
longed for some little gift, but it has never come. I
cannot preach, and I have never converted anybody.
I have almost given up hoping that I shall ever speak
with unknown tongues, or be able to heal the least
sickness. I would give all I have — which indeed is
not much — if I could do anything. And such young
men get the power now, some of them are almost
boys. I am more than forty, and I am no use at all."
" Do you do your work well for Nicias ? " said the
" Yes, I think he is pleased with me," said Quartus.
*'But of course he does not think much of me as a
church member. How can he ? Only this morning
I overheard one of the elders say to him that they
had no need of me in the church. And I know that
it was quite true. I should never be missed there if
I were to die to-day."
"At least they have left you the opportunity of
succouring a soul in prison, and of taking into your
house a stranger," said the other.
" Yes, said Quartus, " but that is nothing. That is
a pleasure — it needs no spiritual gift."
" Do you think so ? I call it the more excellent
way," said the stranger.
They now reached Quartus's modest little house.
He had a stew preparing which smelt excellent, and
QUARTUS, A BROTHER. 59
which was to have served him for dinner and supper.
He calculated that it would suffice for his guests, and
that very likely he would get something for himself
at his master's, after serving the family dinner there
an hour later. He waited on his guests with much
native grace, and felt very happy though hungry.
Before they had sat down he had said to Christina.
" Would you like to bathe sister ? There is warm
And she had answered in a subdued voice " Nay,
I'd as lief stay as I am if you are willing." He was
not exactly willing, but he did not say so.
He now recognised that there was a certain relation-
ship between himself and his two guests. Christina
was evidently affected strongly by the stranger. She
looked furtivelj' at him from time to time, half
frightened and half attracted.
When the meal was over, Quartus asked to be ex-
cused as it was time for him to go and fulfil his
duties for Nicias.
"We will stay here till you return if we may do
so," said the old man.
Quartus coloured with pleasure. Then he turned to
Christina and said, "You will bathe this afternoon,
will you not sister ? I have made all ready, and by
the bath I have put some clothes, which were my
wife's. I hope you will use them." For reply
Christina only fixed her eyes on him, but she did
not refuse his offer, and he felt hopeful of her as he
hurried away. It was nearly two hours before he
60 QUARTUS, A BROTHER.
returned, for the dinner at Nicias' was long and
But when at last he got back he saw a sight which
almost stopped the beating of his heart.
Could that woman be the wretched Christina ?
washed and clothed in white, and with an expression
of heavenly joy on her face. She sat at the stranger's
feet gazing up at him with tears rolling down her
face. She looked transfigured.
When Quartus entered she rose and bowed herself
to the ground before him, kissing his feet.
" My chains are broken " she said, " I am out of
prison. The evil spirit is cast out of me. Praised be
the Lord. He has sent His two servants to deliver
" It is true " said the stranger, " the devil is gone
out of her, and shall return no more into her.
Brother Quartus, God has given you this seal in His
service. Be thankful and henceforth be content."
Quartus was bewildered with delight. " But it is
you Sir, not I, who have done this," he said. "God
did it," said the stranger, "and He used us both in
the matter, but He used you chiefly. In the Church
He has placed not only Apostles and Prophets, but
also ' helps.' There are many members in the body,
and one member cannot say to another, ' I have no
need of thee.' And the hidden members are often
the most vital. It is your love that has won the
.victory." And again the stranger's beautiful smile
broke out all over his face. "And Sir, who are
you ? " said Quartus.
QUABTUS, A BROTHER. 61
" I am John," said the old man. " And now the
work I came here to do is done. Farewell Christina —
Farewell Quartus. We shall all meet again. Peace
and joy be with you my children," and with a beckon
of the hand he was gone.
# # * # *
Never had Quartus enjoyed a service so much as
on that evening. He was overflowing with gladness.
The same speakers who had spoken in the morning
spoke again, but all they said seemed to Quartus so
beautiful that many times he could not restrain his
Christina sat behind him. She had drawn a veil
over her face, and no one recognized her. But at
the close of the service she rose and threw back her
veil, and her voice tremulous with emotion was heard
all over the church.
" I thank God," she said in a voice of deep feeling.
Every one turned and saw her as she stood with a
rapt and beautiful face. Her hands were clasped.
" I thank God, she said again, " I have been de-
livered from prison and from the hands of my enemy."
"It is a miracle," was whispered all through the
church, and Nicias said to Demas in a low voice, "I
noticed a change come over her while I was speak-
ing. Thank God."
"Nay," said Christina, whose ears had been quick-
ened to hear his whisper, " your unknown tongue was
to me no more than a tinkling cymbal. It failed."
" Was it something which I said that helped you ? "
said Demas kindly.
62 QUARTUS, A BROTHER.
"Sir, your preaching was to me only like sounding
brass," said Christina without looking at him.
Nicias was a little abashed, but recovering himself
said, "Then it was Phlegon's doing — Phlegon, who,
all his life has been so generous to the poor ? Or
was it Cleon who helped you, he who once gave his
body to be burned "
"They profited me nothing," said Christina, "They
showed no love to me, hungry and thirsty and bound
by Satan. Nor did your healers. They may have
faith enough to remove mountains, but for me they
were nothing. All of you refused to help me, all of
you passed me by, except this cook. He laid his
hand on me, not for a miracle but for love. He saved
me. He fed me. He gave me water to wash with,
and clothes to wear. He brought me to one who
cast out of me the evil spirit. He alone of you has
the charity which never fails. I was naked and he
clothed me, I was hungry and he fed me, I was in
prison and he delivered me. The Lord bless him."
There was an awestruck silence while Christina was
speaking. She seemed unconscious of herself, as if
she were not speaking her own words.
Suddenly, with a start and a deep blush she re-
covered herself, and hastily covering her face with
her veil she sank down on her seat. Her pain and
her work were accomplished. She was dead.
FELIX AND BYAL.
This was the pre-eminent command which the four
children received from their father, and in it were
shehered nearly all his other commands.
Unhappily, it was generally disobeyed. But when-
ever it was kept, there followed splendid results.
The reason of its being made so imperative, was that
it was largely a fashion in that country to be un-
happy. People claimed misery as a possession and a
right. Even if they possessed all manner of good and
lovely things, they still chose to suppose that they
were miserable, and stared with incredulous smiles
at the few who declared themselves happy. In fact
they regarded them as insincere, or almost monstrous.
Misery was, as I have said, the fashion, and was
felt to be the right and correct thing. If no suffi-
cient cause for it could be adduced, then a hidden
reason had to be imagined and treasured, so that the
conventional sighs and groans might be justified. But
there were generally vexations and evils of some sort
going about, and it was not hard to detain one and
magnify it for personal use.
64 FELIX AND BYAL.
It was not, however, considered necessary to abstain
from pleasure. On the contrary, people habitually
followed it with great industry and success. They
considered that they might enjoy themselves as much
as they chose, provided that they kept groaning.
Luxury, work, comfort, recreation, idleness, friend-
ship, honours, children, food, raiment, health, the
beauty of nature, and general prosperity, might all
be sedulously possessed, provided that the sesame of
" I am wretched " was duly pronounced. It was this
custom of the country which the father above-men-
tioned desired to have broken.
Felix and Gladys, the two youngest of his four
children, early decided that they were happy, and
persisted in the avowal of it. They were, therefore,
considered by their elders as very extraordinary and
almost objectionable children. Happiness seemed to
come naturally to them, just as grumbling seemed
to come naturally to their elder brother and sister,
who became gloomier every year, as they dwelt on
the miseries of their lives, and also of other people's
lives, for it often happened in that country that
people were so obviously prosperous that they were
obliged to take up the supposed sorrows of others as
their own special affliction. And as they were seldom
very active in relieving these afflictions, except on an
exceedingly small scale, they naturally lasted them
out, and gave them an excuse for being so intensely
miserable that it did not seem unlikely that their
woes would finally unsettle their intellects.
FELIX AND BYAL. 65
But Felix and Gladys held sturdily to their birth-
right of happiness. When they were happy (which
was generally the case), they did not scruple to admit
it. They thought their food delicious, they like^
their lessons, they liked their play, they liked being
kind to other people, and they liked other people be-
ing kind to them, and they naturally spent a good
deal of time in these two last exercises.
Byal and Dolores groaned even in the midst of a
particularly agreeable picnic, and complained bitterly
that as they were there they could not be helping
the needy, as they wished to do.
Felix and Gladys did not go to the picnic because
they particularly wanted to attend to some crippled
children who had a country excursion on the same
day. With them they had an extra good time, for
the day was lovely, and there were flowers to gather,
buns to distribute, and songs to sing. When they
got back they were dreadfully hungry, but they felt
so jolly that they laughed all through supper. Byal
and Dolores had both eaten a little too freely of pate
de fois gras, and were consequently not in good
spirits when they reached home, and they said what
a weariness life was, and they quite scored a point
in wretchedness because they had each met a beggar,
and Byal had given his beggar 6d., and was sure he
had done wrong and encouraged vagrancy. Dolores
had, for conscientious reasons, refused alms to her
beggar, and blamed Byal for his munificence. But
she still felt that it was dreadful that people should
66 FELIX AND BYAL.
be hungry, and that she should be unable, for philan-
thi'opic reasons, to relieve them.
After they were all grown up, Byal wedded a de-
lightful wife, and lived prosperously with her for
half a century, but all through it he tormented him-
self with the possibility of his wife dying, and so he
never admitted that he was the least happy. They
lived on till they were old and tottering people. And
as one of them naturally died before the other, there
was ample excuse for the survivor to be even more
exceptionally wretched than before.
Dolores remained a spinster, and some people en-
vied her, for she was uncommonly well off, and could
have married suitably a dozen times, if she had
chosen. One would have expected that she would be
fairly happy, but as life advanced she revelled in two
sad theories. First, that she had been crossed in love,
and secondly that she had made an irretrievable mis-
take in not marrying, and that now it was too late
to remedy it.
Felix and Gladys both married at the normal age,
and had a splendid time, notwithstanding that they
had to bear the usual amount of troubles. Felix had
no children, but he used to say that he was glad of
it, for it left him free to work for his generation,
which he liked doing better than anything else. And
he declared that other people's children suited him a
great deal better than his own might have done.
Gladys had lots of children, and rejoiced in them,
and they all turned out averagely (though not brilli-
FELIX AND BYAL. 67
antly) well. After a while, Felix became an ex-
tremely happy and contented widower, and Gladys,
while still middle-aged, became a cheery, sympa-
thetic widow. And they so much cherished the
memory of husband and wife, that they neither of
them ever married again, but lived together and
shared their joys and sorrows.
The four brothers and sisters had the usual amount
of sickness, trouble, and loss, which they accepted
according to their dispositions.
Byal looked crosser and gloomier as time went on,
though he was by no means a bad fellow — indeed ^he
might be justly called a good and useful man.
Dolores kept an album in which were collected
hundreds of beautiful memorial cards, with urns and
willows. She found that even the entry there of a
slight acquaintance's demise, was useful as an excuse
for sighs. I never saw her out of mourning. Still,
she was really kind, and rather hospitable to bereaved
people, though they did not much like staying with
her for long, because she expected them to be in
such overwhelming grief that they could scarcely
live up to it, and felt guilty if they ate and drank,
and behaved like ordinary people.
She had some excuse for discontent all the year
round. When it was spring she either said "What
wretched weather, how cheery the fires, and the long
evenings of winter were," or else "How fast this
lovely season is fading ! "
When it was mid-summer, she observed that the
68 FELIX AND BYAL.
days would soon be drawing in, and said how sweet
the time of spring's promise had been, and how^ much
better she loved primroses than roses.
When it was autumn she said, "Everything is
dying ! Winter is coming fast ; would that we could
have kept the glow of summer ! "
When it was winter she tried to shiver under her
furs, and said, " This cold kills me ! And these leaf-
less trees fill me with dismay. Oh for the glorious
autumn back again. No, I wonH go to the Riviera."
As for Felix and Gladys, they liked almost every
single day of the year, and gave thanks and praise
accordingly. The birds of the air, the beasts of the
field, and the fishes of the sea (or even on their
tables), were all excellent. When misfortune came
they believed it was certainly going somehow to turn
to good, and that — after all — they had had but a small
share of it. When they grew old they suffiered some-
thing from the infirmities of age, from a measure of
blindness, or deafness, or lameness, but in all they
found compensations, and reasons for giving thanks.
"Even gold must be tried in the furnace, and every
sacrifice must be salted with fire. We will accept
such adversities and be thankful."
Byal became too stout, and Dolores had a rather
red nose — both annoying experiences — but the only
way they ever attempted to comfort themselves was
by remembering that many other people were still
worse off. And this did not comfort them enough
to make them really cheerful.
FELIX AND BYAL. 69
I need scarcely say that Felix and Gladys were
both exceedingly popular. Happy people are not
generally selfish, and their friends liked their com-
pany, though they were no more rich, or beautiful,
or clever, than other folks.
On the other hand it cannot be denied that the
hospitality extended to Byal and Dolores was of a some-
what laboured and perfunctory description. People
said they were glad to see them, but they were
gladder still when they were gone.
Of course all four sometimes suffered coldness or
injuries from their friends. "These people have cer-
tainly treated us badly," said Felix to Gladys. "But
they have given us an opportunity for showing a
right spirit, and I think we both feel the stronger
and more useful for the trial."
"Oh the cruelty of the world," cried Byal and
Dolores. " Sharper than a serpent's tooth is ingrati-
tude. I can never recover from this overwhelming
disappointment, coming from people whom I had so
" Life is indeed a vale of tears," they testified, as
its close drew near. (But yet they by no means
wished to die).
" To us life has been full of joys," said the younger
brother and sister, "And we are going soon to lie
down and rest. And we know that as goodness and
mercy have followed us all the days of our life, so
we shall dwell for ever in the house of our Father."
At last they all four died. On Byal's grave the
70 FELIX AND BYAL.
words are inscribed : " Man is born to trouble as the
sparks fly upwards."
On the tombstone of Dolores (which is of white
marble, and very expensive), there is engraved the
single touching word : " Alas ! "
On Felix's grave are the words : " He believed in
the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteous-
On Gladys's is just the one word, in letters of gold :
Which of these lives would we rather live ?
Is it strange that God is glad when we are glad,
and that He rejoices if we laugh for joy, and thank
Him for all He has prepared for us ? Does it please
God to be reckoned niggardly, or careless, or cruel ?
Are grumbling, crying children a credit and happi-
ness to their parents .^ Or is it better to see them
happy, and good ? Does anyone gain anything by
choosing to grumble ?
This word " Rejoice " is a kind of talisman. It
brings prosperity to soul and body. One could al-
most believe that since God has been so much abused
and misrepresented, and so often charged with our
own ignorances and vileness. He is in a way grateful
to those who love Him and His sway, and who show
and say that they rejoice in it and in Him. At any
rate it seems impossible to praise Him sincerely with-
out reaping some corresponding happiness and benefit.
-: o :-
This is the story of the change which the fact of be-
ing loved made to a woman. I record it because it
is a parable of Divine Love. Beauty, grace and pur-
pose come into the life when a soul finds that it is
loved by God or man.
My friend Francis Merrick was once paying a few
days' visit with me to some good-natured friends in
the south of England. He is a worthy middle-aged
man, and withal pleasant and wealthy.
Living with the family as a kind of general utility
person, was a poor relation, whom I will call Miss
Graves. She interested me chiefly because one morn-
ing, in a conversation with another person, I heard
her say, with deep sadness in her voice, " You know,
a time comes when one has given tip expecting that
anybody will ever love one."" No comment was made
on the remark, and the conversation glanced off.
She was above forty years old, quiet, useful, dowdy,
not unattractive, but rather bitter, as one would ex-
pect a woman to be who had little hope that anyone
would ever take any interest in her. The family
were kind, but certainly held her cheap.
72 MISS GRAVES.
How it came to pass I do not know, but either
from pity or admiration, or from some other cause,
Francis Merrick fell deeply in love with Miss Graves.
He was very shy and self-distrustful, and he did not
expect that he should be able to win her affection.
She never dreamt that he was thinking of her, and
behaved to him in the same frosty, indifferent sort
of way which she used with other people.
After his visit had lasted a week he was unexpec-
tedly called away on business. The night before he
left he told me what his feeling was, and said, " I
wish you would help me in this matter, Phillips.
You know how shy I am. I would give the world
to win her, but I fear I shall never succeed. If you
can possibly get an opportunity, do find out if I may
give myself any hope."
He left the next morning before breakfast. Miss
Graves was just as usual, and evidently did not think
or care about his absence. It happened that during
the morning I found her alone sewing some em-
broidery on the drawing-room curtains. I thought
that this would be my opportunity, and I sat in the
window seat, and said, " Mr. Merrick was very sorry
to have to leave us, but he hopes to return next
" I am sure my cousins will be glad to have him
back," said Miss Graves calmly.
" He is one of my oldest friends," I continued,
"and I don't think I know a better man."
" I liked the kind way he talked about his old
MISS GRAVES. 73
coachman," said she. " I wonder if he will be away
for a week, if so we could give his room to Mr.
Willison, who is coming to stay till next "Wednesday."
" Miss Graves," said I, " have you guessed that Mr,
Merrick has fallen in love with you ? "
" Fallen in love with me ! Good gracious, no I
You must be out of your mind, Mr. Phillips. Fallen
in love with me ! What perfect nonsense ! "
Miss Graves looked positively angry in her astonish-
ment and repudiation of the idea.
" I assure you, however, that it is true."
" I don't believe a word of it. He never said so.
Mr. Phillips, it is very bad taste of you to joke about
such a subject, let me tell you."
She had dropped her silk tassels and risen to her
"I assure you that he told me so last night, and it
is by his wish that I am now speaking to you."
There was a pause of some moments, and then she
said, " Mr. Phillips, forgive my hasty words. I did
not mean to be rude, but I am sure that there is
some mistake. You do not seriously mean to tell me
that Mr. Merrick asked you to tell me that he — that
he had — had any feeling of attachment to me ? "
" Indeed, that is just what I do mean. He is earn-
estly desirous to marry you."
" Excuse me, Mr. Phillips, but I really cannot be-
lieve it. Surely either he or you is trifling with me,
or there is some mistake. Nobody has ever been at-
tached to me in that way. I am poor and plain. It
is impossible that your friend should mean it seriously."
74 MISS GRAVES.
" Indeed he does mean it, Miss Graves. He loves
you most deeply."
Miss Graves sat down again as if she were in a
dream, and a beautiful change came over her face.
It flushed and softened, a slight smile which I had
never seen before played about her mouth, and her
rather cold, clear eyes had a soft expression. I saw
that she believed what I told her, though her words
still belied her looks.
She said, in a tremulous tone of extreme delight,
"Mr. Phillips, I cannot believe it. I must be dreami-
ing. But you would not, I am sure, deceive me.
Such news bewilders me. It changes everything. I
never expected to do anything but get more and more
like a dry old stick till I die. But will you write to
your friend, or ought I to write ? May I write ?
Do you think it would be proper for me to do so ?
I am so ignorant about— about such things. Good
God, what am I saying ? " Here she covered her
burning face with her hands and burst into tears.
"I never expected to be loved by anyone," she said
with extreme agitation. "Excuse me if I go to my
room for half-an-hour. And, thank youy
Presently my hostess, Mrs. Stevenson, came in and
said : " Where is Miss Graves ? I wish she would get
on with her work, and not leave the room in such
confusion. These curtains must be finished and put
up before lunch."
"What a valuable person she seems," said I.
" Capital, poor old thing ! So dowdy and useful.
MISS GEAVES. 75
I believe old maids are the best people living, always
willing to help, and never expecting any pleasure.
And often living on such a pittance. I must call her.
Miss Graves ! Miss Graves ! Where are you ? Miss
Graves ! "
" Here I am, Mrs. Stevenson. Coming directly,'*
said a voice from the top of the house.
" Do make haste, there's a good soul. I can't bear
to see the drawing-room in such a mess. Leave every-
thing for the curtains this morning. Why, what is
the matter ? Has anything happened ? "
" Oh, no, nothing. Nothing. I'll get on with them
at once. Excuse me. I only just — nothing, nothing
whatever." And she sat down, and with trembling
hands began again at the curtains.
Mrs. Stevenson stared, looked puzzled, and left the
I suppose Miss Graves wrote to Merrick that day,
at any rate she received a letter by post two days
after, at breakfast, which she put unopened into her
pocket, leaving the room very shortly afterwards.
The difference in her demeanour was most beauti-
ful, and all wondered what had come to her, except
myself, who knew the secret.
She was a different woman, and seemed to move
on air ; all her hardness and angularity were gone.
Her manner was often absent, and she had repeatedly
to apologise for a strange forgetfulness. A delicious
horizon seemed to fill her mind's vision. On the day
of Merrick's return, I noticed how prettily she was
76 MISS GRAVES.
dressed in a soft grey gown, with some ornaments that
I had not seen before. When he arrived, I observed
her deep flush, and how she bent determinedly over
her work. He came in eagerly, like a lover, and I
should think Mrs. Stevenson must have guessed some-
thing from the shyness of their greeting.
The next day the engagement was announced, and
everybody was kind and rather amused.
Miss Graves adored her lover in a very delightful
way. She never thought of her own pleasure, but
lived to please him. Her dress, her reading, her
music (she had a most rarely beautiful contralto voice),
and her opinions were all at his command. A quiet,
happy power seemed to come into her character. She
was intensely happy, and seemed to blossom out in
a number of unexpected ways. In six weeks they
were married, and a happier couple was never seen.
My story is told. You call it very simple, but it
is a great mystery, for " I speak concerning Christ
and the Church." We are loved by an unseen Bride-
groom, who has loved us and sought us for years.
He is generous, watchful, beautiful, heroic. He de-
sires to be united to us in eternal bonds. He is in-
visible to our mortal eyes, but it is not impossible
to love one who is unseen. One of our English
Queens loved her Spanish bridegroom most passion-
ately, long before she saw him.
And the presence of our Lover may be felt and
proved day by day. The Divine and mysterious gift
of loving, and being loved, may be enjoyed by any-
one, and the romance of a life made sacred to Him
may be ours.
My wife, my life. 0, we will walk this world
Yoked in all exercise of noble end,
And so through those dark gates across the wild
That no man knows. Indeed, I love thee.
Yield thyself up, my hopes and thine are one.
Accomplish thou my manhood and myself.
Lay thy sweet hands in mine and trust to me.'
MY LITTLE LONDON GARDEN.
: o :
Any people who have ever so small a garden can
learn from it a great many lessons, useful to the
spiritual life, if only they have, in some measure, got
their eyes open (as our Lord's eyes were open), to read
the lessons of trees, and herbs, and flowers.
My garden is only as wide as my house, and about
twice as long, but it teaches me a great deal. It is
in London, and I find it is of no use to try and gi'ow
roses there, any more than I can now grow in my
character certain beautiful qualities which I see in
other people's characters, and which I should like to
possess myself. We all have to learn our limitations
as we get older.
But there are many flowers which do admirably in
my little garden, if the soil is kept in order, and if
they are duly planted and sometimes watered. There
is a delightful little flower called Virginia stock,
which it is easy to grow wherever I put it. It
flowers beautifully, and always reminds me of the
happy grace of cheerfulness, for it blossoms freely,
and makes no complaints as to soil or sun, and is al-
ways a delight to look at. I commend it to every-
Notice that it is a cruciform flower, and so it wit-
MY LITTLE LONDON GARDEN. 71>
nesses of the cross, though it is thought cheaply of
by most people because it grows low and flourishes
easily. It has no scent — or scarcely any — and there-
fore people do not value it as they value the violet
and the mignonette. But I like it just as much. (I
do not want to speak against violets and mignonette^
but it is a fact that their delicious scent is only avail-
able for a short time ; it soon gets exhausted). Its
thousands of blossoms vary in colour — chiefly in
shades of lilac, but sometimes they are white.
I planted a mulberry tree when I came into the
house, seven years ago, and this year it has had some
fruit on it, and will have more still next year, I hope.
There has been long waiting for it, but now that it
has come it is excellent. So also there are graces in
the Christian character which seem to depend on time
and experience, and which it is no use to expect at
the very beginning of things. There are special sorts
of wisdom and kindness which belong to middle life
and old age, more than they belong to youth. But
while we are young let us do all that we can to pre-
pare the way for their development by-and-by. Strive
to have kindness and wisdom, and you are sure even-
tually to be kind and wise.
Youth has so much to recommend it that I like to
remember that some things are at their best when
they are old. For instance, a young olive tree is a
poor thing, but when it gets old it is one of the
loveliest sights in creation, especially when it is seen
with pink or red roses growing up into its midst, or
80 MY LITTLE LONDON GARDEN.
with purple and yellow grapes hanging among its
Of course, there are many enemies to a garden, as
there are many enemies to the soul. First of all
there are the weeds, which are numerous and per-
sistent, and different to each other in character. But
I find that some of them have, at last, almost entirely
ceased, after seven years' attention to them. For in-
stance, I used to have hundreds of impudent thistles
springing up. I found that it was easy to pull them
up while the soil was soft after rain, and while they
were young, but if they got old, and the soil was
hard, then they broke off and sprung up again.
Anyone can see that thistles are like temper, which
needs a great deal of care and watchfulness while our
character is forming. A month's neglect of them
means giving them a tremendous advantage, but by
God's grace each indication of temper can be dealt
with summarily, especially if we get our daily water-
ing from the Holy Spirit during the morning hour
of prayer, confession and communion. It is worth
while to take special pains to pull up such thistles,
for what dreadful pain to others and to ourselves a
bad prickly temper gives. And how much time it
takes up and wastes if the fault is neglected and
grows strong and rebellious !
I had also a great number of stinging-nettles, which
are, of course, a disgrace to any garden. They, too,
can be easily pulled up when they are young, just as
spitefulness can be dealt with and annihilated in the
MY LITTLE LONDON GARDEN. 81
power of God's Holy Spirit, if we attend to its first
beginnings and treat it with repentance, confession
and amendment. I am glad to say that thistles and
nettles have practically disappeared from the garden.
The beautiful bindweed has been a great trouble to
me, for it gets deep into the soil, and has long
branching roots, deep down like the roots of a tree.
To eradicate them would need demolishment of every-
thing that grows near. What I found w^as that small
plants and roots can be pulled up, and green leaves
not allowed above the surface. This discourages it
till it begins to die out. Perhaps many of us have
some besetting sin of the flesh, or the world, which
is harder to eradicate from our hearts than even the
bindweed in our gardens. Why cannot the weed
grow unaggressively and in its place, like its near
relation, the lovely convolvulus major ? The bind-
weed itself is a beautiful flower, and it might be al-
lowed a place somewhere under discipline. And just
in the same way qualities, w^hich are ready to become
servants of the world and the flesh, have often a good
side if they are controlled and kept in their place.
For God has made our bodies and our minds, as w^ell
as our souls and spirits, and all ought to be good and
useful in His Kingdom.
If you fight against your besetting sins you will
find that they get slow^ly weaker, and you will by-
and-bye get a sweet sort of Indiah summer towards
the end of your life when they will have almost
ceased to worry you.
82 MY LITTLE LONDON GARDEN.
Quantities of grass used to grow in my garden beds
whenever there was a chance. Grass can be pulled
up like other w^eeds, when the soil is soft, but it has
such spreading roots that often good things are pulled
up with it or disturbed. It is a beautiful thing in
its place. Let it teach us that rest and recreation,
though good and important, are not to be allowed to
grow into laziness. After we have been in Christian
work a little while there often comes a real tempta-
tion to laziness. We want to lie in bed in the morn-
ing, and not to endure hardness as we did at first.
Let us be very watchful in this matter and keep care-
fully to our rule.
Dogs, cats, snails, slugs, are all enemies, but in my
garden slugs and snails are very much reduced through
hunting them early in the morning. Cats were a
special trouble, for they raked up the ground, besides
making horrible, fiendish noises at night. I have
never been able quite to get rid of them, but I have
had rabbit wire put along the wall and in front of
my railings, and since that I have only had trouble
occasionally, with a very bold adventurous cat. Satan
prowls near us and is always a ready enemy if we
cease to watch and pray. But make it difficult for an
enemy to enter, and you have done a great deal to
prevent his appearing, except very rarely. And by
no means let anything lie about which the enemy
could feed on. The worst of the cat trouble is that
we harbour them within, and so we must expect to
suffer from them sometimes !
MY LITTLE LONDON GARDEN. 83
How I value the flowers which come out in dark
and almost flowerless times ! The beautiful Christ-
mas roses (or hellebores) choose the gloomy months,
November and December, for showing their exquisite
white blossoms, with the yellow centre, and the deli-
cate pink at their backs. They do not seem to mind
the hard biting weather, but are always pure, and
white, and cheerful, and happy through all the cold
and wind and distress of the winter. They are like
peace of soul. They remind me of Miss S 1.
I am very fond of the hibiscus flower, and I have
five plants of it. Every spring I wonder if it is dead,
for all the stems are brown and withered looking,
but quite late the small green buds appear, which
change to leaves, and in the cool, windy, bleak
Autumn the beautiful white and pink flowers are in
full beauty, when the glory of nearly every other
flower has departed. How good it is to have beauty
and grace in the latter part of life, when the fresh-
ness of spring has departed. The hibiscus reminds
me of Jiojje^ and its long delayed triumph.
I think that my greatest pleasure this year (in
flowers) has been a beautiful passion flower, which
has grown half over the front of my house, and has
had hundreds of beautiful blossoms. The passion
flower, of course, means sufi'ering, and takes us back
to Calvary, with its crown of thorns, its thirteen
petals (suggesting the thirteen Apostles), its five sta-
mens (like the five wounds of our Lord), and its
dark Cross in the centre. Manv of us have learned
84 MY LITTLE LONDON GARDEN.
to be as thankful for the suffering which God sends,
as we are for His pleasures. Both are needed, and
both are treasures if we are to be like Christ.
There is a slanting roof all along the bottom of my
garden, which belongs to a neighbour, and the slates
have a very tiresome way of coming down in con-
siderable numbers, to the danger both of plants and
people. But, after all, no serious damage has come
from them. And I do not believe that mischief from
outsiders can really hurt, if we take it in the right
way, as coming in God's providence and unable to
really wound us.
How much training and supporting even the best
plants need, lest they break off, or go wrong, or are
hurt by wire-worms, and slugs, and snails ! Like a
good gardener, God watches over us day by day with
The greatest trouble with my garden is, that it is
to a considerable extent poisoned by the evil sulphur-
ous powers of London air, which often prevent plants
from bringing forth to perfection, just as there are
hellish powers always waiting to do our souls a mis-
chief. But, wonderful to say, there are a few flowers
which get sustenance out of even London fogs and
smoke, and I do believe there are certain insect blights
which the London air actually keeps away, and which
only attack plants that are in happier surroundings.
On the whole, my garden does as well as most of
my neighbours' gardens.
But that is not saying much, and there is one
MY LITTLE LONDON GARDEN. 85
garden a good deal better than mine in almost every-
way. And another has a large, beautiful pear tree,
which in its season is covered with snowy blossoms.
And next door but one to me there are some sisters
who have a lovely jessamine, which shows thousands
of fragrant starry blossoms when its time comes.
I find that many of my plants produce only very
small blossoms, and come to an end after a year or
two. It is because the earth gets impregnated Avith
sooty blacks, and half poisons the flowers. My kind,
indulgent friends profess to admire my garden, but I
am sure that they know perfectly well how different
it is from their nice clean country gardens. Still, I
am thankful for my irises, which are as good as
possible, and for my vine, which (after being pruned
and manured) always bears some bunches of purple
grapes. It is something to be glad of that the poor
little garden struggles on without being a complete
failure. Alas for the beautiful things that wither or
refuse to grow in it !
I have some nice plants, given me from beautiful
gardens in Staffordshire, Kent, Hertfordshire, and
Sutherland, which flourish uncomplainingly. And I
believe there are certain qualities which we may all
grow if we choose in the garden of our soul, even if
we are not highly gifted people — gratitude, kindness,
industry, humility, hope, charity, faith and cheerful-
ness ! And there is no garden so poor and worthless
that Christ will not visit it, and care for it, and by-
and-bye — after much patience — bring it to perfection.
S6 MY LITTLE LONDON GARDEN.
If our heart cries, ''Let my Beloved come into His
garden," we shall soon hear His voice replying, " I
am come into My garden."
And the dark days will pass away when their work
is done, and then we shall find that
'• Winter rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins,
And days dividing Lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins.
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain, and flowers begotten,
And in g'reen underwood and cover,
Blossom by blossom the spring begins."
That will be heaven indeed !
MR. AND MRS. NICHOLLS.
Mk. and Mrs. Nicholls were known as particularly
good people, but they had one unfortunate failing, of
which they were perfectly unconscious. As not im-
probably you and I are also sometimes beset with
this failing, it is worth while to describe it. For
though I am afraid that with Mr. and Mrs. Nicholls
it is so deeply rooted that thej' have come to regard
it as almost a virtue, and that no words would induce
them even to wish to get rid of it, yet with others
it may not be too late to show a danger signal.
The failing I speak of was this. In every sermon
they heard and every book they read, they invariably
received them only in so far as they thought the
message would be useful to other people. It w^as with
them not a question of whether they were themselves
henefited^ but of whether they approved of what had
been said and written. Consequently, they were never
tired of hearing and reading things which had been
useful to them many years ago, and which they hoped
would help somebody as they had once been helped.
It was a kind instinct, but it may easily be be-
lieved that their own spiritual life became very much
shrivelled, for, as a matter of fact, they had received
88 MR. AND MRS. NICHOLLS.
scarcely any fresh food for many years, They had
believed that nothing could be so good for them as
to listen to statements and illustrations which had
long ago done everything for them which they could
do. And they only read books to see if they would
be useful to somebody else. When they had meet-
ings or Bible readings at their London house, they
never allowed anything to be said or any question to
be asked which they thought might be unsafe for
anyone present. Consequently their meetings were
seldom willingly attended more than once by any-
body who was not of their way of thinking, and the
audience generally consisted of a room full of people
who had no personal interest in what they said, and
of two or three young people who had been induced
to come, and who found the whole thing either
repugnant or uninteresting. Any question as to
Biblical difficulties was always answered in so stale
and conventional a way, that the questioner resolved
never to hazard another query. Indeed, there was
generally some slight hint of anger if a question was
asked which seemed to imply a real difficulty.
It was a very great pity, for Mr. and Mrs. Nicholls
were in the way of many sermons, many books, and
many articles, which, if they had received them
simply, quietly, and for their own benefit, would
have made them stronger, better, and more useful
people. It would have been good if they had taken
such food, first as a message to themselves, and had
then read it a second time for the benefit of others.
MR. AND MRS. NICHOLLS. 89
But this they did not do. The moment they began
to read or listen, their minds started criticism for the
sake of others, and they put out a danger flag, not
only for every supposed error, but also for every sup-
posed omission. It was surprising what uninteresting
people they gradually became, and how they were
avoided by all the young life and vitality that was
around them. For
"The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world."
Mr. and Mrs. Nicholls were jealous and restless and
unhappy about any new thought or fresh idea, which
they thought might depreciate the value of what had
long ago brought them comfort and peace. So they
became dried up, second-rate, useless people, and no-
body really wanted to listen to their views, though
they were certainly good and earnest. I shall not tell
you whether they were High Church, Broad Church,
or Evangelical. We will suppose that they belonged
to the same party that you belong to, and that they
refused to believe that God had any message worth
receiving from other kinds of Christians. If they
were High Church they refused to believe that the
Gospel message, whether preached by Low Church
people or Dissenters, was of any avail, and they shut
themselves up in stiff views about Churchmanship
and the Sacraments.
If they were Broad Church, they looked on High
and Low with good-natured contempt, and considered
90 MR. AND MRS. NICHOLLS.
them almost devoid of intellect, and unjustly attri-
buted to them exaggerated and impossible doctrines.
If they were Evangelical, they refused to believe
that reverence and beautiful services were pleasing to
God, and were jealous of all preaching of goodness
or morals lest the doctrine of substitution should be
The real truth is that stagnation and routine are
great evils, and that, as the world goes on, God is
continually stirring the great Universal Church in
order to bring fresh life and strength into it. Let us
try to keep the balance between shiftiness and stag-
nation. We need never fear for truth. Its basis is
divinely fixed. Let us get the benefit of the life
which comes to us through communication with all
the joints and bands in the great Body of Christ.
A TALE FOR A MOTHER.
: o :-
Mrs. Burgon had succeeded.
For a wonder she had an hour's leisure before dress-
ing for dinner. Her last necessary letter had been
written, and she leant back and considered.
Her gaze travelled from the darkening beauty of
her boudoir to the loveliness of the sky beyond it —
dusky red near the horizon, and above it a sweet
change from orange to lemon and green, and from
green to purple and azure. Against it, in the near
distance were the elms. The restful cawing of the
rooks was just perceptible, and the evening star shone.
She had succeeded. That is to say, she had par-
tially succeeded, and complete success was probable.
But, nevertheless, her handsome, brave face wore a
somewhat anxious, troubled aspect.
If the thought must be told that was passing
through her mind, and had passed through it num-
berless times before, it was this : " But nowadays girls
do not marry very young." It was her great con-
With abilitv and determination she had won an
92 A TALE FOR A MOTHER.
honourable place in society, and in the particular set
which, above all others, she desired.
Her father had been a dignitary in the Church, and
she had always recoiled — at one time she had very
strongly recoiled — from the fast bad set where the
ten Commandments are not considered binding.
She still avoided associating with immoral people
when it was possible ; but the complications of life
obliged her to do so more than she liked.
"Why should I be more particular than the Lord
Chamberlain H " she had replied to a friend, who had
remonstrated with her on this point, and who main-
tained that private people of social influence were
bound, for the sake of pure manners, to decline to
receive persons whose characters were undeniably bad.
Her friend had replied that the Lord Chamberlain
could only deal with facts that were legally proved,
but that the standard of private people should be
different if they wished to help the tone of English
Mrs. Burgon had been on the point of answering
to this, that her social power amounted to very little,
and that he ought to go and preach to the great
leaders of society, of whom she did not reckon herself
one. But she was an honest woman, and so she
abstained from giving what she immediately perceived
would be a dishonest answer. She knew that, like
everyone else, she had some power, and that she had
habitually come to use it for worldly success. She
reflected, with satisfaction however, that there were
A TALE FOR A MOTHER. 93
many things which others did, which she was too
high principled to do.
The set that she lived in consisted mostly of men
and women who had a high moral and philanthropic
tone. Nearly all her men friends gave alms hand-
somely, and took a certain amount of trouble about
philanthropic and religious matters. Most of her
women friends had certain institutions, or certain
parishes, under their special patronage, and gave time,
thought, and money to their well-being.
The set was exclusive. Almost everyone was dis-
tinguished by good looks, high birth, literary and
artistic tastes and powers of conversation. It was a
difficult set to get into, and outsiders, who pretended
to sneer at it, nevertheless eagerly welcomed an oppor-
tunity of becoming acquainted with it.
Unfortunately it was not quite so high-toned as it
had once. been. Advance in life brings an unwelcome
sense of decay with it, and the leaders had felt it
advisable, in order to keep their power and position,
to somewhat slacken their unwritten rules, and to
admit a few brilliant people who could not quite be
approved of. New blood is a necessity, and times
and manners change.
The set's general religious tone was pathetic agnos-
ticism. Its members had heavenward aspirations, but
the misery of the world generally prevented anything
like an old-fashioned faith in God and the Bible.
There were a few orthodox men and women in it
who went to Church and held by Bishops ; but the
94 A TALE FOR A MOTHER.
more interesting and powerful spirits had grave doubts
about religious matters, and secretly considered them-
selves the aristocracy of a coming religion of a very
Mrs. Burgon, herself, belonged to the orthodox sec-
tion, and considered that she made a decided sacrifice
by standing up for religion. She loved her father's
memory ; he had been an extremely unworldly, holy
In bringing uj) her children she gave religion an
important place, while she carefully guarded them
from any influence which might be fanatical, and
blight their prospects.
Her husband was rich, and had let her have her
way in most things, and she was a successful woman.
Beauty, wealth, tact, and propriety had won her all
the honour she could desire, and her only trouble
was that she had three delightful daughters out who
were still not engaged to be married. This was cer-
tainly annoying, and it was the remembrance of it
which caused the anxious look on her face. She was
not sure whether she had been wise in rejecting cer-
tain suitors who had been very nearly good enough,
but not quite. It is difficult and almost impossible
for a mother to feel quite certain as to such matters.
Her eldest girl, Dorothea, was now twenty-three,
and was all that a mother could desire, except that
she was not engaged, and had never seemed particu-
larly anxious to be engaged. Perhaps this peculiarity
added to her charm, but it made her mother's work
A TALE FOR A MOTHER. 95
harder. Sometimes Mrs. Burgon felt slightly irritated
with Dorothea on this point, and counted her a little
inconsiderate, or even a little selfish. And as she
thought it all over for the hundredth time, her beau-
tiful face was clouded.
God sometimes uses what look like very little
things to turn the current of our life.
As Mrs. Burgon sat thinking, a distant peal of bells
began to ring, rising and falling as it came across
the landscape. The sound seemed to belong to some
heavenly region beyond the sweet fading sky. It
arrested her, and she felt as if it reproached her
tenderly, and bore witness of a holier state which she
might have entered had she chosen. God's voice was
surely in it. And it seemed to her as if her father's
blessed spirit were beholding her afar off with sad
eyes. The impression grew stronger and stronger, and
soon she actually blushed at her fretful, worldly
thoughts, and ceased to justify her life, or to rejoice
at her attainments. Such thoughts were not new to
her, but they had never been so compelling as at this
Old aspirations rushed back upon her. Vividly she
remembered how, on an evening just like this, thirty
years ago, she had sat in the old Deanery garden and
had longed after Divine things, and had solemnly
consecrated her life to God. How sadly had her soul
retrograded since that day.
As she thought of it her eyes filled, and w^hat she
had striven for and won seemed as hollow^ as hollow
96 A TALE FOR A MOTHER.
"What have I gained in my middle age after
all ? " she thought bitterly. " Do I really want my
children to grow up like me 1 Who am I to train
their almost unsoiled souls, when mine is so stained
with worldliness ? Rather should they teach me, for
they are better than I am ! How false is my attitude
towards them of warning and hope ? God forgive
me ! My spring is gone ! My summer is going !
Earthly things, so earnestly worked for, will soon
lose their importance. Ah^eady I have ceased to be
in love with them, though I still serve them. But
heavenly things are far fainter and less real to me
than they were thirty years ago."
So she pondered, and then there came vividly into
her memory the great picture of " The worship of
the Lamb in heaven," which she had seen at Ghent
a few months before, and it preached anew to her of
the ideal of Christian middle age.- For Van Eyck
has filled his picture with people who have won a hard
fight, and who show the scars of it. They are no
girls or boys, but stately men and women. They have
gained a healthful, wholesome maturity, which has
brought them wisdom, experience, kindness, dignity,
power, humility, a deep trust in God, and a clear
vision of His heavenly kingdom.
She remembered these noble personages and felt
that she herself would be like a thin and meaningless
ghost in their midst. It has been said above that
such thoughts were not new to her, for God's Spirit
had never left her, and there was a green bit in the
A TALE FOR A MOTHER. 97
garden of her soul in which the Lord could still de-
light. But now she felt that the Spirit of God was
indeed overpowering her. She buried her face in her
hands and wept. And then came the whispered
prayer, " God be merciful to me a sinner. Cleanse
me and I shall be clean. Take me, Lord, and take
my children, and all that I have and am. Only for-
give me, and use me."
From the bottom of her heart she meant it. There
was still enough of the Divine element in her soul
to enable her to make a solemn renunciation and a
She silently made it.
And then the door opened, and her eldest daughter
Dorothea, and her younger son Hugh, came in to-
gether rather hesitatingly and slowly into the room.
What strange answer to her prayer was close to her ?
She started, and looked at them with half -frightened
" Dearest mother," said Hugh, " we want to tell
you what has been in our minds for a long time,
only we are afraid you will be angry. For more than
a year Dorothea has wanted to go and live at Uncle
Fraser's parish at Hackney, and to work for Christ
among the poor. She says she does not want to
marry, and she has lost her interest in going out.
Will you let her go ?
"And, mother, ever since Christmas I have made
up my mind that I shall not be really happy unless
I give my life to definite religious work, either at
98 A TALE FOR A MOTHER.
home, or abroad. Will you say yes ? I believe you
will. It is not a sudden wish. I am sure my father
will consent if you do. Are you surprised, mother ?
Why do you not speak ? Are you glad r "
Mrs. Burgon trembled from head to foot, and her
face was quite white, but she answered, " Yes, my
children. I am glad. God is good ; serve Him, and
pray for me. My desires for you have failed, but
God gives you better things than ever your mother
EDWARD AND OLIVER
: o :
"I WISH people were always unselfish."
" That is too much to expect Quentin," said my
great-grandmother, laughing gently. " And, besides, I
am not sure that it is wrong to be moderately selfish.
The world is worked that way, and I believe it is
not such a bad way as people sometimes try to make
out. Still, when we do find a man or woman who
is really unselfish, we find a treasure. Every genera-
tion has a few of them, and only a few."
It was April. She sat at her auriol window look-
ing out at the meadows, which stretched wide be-
yond the garden. They were shining with butter-
cups and daisies, and the birds were making a joyful
tumult of singing. One heard the contralto of the
blackbird, the plaintive treble of the redbreast, the
hurried chatter of the wren, the triumphant song of
the thrush, and the sweet recurring strain of the
chaffinch High overhead hung the skylarks, en-
tranced with ecstasy. The sky was never without
their singing, for before one left off another had be-
gun. And of course there was the welcome cuckoo.
Every April this delightfulness comes to the world.
It is a wonder that gratitude to God for such
delights should not be an oftener practised virtue.
My great-grandmother was silent for a little, and
then began to speak again. She liked to talk, though
nobody ever called her a great talker.
100 EDWARD AND OLIVER.
"Perhaps," said she, "the world would scarcely
move forward without selfishness. It is like the
steam which works the engine. People almost must
struggle against each other for their living. Let us
begin by wishing to be unselfish as often as we can.
It is something even to wish for that. A good many
of us seem to be always selfish, even when we are
good and religious. * * * I am an old woman,
Quentin, and I can count up more than a hundred
descendants. Many of them have been good and use-
ful, thank God, and many of them religious. But I
can only think of two — Oliver and Anne — who seemed
to their grandmother to be always unselfish. It is
not a common quality. I think God gave these two
more of it by nature than most other people, and as
life went on they became almost perfect in unsel-
I will tell you about them if you like, and also
about Edward and Louisa, their brother and sister.
Their parents both died abroad, and the four little
ones came to me for their bringing up. They were
good children, and they all became valuable men
and women, as you shall hear.
They soon settled down very happily with me, and
made th.e home full of gladness.
Every day after their morning walk, they used to
come into my room and tell me their adventures,
and of course we got to be great friends.
The incident I am going to tell you showed the
diflCerences of disposition which kept appearing as
time went on.
EDWARD AND OLIVER. 101
They had gone out one day for a longer expedition
than usual, and had been allowed to take their
luncheon with them.
When they came back there was a great rush to
my room, and Edward, who was first, began at once."
"0 grandmother, we have found such a dear little
girl, called Susan, and she was so poor and hungry,
and we have given her our lunch. At least we gave
her nearly all the sandwiches and all the biscuits and
bread, and we only used just the cake and the pud-
"Her father had broken his leg in the quarry, said
Anne breathlessly, "and they had nothing to eat.
And Oliver would give her every single bit of his
lunch to take home with her. He would'nt keep
one thing for himself."
"And that was wrong of him grandmama, was'nt
it ? " said Edward, " for we ought not to starve our-
selves any more than to let Susan starve. And you
would be angry if we gave away everything, would'nt
you ? Anne wanted to be just as silly as Oliver, but
Louisa and I would not let her give all her lunch
away. So she cried."
" But Susan had had no breakfast like us," said
Anne mournfully. Do you think she might have
one of my frocks, grandmama ? "
"It was I who found her, granny," said Louisa.
"I found her, and talked to her before the others
came up. Do you think she will be a jewel in my
crown, grandmama ? "
And at the same moment Edward asked. "May
102 EDWARD AND OLIVER.
we have some more lunch, grandmother, as we gave
our's away ? May we have some more cition cake ? '»
To both of these last questions I answered "No my
dear," and Edward then said — "Grandmother, I gave
her my sixpence. Was that right ? The Bible says
that if we even give a cup of cold water we shall
have a reward. And sixpence is much better than a
glass of water, is'nt it ? What reward do you think
that I shall get ? "
"I am sure I do not know, Edward," I replied.
" But where is Oliver all this time ? "
" Oh, he would carry Susan's pail of water home
for her, so he is late," said Louisa. "He thought it
was too big for her, and that she would spill the
This story gives true samples of the four children's
way of behaving. They all did good things, but two
of them did them mainly for their own sikes, be-
cause it was their duty, or for the sake of a reward.
The other two did things entirely for the sake of the
Edward's first religious impressions came from his
being intensely anxious not to go to hell, and he
never rested till he felt sure that he w^as quite safe.
Nor do I blame him. His anxieties lasted more or
less for two years, but as soon as they were allayed,
he began to give his life very earnestly to the work
of saving as many other souls as possible. After he
was ordained, I thought he collected cases for con-
firmation almost as systematically as if they had been
EDWARD AND OLIVER. 103
But it was a life of hard work, and of good work,
and I feel sure that he has had a reward. He at-
tained early in life a great position in the Church,
and everyone felt that his Canonry first, and his
Bishopric afterwards were no more than he deserved.
'' But," said his wife to me, " these honours are not
what Edward cares most for. What he really values
is the knowledge that he has won so many souls to
God. These are his real honours, and it is for these
that he will win his crown."
He was an exceptionally conscientious and religious
man, and he was rightly honoured and praised. But
I always felt that he did everything from his own
standpoint. I do not mean that he was wrong. But
there was a difference between him and Oliver and
Anne, who never did things because it was their
duty, but only in order that the things might be done.
They were habitually oblivious and indifferent about
what affected themselves, but keenly interested about
the needs of other people. Perhaps heedlessness is a
kind of fault, but there was something beautiful about
the way they were heedless about their own concerns.
They were not cautious. They were not self centred.
They seemed to have lost their lives for some One
else's sake, and to have found them outside them-
Oliver made up his mind early to be a medical
missionary. He went to north India, and spent his
life there, in a way as much like the four Gospels as
I can imagine.
He travelled over large districts, healing diseases,
104 EDWARD AND OLIVER.
performing operations for blindness and lameness, and
preaching by his life and his words the Divine mes-
sage he had to give.
Anne was generally said to have bad luck. She
was poor, and the last part of her life was spent
almost as a companion to her sister Louisa, who gave
her a home, and made her, I think, a small allowance.
But wherever she lived she was like a thread of gold
woven into the web of life. People longed for her,
and loved her.
Louisa, as you know, married a man of wealth and
position, and soon became a very important philan-
thropic widow. Undoubtedly she did well for her-
self, but she always desired that other people should
have a good time too, and she habitually gave away
of her superfluity. I think she made an unconscious
rule never to give away what she might want her-
self ; but her means were ample, and she was justly
known as a prominent Lady Bountiful in the neigh-
bourhood of her country seat. A pic-nic in her park
was a pretty sight, for after she and her friends had
feasted, there was always quite a crowd of poor people
to whom she would distribute her broken meats.
None went away empty. Perhaps she made rather
large claims on people's gratitude. But she really did
give away more than most people, and who can say
that she was not justified in expecting to receive a
very superior crown by-and-bye ?
I cannot deny that she was a selfish person, but
she was both useful and (in a second rate style), good.
And she was naturally very much admired and praised.
EDWARD AND OLIVER. 105
Her religion was in some ways peculiar. I think
she felt that there was a great virtue in the par-
ticular kind of faith that she practised. She firmly
believed not only that her numerous sins were for-
given her because she had accepted the doctrine of
substitution, but also that after her death she would
attain, through her belief, a very good place in heaven,
which would not be attained by persons who were
not equally clear as to the solid advantages of what
she called the "gospel plan."
About this who can tell ? God will do better than
our poor hearts can imagine. It may be that what
some of us desire for ourselves as the best and most
glorious rewards may turn out not to be the best
experiences for us, or at any rate not for a long time.
God knows !
But we come back, Quentin, to where we started
from. Let us be as unselfish as we can. Christ
never pleased Himself or worked for Himself, but
always for men and for God.
Let us not, however, despise any good results that
come from being faithful to a sense of duty. It is
a fine motive. And the love of reward is a good
motive too, and is largely used in the Bible as an
But the most Divine and beautiful work is done
for love of the work itself, and for desire that men,
women, and children should be happy and good.
Those motives carry heaven's loveliest colour. May
God inspire us with them !
Among the many good things which most people for-
get to thank God for, surely pictures rank high.
I, myself, used to underrate their religious value,
and I do not believe that one person in a thousand
knows how great it is. I can scarcely conceive the loss
there would be to religion if there were no pictures.
Yet many religious people only goodnaturedly recog-
nise them as rather useful, or at any rate harmless.
I do not want to overstate the case, and I am not
forgetting that Quakers and Puritans have made shift
to get along without them, and also that art has not
had a prominent place in heathen mission fields.
But for my present pui-pose it will be enough to
review their advantage in our own lives in England.
As children we none of us did without pictures,
and most of us loved them dearly When I was a
child there were the prints in " Peep of Day " and
'• Line upon Line," the coloured Sunday picture books,
and the large books of steel engravings from the old
masters. We loved and honoured them all — Adam
and Eve with their animals, David and Goliath, Moses
striking the rock, Jonah and the whale, and all the
whole series. I am sorry for people whose memories
are not stored with Old Testament pictures, and still
more with pictures from the four Gospels. The sweet
story of the manger at Bethlehem became ours chiefly
through pictures (and Christmas hymns, like " Hark
the herald," and " While shepherds watched)." The
star, the angels, the shepherds, the three kings, the
mother and the Holy Babe, there they all were to be
loved and honoured, and what a loss there is to
people whose souls are not blessed by pictures of the
Nativity. I remember Burne Jones saying to me (not
long before he died), that as he grew older he cared
more and more to paint Nativities.
Then followed the baptism of Christ, with the
hovering Dove. And of all symbols is there any one
more helpful than the Dove? For years I have thank-
fully lived with a copy of the peerless Dove (in the
National Gallery) by Piero Delia Francisca. May it
ever be dominant in my house. How true it is
that we still recognize the sons of God by the rest-
ing on them of the heavenly Dove. May we — each
one of us — be thus known.
Then we children turned over our books and came
to the marriage feast, to Jairus' daughter, the feeding
of the 5000, the blessing little children, the prodigal
son, the Pharisee and the Publican, the draught of
fishes. And th^n to the Crucifixion, the Resurrection
and the Ascension. God be thanked for them all.
Pictures are as valuable as books I think.
When we go abroad we find that the men of old
knew this, and adorned their Cathedrals and Churches,
inside and outside, with frescoes, mosaics, sculptures,
and pictures able to raise the minds and souls of the
people to what was high, and holy, and beautiful.
" Whatsoever things are lovely, think on these
things." For beauty is as truly an attribute of God
as goodness. "All great art is praise," said Ruskin,
and he never said a truer word. For all great art
calls us to admire and worship God for the beauty
and power which have come forth from Him. Art
may be degraded and misapplied, but even then all
that is beautiful in it comes from God Himself.
Our first debt to pictures is for the knowledge of the
facts which they so delightfully bring us, and for the
beauty to which they open our eyes. But they have
also their mission of sternness and threatening, wit-
nessed by works like Orcagna's frescoes at Pisa,
Michael Angelo's Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel,
and such great and terrible sculptures as those on the
front of the Cathedral at Orvieto, and at many other
places. I myself received, when I was scarcely past
childhood, deep and lasting impressions from John
Martin's painting of the Last Judgment. It frightened
me almost out of my wits, but with purely salutary
results. After long years I have seen the picture
again, and I am thankful that I knew it first as a
boy, before forty years had invested me with fatal
powers of criticism. For now it is impossible to dis-
regard those less noble qualities in it which some-
what discount its really awful power.
What is so delightful about art is that it generally
takes possession of us^ and enriches our hearts and
minds and characters, in so kind and easy a way.
"We do not have to learn it with an effort. It is there
only as a delight, and if it is sometimes too hard for
us, we have but to let it alone till we are older.
Give it a grateful thought when you have realized
how much it has done for you, and that it has come
straight from God, your Father and Creator.
I thank Him specially for the Praying Hands and
the victorious St. George of Albert Durer, for the
kneeling knight of Pinturricchio, for the peerless
last supper of Leonardo, and for the naive and gentle
frescoes of Giotto and of Fra Angelico. For the superb
and deep-toned jpaintings by Tintoretto in S. Rocco,
and the mighty and uplifting " Worship of the Lamb "
by Van Eyck at Ghent. And how much we owe to
the works of such men of our own time as Watts,
Holman Hunt, and Tissot.
Who can say that Religion and Art are not closely
and vitally united ? And besides the direct teaching —
historical, poetical, and doctrinal, of such pictures as
I have mentioned above, what immeasurable though
unconscious benefits we receive from those ideas of
nobility, grace, beauty, and goodness, which are im-
pressed on our minds and hearts by pictures.
" It is a good thing to give thanks." And when we
have thanked, such possessions become doubly ours.
I want to talk a little more about pictures, and I
am, therefore, reprinting a paper (never published)
written of Broadlands, in 1889, and called —
A TALK ABOUT ART.
: O :-
It was a summer evening, but rather cold, and we
were sitting round a fire in the green room, where
hung the Sir Joshua Reynolds pictures. There was
a faint perfume of Avhite lilies discernible, for they
were in tall vases all through the drawing-rooms.
Dinner was over, and I think some of the guests
were a little sleepy, but our hostess. Lady Mount
Temple, who was dressed in soft grey velvet, was full
of the kind of vivacity which stimulates talk in other
Two ladies sat on a distant sofa talking intimately
in a low voice. Lady Watchikaula Thynge, Mrs.
Button, and Mr. Harris (an artist) were chatting about
acquaintances. Miss Thynge was on a low chair by
Lady Mount Temple.
Some of the talk seemed inclined to get desultory
Lady Watchikaula was saying, " I must say I always
thought her the rudest woman I ever knew. She
enjoyed being rude just as I enjoy music. I met her
last year at Milford House, and spoke to her in the
ordinary way. Of course she knew me perfectly well,
but she stared and said, ' It is very good of you to
address me, but I don't know you.' I felt myself
getting red, and said, ' I beg your pardon, but we
A TALK ABOUT ART. Ill
have met at least a dozen times.' ' Where ? ' said she.
I got quite angry, for nobody ever forgets me and
my queer Muscovite name, and I said, 'Well I met
you first at Marlborough House many years ago, when
you were still middle-aged.' And then I turned round
and left her. And, do you know, only about ten days
afterwards she had an apoplectic fit and died. It
really was very remarkable."
" Vengeance does not always overtake people so
quickly as that," said Mr. Harris. "If it had been a
less severe punishment one might have hoped she
would have taken warning, and not been rude to you
"No. I don't believe that anything except being
killed would cure her rudeness. I often wonder how
she gets on where she is now. It seems as if it must
make her so angry to find herself of no account —
socially, you know. I daresay she is quite the dregs
of society, wherever she is."
" Well, we all have our faults, mamma," said Miss
"Certainly we have, Selina," said her mother. "But
nobody can ever say that rudeness is a fault of mine.
Your dear grandmamma always used to say, * Girls,
never be rude, it is setting such a bad example.'"
I had noticed that Miss Thynge always received
her grandmother's maxims in a hostile spirit, and she
"I think one soon gets tired of doing things for
the sake of setting an example."
112 A TALK ABOUT AKT.
" Mr. Harris," said Lady Mount Temple, " 1 wish
you would talk to us about pictures. As life goes on
we get so rich in memories — not only of friends, but
of places, and books, and music, and paintings. You
have seen nearly all the greatest art in the world.
Tell us what pictures you most care to remember.
Do you place the Sistine Madonna first of all ? "
"I think, perhaps, it is the most absolutely beauti-
ful,'' said Mr. Harris. "It has a charm that no other
picture has. The lines and the composition are fault-
less, and the expression must be inspired I think.
The colour is dignified, but without the passion or
the quality which subdue us in masterpieces by
Titian and Tintoretto.
"It is evidently with intention that Eaphael has
made St. Barbara so gracefully trivial in motive. He
does not intend that our emotions should be excited,
for the picture does not depict an incident, but a
heavenly state. But as an example of an entirely
glorious picture, I think I would cite Raphael's
* Heliodorus ' in the Stanze at the Vatican."
"Do describe it to us, so that we can see it as we
sit here by the fire."
"It is large and roomy. In the centre, but with-
<irawn some way back, so that there is a great bare
space in the front of the picture, the Pope kneels at
the altar. He is in sapphire-coloured robes, and there
is great sanctity about him. His prayers are the key
to the discovery and punishment of the sacrilege of
Heliodorus, depicted in the foreground on the right.
A TALK ABOUT ART. 113
"Here we see that three destroying angels have
suddenly appeared, and have dashed to the ground
Heliodorus. The coins are scattering in all directions.
"This group is characteristic of the peculiar perfec-
tion of Eaphael. That beauty of line in which he
excelled every other painter, and which is felt in all
his best work long before it is understood, is here
pre-eminent. Sa, too, is his almost unrivalled draw-
ing of the figure. Many painters have drawn correctly
and beautifully, but in Raphael there is a supreme
delight in sweeping to victory over apparent impossi-
bilities, and leaving for all generations a surpassingly
lovely result. The angels are terrible in their ven-
geance, and in their power to smite and exterminate.
One of them rides a great horse ; the other two are
bounding to their prey, and scarcely touch the ground
with their beautiful feet. Heliodorus is already almost
expiring under their blows.
"The other part of the picture — that on the left
hand side — is occupied with a stately assemblage, com-
prising Pope Julius the Second surrounded by his
guards and other personages. Here there is much
beauty of women and children. The principal woman
is a more graceful edition of an important figure in
the Transfiguration. This group of people is, of
course, an anacronism, but it is quite justifiable.
They are spectators of the tragedy, but being of
another generation, they are interested rather than
excited — as by a story that is told."
" Thank you so much, Mr. Harris. Do tell us about
114 A TALK ABOUT ART.
Home more pictures. Do not m.ind dear Lady Kaula
having gone to sleep. She has had such a long drive
to-day. Only she will be so sorrj' to miss what you
Lady Watchikaula Thynge here awoke and said,
"I was not asleep. I can always listen better with
my eyes shut. Please go on Mr. Harris. It specially
interests me, because, though I have lived in Rome
so many years, and though I am perfectly devoted to
pictures, yet, do you know, I never once had time to
go to the Vatican and see those glorious Raphaels and
Michael Angelos ? "
Mr. Harris had rather expressive nostrils, and if he
replied, it was only by their involuntary motion.
But at Lady Mount Temple's command he continued
" I very often find myself thinking of Tintoretto's
' Annunciation ' at Venice in San Rocco. The frescoes
there are too much in the dark, and I am afraid that
people often get little from them, except a general
impression of blackishness.
"Tintoretto loved to limit himself to tones of um-
ber, white, and azure, and to prove that he could
produce as superb colour with them as with crimson
" In the Annunciation the Virgin seems to be living
among the ruined architecture of a past dispensation,
and there is a wide and depressing outlook beyond
her abode. She herself is scarcely young and beauti-
ful, but these great painters were careful in their best
A TALK ABOUT ART. 115
work to make us think of something other than a
pretty face. For instance, except our dear St. Helena
in the National Gallery, and the Queen of Sheba at
Turin, I can scarcely think of a very beautiful
woman's face in any of Paul Veronese's pictures.
The Virgin here, however, has sustained her part
in her gloomy surroundings, and now a heaven of
light and beauty comes to her. Through the door,
like a bird, glides Gabriel, and through the little
window just above the door comes a bevy of cherubs.
It seems as if none of them could get in fast enough.
They have evidently come straight down the very
instant that the waiting time was over, and they have
all descended on the house, and have not thought of
alighting, but with a sudden wheel they rush in
through the door and window horizontally. This
bright, heavenly vision makes the pictm'e one of the
most charming I have ever seen.
" I need scarcely remind you of Tintoretto's best
known and most beautiful picture — the ' Bacchus and
Ariadne.' He has painted two or three pictures,
which are the only ones of their sort, and this is the
loveliest of them. Nobody has ever dared even to
imitate the disposition of those three transporting
figures, or to hope that such poetry of light and shade
could be attempted again.
"The girl sits queenlike on the rocks, unconscious
of her fairness. Drenched, but beautiful, the boy
Bacchus rises from the sea, his head wreathed with
vine leaves. Humbly he proffers her the ring. His
116 A TALK ABOUT ART.
face glows. The kisses of the sun have bronzed his
golden skin — and in the air floats Venus herself, un-
clothed, to crown Ariadne.
"The three are for ever one — united by the su-
preme genius of the greatest poet among painters."
" What a lovely tableau it would make ! " said Lady
Watchikaula, but no one else spoke, and Mr. Harris
"You know these pictures as well as I do, Lady
Mount Temple, but if you go to Milan do spend some
time at the Brera over Tintoretto's 'Miracle of St.
Mark,' which has only found its way there in the
last few years. It stands alone almost as much as
the ' Bacchus and Ariadne.'
" It is a dark and splendid picture, full of solemn,
rich colour — browns and greys and dull pink.
"It presents an immense succession of arches, be-
neath which one traces the long perspective of tes-
selated pavement ending in a mysterious exit, where
two weird figures are strangely occupied.
" We are in the vaults of some great burying place,
and there is something almost ghoul-like in the way
the cof&ns are being ransacked. There are no such
terror-stricken figures anywhere as those which form
the front group on the right. They seem to be
actually losing their reason with sheer fright.
"The Doge kneels in the middle, and the appari-
tion of St. Mark stands tall and commanding on the;
"All the disturbance has arisen from the fact that
another body had been substituted for his as a relic."
A TALK ABOUT ART. 117
I think that Lady Kaula had again dozed, and was
beset with the fatal anxiety (so common to ns all) ta
prove that she had not been asleep by making some
particularly apropos remark. She now said eagerly,
" Mr. Harris, I wonder if you can tell me of any
artist who would give my daughter Selina some
lessons, and who would not be perfectly ruinous.
She gets on all right with her water colours, but she
wants just to learn the use of oils. Now, do you
think that six or eight lessons would be enough ? "
"That depends. Lady Watchikaula, on the style that
you wish her to learn. I have a friend who could
easily teach her the Tintoretto or Giorgione style in
six lessons, but she would want at least twelve if she
is to be perfect in the manner of Rembrandt or
"Well, I shall be guided by you, Mr. Harris," said
the lady so humbly that I think Mr. Harris was a
little ashamed of himself, especially as Miss Thynge
was present, and had quite wit enough to under-
stand the points of the dialogue.
She laughed rather uncomfortably, and said, "Mam-
ma, I can't bear Tintoretto or Giorgione, or Rem-
brandt or Velasquez, and nothing shall induce me to
paint like them."
There was a little pause, and then Mrs. Button
said, "I particularly want to hear Durer's 'Melencolia'
talked about. I have it, and I feel its beauty, but I
should like to know for certain what it means."
" Mrs. Button," said Mr. Harris, " I believe you
118 A TALK ABOUT ART.
know as much about it as any of us. Tell us your-
self what it means. Here is a photograph of it in
this book to refresh your memory with."
"Well, I am not an expert, you know, and that is
why I should prefer to hear you talk about it. But
it seems to me that she is a noble person, and has a
right to her crown. She has thought, and she has
worked too. And she has accomplished a great deal
both in science and in manual labour. The instru-
ments of toil about her are witnesses to this. She
has wealth, but she holds her bags of money in sub-
jection. I think that book on her lap is a Bible,
and she has wings. There is a church bell behind
her, and there is an hour glass of which the sand
runs continuously and normally as it should, for
why should we mind getting old when the proper
time has come for us to be old ? There is a ladder,
you see, and there is 'Love' sitting on a grindstone.
" The light of the sun is imperfect, almost as if
there were a partial eclipse — a parable, I suppose, of
the eclipse of faith, which some of us seem to be
groaning under now. But there is a rainbow. I
don't see why she should be so dreadfully sad. But
you see there is a devil. A little wicked devil, who
brings melancholy, born of ignorance and distrust,
and half spoils everything. That is all I can make
of it, and I dare say I am quite wrong."
There was considerable applause, and Mr. Harris,
to make amends for his late rudeness, said, " Melen-
colia has a chatelaine of keys. Lady Watchikaula, but
A TALK ABOUT ART. 119
it is not nearly so pretty as your chatelaine, which
is the prettiest I ever saw."
" It is pretty, isn't it ? I got it at Munich, and
you'll think it was dreadfully extravagant of me to
buy it, for it cost a mint of money, but I got it for
my poor cousin, Mrs. Langdale, who has so few pretty
things, and cares so much about them."
" How kind of you, Lady Watchikaula. And didn't
she like it after all — what a shame I "
" Well, after I got to England, I liked it so much
that I thought I would keep it, you know."
There was rather an embarrassed silence, and then
she continued, " Dear Mrs. Dutton, how clever you
are to be able to say all that. I do so wish I could
do it ; I'd give anything if you'd lend your beautiful
* Melencolia ' to Selina to copy. We would take the
greatest care of it. Selina, do you remember how
often grandmamma said that she liked to see us as
careful of a thing that was lent us as if it were our
own ? "
Mrs. Dutton did not, I think, much wish to lend
her etching, but she said politely, " You must come
over and see it, Selina, and then you can judge if
you would like to copy it."
Lady Mount Temple then said, "Do talk to us a
little about Michael Angelo, Mr. Harris. I think we
must all of us be better for the ceiling of the Sistine
Chapel and for the Chapel of the Medici in San
Lorenzo. And isn't it delightful that the autotypes
are so good that anybody who has a few shillings
120 A TALK ABOUT ART.
can live with the greatest company in the world,
with prophets and sybils and superhumanly beautiful
personages. I always have with me that gigantic
weather-beaten Cumoean sybil with the deep lines of
wisdom in her grim face and the muscular arms.
And even more closely I cherish the Persian sybil.
She is more than human, and has learnt secrets from
her little book that are far beyond mortal ken. That
old small face ! That noble draped form with the
veiled head and the bent shoulders ! We grant you
the glory of Eaphael's angels, but at least let us
crown Michael Angelo for the sake of his old
"And for the sake of his young men, too," said
Mr. Harris. "Think of the array of youths on that
ceiling, every one of them divinely strong and chaste.
I suppose we all have for our favourite the one who
wears a white bandage round his head. I think it
is the noblest picture that the world contains of a
young man in repose. What limbs and what hands !
What a neck and chest ! And what a profile— keen,
wise, restrained, heroic ! When I look at him I seem
to understand what is meant by God creating man
in His own image. The beauty of the Lord God is
upon him. Strength and honour are his habitation.
Who among the mighty can be compared unto him ?
For ever the dew of youth is upon him.
" But his comrades are worthy comrades. I like
him who holds fast one end of the girdle between
his feet, and lifts the other above his head. I like
A TALK ABOUT ART. 121
the terrified boy, who stares back at us with dis-
tended eyes, and the graceful creature who is so like
Mrs. Wyndham. And how fine the lad is with the
curly hair and dark, beautiful side face, and the wild
fellow who only shows us his great eyes above the
line of his straining limbs."
" You care for these things so much, Mr. Harris,"
said Mrs. Dutton, "that of course we want to hear
you talk about Burne Jones, as we know that you
are such an enthusiast about him."
" Well," said Mr. Harris, " I don't expect you to
think that his pictures are in the category of those
that I have been talking about. But they belong to
our own time, and touch different nerves. It was
about 1863 that I first saw three pictures of his at
the Old Water Colour Society's exhibition, and I
certainly did not like them. They were odd, and
one of them, I thought, was even irreverent and
painful. ' Cinderella ' and * Fair Rosamond ' (the last
was bought for Mr. Ruskin by his father), were pen-
dants at one end of the room, and opposite was 'The
Merciful Knight.' How differently I feel about them
" Cinderella is in a long straight gown, mossy green,
with a large patch, and she leans back against rows
of blue willow-pattern plates. Her face is tired, and
she has rather pathetic, grey eyes, and pretty waving
hair, parted across a low forehead. With one hand
she holds up the corner of her white apron, with the
other she touches her hair. She looks almost as if
122 A TALK ABOUT ART.
she might be stretching herself — at any rate she is
weary after her late hours the night before. On the
shelf, in front of the plates, there is a finger glass
with a large pink rose in it, given her doubtless by
'' She has one foot bare, and on the other is the
glass slipper, made in joints, so that it will bend in
the dance as required. There are nice mugs around,
and a lemon and some wine glasses, and there is a
pumpkin, with an untmnsformed rat crawling into it.
All this is not of much account you will say, and I
really don't know how to describe the charm of these
pictures beyond claiming for them that they are the
most beautiful colour that can ever be produced. Not
Giorgoine himself dealt in greater subtilities. Please
imagine the green and blue in the Cinderella picture
as splendid as you can. But it is not the colour
only, for the things that first made me his captive
were some little pencil studies of a model's head
(Augusta Jones), which were the only work of his
that appeared in the next winter exhibition. Some-
times I think his people must have relation to a
previous existence of mine, and that that is the reason
why thej" stir me to such a passion of admiration.
He got his living at this time chiefly by designs for
stained glass, and his water colours have that kind
of quality about them. He almost always uses the
whole scale of tone, from gleams of the brightest
white to blacks, Avhich he knows how to make as
gorgeous as the Roman purple. Do you know the
A TALK ABOUT ART. 123
ineffably beautiful windows of his in the Chapel of
Jesus College, Cambridge ?
"There is a little picture of Fair Rosamond and
Queen Eleanor which is overpowering in its force of
colour, but it consists almost entirely of this luminous
black, with a taste of crimson in the Queen's robe,
the white of poor scared Eosamond's dress, and hints
of subdued green in the inner room, whither she
vainly tries to escape. Vainly, for she finds herself
caught round her body with the clue, which the
Queen grasps as hard as she grasps her dagger. There
is a round mirror, composed of several little mirrors,
in which Eleanor's face is reflected again and again
and again, so that the place teems with her. The
Queen does not look wicked. I think she looks good.
She is Fate, I suppose.
" Mr. Ruskin's picture of Rosamond is quite different.
She is a fair, sorrowful lady, clad in white and dull
red. She is in her bower of trellis work, grown all
over with pink roses, that are the very souls of the
sweet flower. She bends forward and fixes to the
end of the clue one large milk white rose. Her face
— but its no use trying to describe it."
" Oh, yes, Mr. Harris, please go on — "
-' If I could only make you see the quality of his
workmanship — the texture of it ! No one else has
ever approached him in the use of body colour.
Sometimes it is scumbled like an inpalpable mist,
sometimes it is dragged on thick, sometimes it lies
like a fine powder. And the paper itself reveals new
124 A TALK ABOUT ART.
qualities when it is stained with his adorable pig-
ments. Some of his finest effects are got by scraping.
But I really must stop."
" Please don't stop, Mr. Harris," said Lady "Watchi-
kaula "I begin to think that after all Selina need
not learn oils, but just go on with her water colours.
Do tell us a great deal more. Only don't tell us
about daggers, and please don't praise Queen Eleanor.
I always had such a dislike to murders, even when I
was quite young. My dear mother used to teach us
to hate every murder — even the murder of a child
she detested. But go on, and please no murders."
" I am not quite sure whether I can thread be-
tween what you call murders. Lady Kaula. They
recur so often in all fine art. But I will try.
"I think it was in 1864 that he exhibited five
pictures, which showed his full power. Perhaps I
ought not to say his full power, for by his wonderful
capacity for work, he has since added to his natural
gifts a wonderful facility in drawing and composition
— so that he has now, comparatively early in life,
won the suffrages of even the less intelligent of his
contemporaries. In his early career he had only the
praise of a small set, and a storm of execration from
the public, and from the press, which accused him
of incapacity and eccentricity.
"The charge of eccentricity was a natural charge
for Philistines to make against him, but it was a be-
wildering one to the victim, who always painted
things as they appeared to him. He once told me
A TALK ABOUT ART. 125
that he began simply with the Avish to put figures
down on paper, and make them look as if they were
doing what the story said they did. Then he wanted
to colour them, and he painted them with simple,
" To this period belong nearly all the water colours
that I am talking about. Then he began to spread his
wings, and his genius roved everywhere — especially
through Greek and Tuscan art — to perfect itself in
all the science of design and form."
" Oh, I do so wish I could do it," exclaimed Lady
Watchikaula. " I used to di-aw when I was a . girl,
but I neglected it dreadfully after I married. Go on,
"Well, to return to the five pictures of 1864. The
largest was ' Merlin and Nimue.' * The story is that
Merlin, the enchanter, has fallen in love with Nimue,
the fairy Lady of the Lake, and 'he is assotted and
doats on her.' But she 'cannot abide him because he
is a devil's son,' and for other reasons. He con-
tinually pursues her and importunes her, but she is
' passing weary of him.' And it comes to pass that
one day he shows her a great enchantment, how by
a spell a man might be compelled to go under a
certain stone, which would lift itself up, and close
down on him for ever. And she reads the spell and
" In the picture Nimue is pale and haughty. Her
light eyes slant back at Merlin with sinister glances.
* This picture is now at the South Kensington Museum.
126 A TALK ABOUT ART.
The hair is parted on her forehead, and frames her
face with its hay-coloured masses. She wears a strait
gown of red, and a great cloak of golden yellow,
lined with scarlet.
'' In her white hands she holds the book, from
which she reads the curse with awful curved lips
that scarcely part.
" xlbove is a whitish sky, flecked with yellowish
clouds. Against it is the harsh, deep blue line of
rugged hills, and in front of the hills the autumn
trees rise round the dark pool or tank which duly re-
flects the landscape, and shows in the middle distance
its ripples and its reeds.
''The spell is working for the gravestone has lifted
itself up, and shows a faint, bluish light beneath it.
Inside hang two keys, and an adder crawls there.
Merlin is drawn forward, and has little power of re-
sistance. One hand presses his beating heart, the
other clutches his drapery with a gesture of despair.
His dark face is full of mystery. A little dog drags
at his wine-coloured robe, and vainly tries to prevent
his master's destruction. But the weary Nimue is
" I was greatly impressed by this picture when I
was only a student, but when I saw it three or four
years ago in the collection of Mr. Leathart, at Gates-
head, I found it so beautiful that I almost lost com-
mand of myself. The subject and the dramatic
treatment of it are fine, but the greatest virtue of the
picture lies in its overwhelmingly lovely colour.
Have I tired you out ? "
A TALK ABOUT ART. 127
" No ; at least — "
" Then I will go on. There was another water-
colour picture there which I loved and still love
even better than ' Merlin and Nimue.' It is called
' Green Summer ' (the artist afterwards repainted it
in oils on a much larger scale).
" It is of seven girls sitting in a flowery meadow.
They are all dressed in green gowns, except one in
black, who is a little attendant, and reads a story to
them out of a book. All round them is the green
summer, and they themselves are the flower and
quintessence of it. Their faces glow in the warmth
of it as Giorgione made faces glow. The long grass
where they sit has its flowers and its summery globes
of dandelion seed. Not far behind them there is still
water reflecting the depths of a wood. A flight of
birds shows half dark and half light against it.
Above the trees is a nearly white sky.
"The picture has the efl'ect of being all green, but
it is cunningly diversified by a red sleeve here and
there or a wreath of forget-me-nots. One of the
damsels has a lamb. They sit in a circle, half dream-
ing and half listening. It is just summer, summer,
"On the opposite side of the room hung a picture
called ' Astrologia.' She is in profile ; her face is
bent down, and her searching grey eyes gaze stead-
fastly into the crystal globe which she holds close to
them with both her hands. It is a red picture, and
it haunted me for years, and haunts me still.
128 A TALK ABOUT ART.
" To this period belongs a picture of Queen Morgan
le Fay, the wicked sister of King Arthur.
" Surely nothing weirder was ever imagined than
this tall swift woman who moves bent on evil through
the dark landscape. Her gaunt face is dim, like a
ghost's face ; under her left arm she carries a vessel
full of vipers ; with her right hand she raises to her
mouth a poisonous herb. Her dusky hair is wreathed
with serpents. The colour of this picture is like
Tintoretto's finest work. Her robe is dull pink, with
a cloak of dull azure, and a scarf of golden brown.
"By the way I am quite tired of hearing people
complain that Burne Jones paints more or less the
same face again and again. Of course he does, and
did not Eaphael, Perugino, Tintoretto, and Michael
Angelo do so also ?
" He naturally felt drawn to paint sorceresses.
Twice he painted the cruel ' Sidonia von Bork ' (avoid
her history), delighting in laboriously investing her
with a gorgeous gown covered with a snake-pattern,
which was suggested to him by a picture at Hampton
Court. She is in a dire passion and vents it by tear-
ing at her necklace and shooting furious looks at her
intended mother-in-law. And once, as we all know,
he painted 'The Wine of Circe.' No one who has
seen this picture can by any possibility ever forget
the beautiful woman in her golden robes, moving as
stealthily as the black panthers which attend her on
her malevolent errand. She crouches as she drops
the dark fluid from her philtre into the wine. She
A TALK ABOUT ART. 129
crouches low, lest some Greek catch sight of her
from the white sailed ships which lie in the harbonr.
The line of her face is clear cut and perfect, grand
in its cunning. But I shall weary you with my
raptures, and I will not describe 'The Merciful
Knight,' though I love him, and the bed of mari-
golds which shine beneath the crucifix, and the glade
by which his forgiven enemy departs.
" Nor will I linger over Mr. Coltart's ' Annunciation,'
where the tenderest, sweetest, purest, most lamb-like
young Virgin kneels by her bedside, and receives
with praying hands uplifted the message of the angel.
Her little shoes of blue lie beside her, and she has
on her night-gowii. The scarlet and crimson bed
recalls the bed of Carpaccio's ' St. Ursula ' at Venice.
She is in a ray of sunlight. It is called ' The flower
of God.' An almond tree flowers outside."
" I wonder if these water-colours will fade, Mr.
Harris?" said Lady Watchikaula, who had outslept
her sleepiness by several pleasant little naps, and was
now playing at "Pigs in clover," so as not to waste
her time while she listened. "I painted a picture of
moss-roses when I was at school, and all the red has
turned to a disagreeable inky colour. I was dread-
fully vexed, for it was considered a great success, and
now Selina wont even let it hang in the breakfast
" I fear you must have used crimson lake when you
painted your moss roses. Lady Watchikaula. That
soon begins to change, and so do several other colours.
130 A TALK ABOUT ART.
But if water-colours are painted with jproper pig-
ments, and taken care of, I think they retain their
freshness and beauty longer than oil paintings. I am
surprised to see how soon certain oil pictures become
blackish and stale, though, on the other hand, many
of them improve with age. We now have a Parlia-
mentary Blue Book about the permanence of water
colours. But, Lady Watchikaula, I thought you
could'nt listen unless you shut your eye ? "
••'Oh, playing at Pigs in clover does just as well.
I wonder, Mr. Harris, if you would ever spare half-
an-hour and just step round to Baker Street and touch
up my moss roses with some colour that won't fade ?
I do so wish you would — if it isn't asking too much,
aiid I shall ask you to accept a copy of the little
memoir of my mother, which I compiled, and you
will see your own charming book on my table."
Mr. Harris had dabbled in authorship a little, and
had produced a novel which had not been very suc-
cessful, so he was accessible to flattery regarding it.
He politely said he would come and touch up the
roses with madder carmine, and added, " I think you
spoil me. Lady Kaula."
"No indeed," said i\iQ lady, "but (thoughtfully) I
daresay one does g^i spoilt without knowing it, doesn't
•one ? "
This was so difficult a question to reply to that Mr.
Harris ignored it, and only glanced at Lady Mount
Temple for permission to continue, for he probably
felt that he had talked too much. But like all people
A TALK ABOUT ART. 131
who effect a good deal, Lady Mount Temple was
never hurried or in a fidget, but gave an unreluctant
and undivided attention to the matter in hand. She
was really interested in what he had said, and often
helped him by some murmured word of sympathy.
And now she asked him to tell them as much as he
''Of course I cannot tell you about all his water-
colours, or even about all that I have seen," said he.
For, thank God, there are many.
" The picture which perhaps is most perfect in the
technique which resembles painting in oils is the
*Love in Ruins.' When I saw it at Manchester two
years ago, I was for a long time unable to make up
my mind whether it was an oil painting or not.
"I know nothing finer than the steadfast out-gazing
face of the woman. 'Love never faileth' even if
ruins are all round it. Her blue drapery is as fine
as the blue drapery of the Madonna in Titian's * As-
sumption ' at Venice. The architecture is extremely
beautiful, especially the little pink balcony which re-
peats the colour of the wild roses, which roses have
never as far as I know been duly painted by any
" I think you saw the vision of St. Francis which
he sent to Father Damien at Molokai ?
" It is painted with umber and with real gold, so
that its lights change and change as you look at it
from different points. St. Francis kneels in front,
and as he gazes, with his rapt but pain-stricken face,
132 A TALK ABOUT ART.
at the winged vision of our Lord, he receives the
stigmata in hands and feet.
"I will only describe three more pictm-es to you,
and then I will really and truly end. You have all
been so patient.
"Mr. Street has the picture of 'The Martyrdom of
St. Dorothea. She was a Christian, and as she was
going to martyrdom one snowy wintry day, her
Pagan lover, Theophilus, asked her in mockery to
send him some flowers and fruit from the place she
was going to.
"After her execution he returned home, and just
inside his door an angel met him with apples and
roses from Dorothea. He believed and became a
Christian martyr himself, and so did her two sisters.
"A great deal of the centre of the picture is occu-
pied with the bare courtyard, which is paved with
little rounded pebbles. Against it stands up in front
a heathenish statue in bronze of the great god Pan,
and this is the first thing that catches the eye. We
look next at the profiles of Dorothea's two fair sisters,
who are quite in the foreground, and are di'essed, one
in red, and the other in delicate purple, spotted with
white. They are filling their jars with water from a
reservoir, where they have just broken the ice, and
they are both looking up at the bearers who are
carrying the body of Dorothea to its tomb. They
take it past the statue of Venus, whom the martyr
had refused to worship. The executioner still stands
by the block, and behind it are the gay canopies
A TALK ABOUT ART. 133
where ladies and gentlemen have been viewing the
"The trees are leafless against the winter sky, and
a light snow has fallen on everything.
" Theophilus is in the left-hand corner of the fore-
ground, and he wears a student's red gown, and has
a book under his arm.
" He has gone up his doorstep, and is looking back
as the two girls are looking at the sad little procession.
"In a moment he will turn round to go into his
house, and will see a lovely little angel in pink
straight from heaven, who carries a basket that con-
tains three red apples and three red roses from
"You make us see it all so vividly, Mr. Harris,"
said Lady Wat<;hikaula. " Some of us have been por-
ing over his large oil pictures lately, and so it is easy
for us to imagine these that you are telling us about.
Do you remember, Selina, that almost the last thing
your dear Grandmamma went to see was the Burne
Jones Gallery in Bond Street ? How she enjoyed
*The Dream of Pilate's Wife,' and especially * The
Vale of Tears ! "
" Are you not thinking of the pictures by Dore,
Lady Watchikaula ? said Mr. Harris. They are in
Bond Street, at the Dore Gallery."
"No, I am quite sure that the pictures / mean are
by Burne Jones," said the lady in rather a vexed
tone. "Quite sure. And they are considered his
134 A TALK ABOUT ART.
Mr. Harris was silent for half a minute, and then
continued. " A man that I know possesses a triptych
which Burne Jones painted 27 years ago for Mr.
Edward Dalzell, and I do not know any piece of
work that is more spontaneous and delightful.
"' The upper part of the first picture shows us the
Virgin in white standing by a well. She involun-
tarily holds her hands to her face, for she is tremb-
ling and almost scared by the appearance of the angel.
It is sunshine and spring time, and the fruit trees
and the red anemones are in blossom.
"Steps lead us down from this scene to another,
where we see the Virgin again, but no longer slight
and girlish. She has grown full of dignity and quiet
gravity. She is almost completely draped in blue, and
stands very upright on the little bridge which leads
to St. Elizabeth's portico. Elizabeth has come out to
greet her. Her hands are clasped and her old figure
is slightly bent as she listens.
" In the middle picture it is Christmas time. Christ
is born and the mysteries of the manger are disclosed
to us. Down upon it the Star blazes. And in front
of it St. Joseph has lighted a wood fire which burns
upwards. The babe lies at rest, and his mother
kneels in adoration before him. The cows are not
turned out. We can just see their noses in the dark-
ness. At the door of the manger are two kindly
women gossiping about the event. The snow is
shovelled up outside, and icicles hang from the roof,
which is covered with snow. Two angels are decorat-
ing it with holly.
A TALK ABOUT ART. 135
" In the left hand corner at the top, the shepherds,
half frightened and half delighted, are listening to
the song of choirs of angels, who have brought an
open heaven with them. The trees and the meadows
" In the other corner we see the three kings, who
have come across a sapphire sea, with a deep star-lit
sky above their heads. We see the white sail of
their yacht, which lies safely at anchor. Their robes
are rich, and in their hands they bear the crowns
which they are going to cast down at the feet of the
babe. The last part of the picture shows the flight
into Egypt. The stars are studding the sky, and
lights gleam through the windows in the walls of
Jerusalem. Through its gates come battalions of
Herod's soldiers — horsemen and footmen, with spears
and lances. They are seeking the child to destroy
him, but they will never find him, for in front we
see the Holy Family guided by an angel, who takes
them through paths where the soldiers will not come.
He and St. Joseph both lead the gentle ass which is
ridden by the Virgin. Nothing could be lovelier
than her face and the tenderness with which she
holds the child so close to her.
"And now I will end by describing to you the
* Chant d' Amour,' which belongs to one of the best
and most gracious gentlemen in the world — Mr.
Martin Brimmer, of Boston, U.S.A.
" Louisa, Lady Ashburton has a copy of it. It was
exhibited first in 1866, I think, and the artist has
since repainted it in oils on a much larger scale.
136 A TALK ABOUT ART.
"But there is always a charm of its own about the
first essay, and for my part I think this water-colour
is perhaps the most beautiful picture that has been
painted in my time. •
" Underneath it are inscribed the words : —
' Helas ! je sais un Chant d' Amour,
Triste ou gai tour a tour.'
" It contains three figures. A girl kneels at a little
organ in an old garden, and sings the song to her
knight, who sits beside her on the ground and gazes
up at her. Eros, with scarlet robe and azure wings,
has descended from heaven, and, blowing the bellows
of the organ, supplies breath for the music. His eyes
are blindfolded. Small red flames rise from the
ground around him, and in front are flowers, such as
only Burne Jones can paint. Tulips, yellow, red and
white, and striped with purple, and plenty of wall
flowers. Behind the lovers are deep green meadows
with sheep, and then a sheet of dark water, and then
a grey town with houses and churches, and belfries
and palaces. The lights are red in the windows, for
twilight is beginning.
" The knight has coal black hair and a noble
bronzed face ; his tunic is the colour of mulberries,
and his armour, well worn, shines with subdued
splendour. King Arthur is reigning.
" But how shall we speak of the girl ? I may tell
you that her gown is ivory white, with warm tones
about it, and her hands strike the keys firmly and
A TALK ABOUT ART. 137
wisely, and that the breeze plays lovingly with her
auburn hair. But, alas, I can never make you see the
beauty of her sweet fair face, flushed no more than
a white rose is flushed, or of her steady grey eyes
and her exquisite parted lips as she sings the 'Chant
d' Amour.' "
As it was getting late the little company now rose,
and all of them thanked Mr. Harris for his discourse.
Then they took their candles and went to bed.
A STORY OF STINGINESS.
: o :-
I AM an old lady, long past sixty, and I am will-
ing to confess a fault of mine, because I think it
may make somebody else think, and avoid it. If I
were to put my name, I could not bring myself to
tell you. But my besetting sin is stinginess.
I think I have always been anxious to help others
in little ways, and I know that I am a child of God.
But it has generally been a pain to me to give things
away, especially money.
For a long time I thought I was a generous per-
son, or at any rate, that I should be very generous if
my means had not been straitened. I often used
to tell our Vicar how liberal I should be if I were
rich, and how it pained me not to be able to give
when there was so much need.
I remember one day he came and called on me,
and told me the following story, which I think he
said he knew to be true.
A Curate's wife was one day visited in her little
lodgings by one of the Baring family. He was a
distant connection of hers, and after a short talk he
said to her, "You have two pretty vases on your
"Yes," she said, "They were left me by my old
A STORY OF STINGINESS. 139
" If yon do not specially want to keep them," he
said, " I will give you £500 for them."
" You must be joking," she replied, " they cannot
be worth more than £2 or £3."
"Well, I will give you a cheque for £500, if you
like to sell them," said the gentleman.
" Of course I should be very happy, if I did not
think I was cheating you," said the lady. " It would
make all the difference to us, for, as you know, we
So he gave her the cheque for £500, and took away
Three months later he happened to call on Lord
R , a great collector of china, and he said, "I
have seen a pair of Rose du Barri vases, which are
better than yours."
"That is impossible," said Lord R .
" It is a fact, however, and you can come and see
them at my house, if you will."
When he saw them, the nobleman said, " It is true,
they are better than mine, and / must have them.''''
" I shall want £3,000 for them," said the possessor,
" and I will not take less."
And the nobleman paid him the money there and
Then Mr. Baring called on the Curate's wife. And
she immediately said, " I know what you are come
for ; you are come to ask for that cheque back, and
I cannot give it you, for we have already spent £40
of it in furniture."
140 A STORY OF STINGINESS.
"Never mind," said the gentleman, "I will give
you a cheque for the balance." And he paid her
I was charmed with the story, and, without think-
ing, I said, " How delightful ! Now that is just what
I should have done, only I do think I should have
added the three months' interest."
When I said this I saw a slight smile on the Vicar's
face which I did not quite like, and after a pause
he said, "You have such generous impulses. Miss
Trevor. I wonder if you could find an old gown
for poor Mary James. She could get work if she
had not such shockingly bad clothes."
"I certainly will look, dear Yicar, and will do it
if I can," I replied cautiously.
And when he was gone I went up to my bedroom
and had a long hunt, but everything was too good
for giving away. I felt quite sorry, for I should
have really liked to help the poor woman, but my
second best serge gown was, unfortunately, not half
worn out, and I did not think my merino was suit-
able for such a poor woman. I had one old gown,
but I always used that for doing things in the house
in the early morning, and if I had given that away,
I must have used my serge gown instead.
I rather hesitated about a cloak which I had had
for some years, but I felt that I should really need
it for rough weather in the coming winter, when my
new one would be spoilt if I used it much in the
A STORY OF STINGINESS. 141
So I wrote a little note to the Vicar, and in order
to save postage I took it myself to the Vicarage. As
I came back I slipped on a piece of orange peel,
which some careless boy had left on the pavement.
It was a bad fall, and I quite lost consciousness.
It turned out that I had broken my leg in two places,
and had bruised myself badly. It took me a long
time— several months— to get well, and the Spring
had come before I was able to be up and about.
As I lay in bed, I thought to myself, " Dear me,
now I have not used those clothes after all, and I do
believe I ought to have given them to Mary James.
I wonder if it is too late now, and if she has got a
As soon as I could get up, I went to my chest of
drawers and pulled open the large bottom drawer. I
was almost stifled, when I moved the things, with
dust, and there flew out I should think more than a
hundred moths. My heart sank within me as I
took out the articles one after another. All of them
were completely spoilt; not one of them was fit for
giving away, even to poor Mary James.
I sat down and cried bitterly, partly with sorrow,
and partly with mortification. It was so clear to me
that God had punished my sin. I did not feel happy
till I had written to the Vicar, and told him how
ashamed of myself I felt, and asked him to pray
that I might never do it any more, and I begged
him if he ever saw the fault in me again, to tell me
faithfully of it.
142 A STORY OF STINGINESS.
I now began really to fight, and watch, and pray
against the sin, but I was astonished to find what a
hold it had upon me.
One day I got a letter from a lawyer, telling me
that an old relation had left me a fortune of £500
a year. You may guess how I felt, for till this time
I had only had £100 a year.
You will scarcely believe it, but one of the first
thoughts that came to my mind w^as — "Now I shall
be able to save something. I will not increase my
way of living, but I will try and put by. It will
really be worth while now to save, for I shall be
quite a rich woman, and, with a little economy, I
can be very rich indeed."
Then I thought to myself, that I would give my
old servant Martha a handsome black silk dress.
How pleased she would be, and how surprised. On
second thoughts, however, I decided that perhaps it
would make her too fond of dress, and that after all,
she would be able to wear it very seldom. Also that
it would be a waste of money, and that a nice stuff
dress would be a great deal more suitable, and much
cheaper. So I gave her a stuff' dress. But it struck
me that she did not thank me for it in a very
It was very odd, but though I had been saying all
my life that I should be generous if I were rich, yet
I think now it was rather a burden and anxiety to
me to feel that I might be generous. When it be-
came known that I had come into this money, all
A STORY OF STINOINESS. 143
sorts of people called on me to ask for subscriptions.
It really seemed as if they thought I was made of
I had always been accustomed to give very small
subscriptions, and when the Vicar's wife asked me
to subscribe to the schools, and I put down two half-
crowns, I thought she would be very much pleased
indeed. But instead of that her manner became
colder than usual, and she soon got up and went
away. " I wonder what she could possibly have ex-
pected," I said to myself afterwards. " People are
certainly very unreasonable." And then I remem-
bered what a large sum I had had to pay for legacy
duty, and what an expense I had been put to for
I did not feel happy, and the next morning when
I was sitting mending some clothes, I was glad to see
the Vicar come in, for his visits always cheered me.
" Dear Miss Trevor," he said to me, " do you re-
member that after your illness, you asked me to tell
you if I thought you were in any danger of not
being generous again ? You are a dear old friend
of mine, whom I truly value, and I do hope I am
not risking your friendship, when I ask you to pray
specially for guidance as to how much of your in-
come you should set aside for giving away."
" Set aside for giving away," I said in rather a
" Yes," he replied. " The scriptural rule seems to
be that we should not give away less than a tenth of
144 A STORY OF STINGINESS.
our income, but God has blessed a few people like
yourself with a good deal more money than they
require. You have no near relations who have a
right to expect you to leave your money to them.
How happy you would be, if you felt every week,
and every month, that you were making the world
better and happier, by using the talent that God has
"And how much do you think I ought to give
away. Vicar ? " I said, rather stiffly, though I confess
I was trembling.
" I do not know, dear Miss Trevor, but I believe
that our Lord Himself will teach you this by His
Spirit. I think I should give away half of my income,
if I were you, and I should keep an exact account
of all that I gave. You will then feel yourself just
a steward of money that has already been given to
God, and I believe you will find great happiness in
dispensing it. How many there are who will arise
and call you blessed. I believe you will do it. God
He shook hands with me, and the tears stood in
his eyes, as well as mine. I knelt down and asked
the Lord, Who has given me so much, and Who had
suffered so much for me, to guide me in the
matter. I will not tell you what I decided to do.
Stinginess is still a fault of mine, but a great deal
of sunshine has come into my life. I do not wear
such old clothes as I used to wear, for I give them
away before they are worn out, and I do not give
any more five shilling subscriptions.
WHOSE SHALL HE BE?
■; o :-
Some people met together at a tea-meeting in a
Mission Hall the other day, and as they talked one
to another it so happened that seven different people
told the same story in seven different ways.
" I have been wonderfully blessed here," said the
evangelist. " Large numbers of souls have been
brought in during the few days I have been preach-
ing here. Last Tuesday there was a most interesting
case of a young man — a drunkard— who was com-
pletely broken down. I was preaching my address
on the 'Prodigal Son,' and the words went right
home, and he was converted then and there, before
he left the hall. His name is Samuel Jones. I
should like you to see him and talk to him."
" I am so thankful," said a gentleman to his wife,
"that I was the means of this hall being built.
Humanly speaking, it would never have been done
if I had not given the money for it. What a bless-
ing it is to get the Gospel brought home so faithfully
and continually ! It does cheer me to think that I
am the instrument of it all. I have just been hearing
of one such delightful case — a young man named
Samuel Jones, a drunkard, who was brought in,
146 WHOSE SHALL HE BE ?
actually from a public-house, and was converted
there in the hall at the after-meeting. It ought to
humble me deeply in the midst of my rejoicings at
having been so used."
"My prayers have been answered at last for my
poor grandson," said a dear old woman. " How many
years have I cried to God for Samuel's soul ! And
how often have I been discouraged, and have almost
been ready to give up praying for him when he
went back again and again to that cursed drink. He
was a dear lad always, and now I believe he is a
true Christian. Thank God that he gave me grace
to go on praying, else that boy's soul might have
been lost for ever."
" If you want to get at the real roughs you must
go and find them out," said one of the workers to a
visitor. " You can't expect them to come in and hear
the Gospel unless you go down into their dens and
take them by the hand and bring them in. But it
is a glorious work. I had such a battle with a young
fellow outside a public-house the other day, before
I could get him to come. He had promised me two
or three times before, but had always been laughed
out of it by his mates. But at last he turned to
another man, who was also a little touched, and said,
'Well, Bill, I'll go if you will;' and Bill said, 'Well,
I'll go if Jim will,' and then I got them by the arm
and dragged them along, poor fellows, and they came
into the hall looking very sheepish. But, thank God,
two of the three were, I believe and trust, converted.
WHOSE SHALL HE BE ? 147
One of them— Samuel Jones his name was — I think
I can speak confidently of. If people only knew the
joy of winning a soul in that way they would work
" I do feel rather overdone and needing rest," said
the superintendent of the work, " but I cannot bear to
go away while we are being blessed so markedly. I
little thought when I got this place built and set the
work going what hundreds of spiritual children the
Lord was going to give me. I call them all mine,
you see, and love them just as much as if they were
my children after the flesh. Did you notice that
fine young fellow sitting in the front bench.? His
name is Samuel Jones, and he is one of my youngest
born. A week ago he was sunk in vice and drunken-
ness. 'Blessed is the man that hath his quiver full
of them.' "
" I had such a splendid case at the after-meeting
last Tuesday," said a young worker. " I had noticed
a poor fellow during the address who was evidently
new to this sort of thing. I felt sure the Lord would
give me a word for him, and so I got round to the
door before the end of the meeting, and just as he
was slipping out, I got hold of him, and made him
sit down quietly with me in a corner. It was so
interesting. He had had Christian parents, but he
had fallen away into drink and bad company, and
had got utterly sunk. It seemed quite a new light
to him that there was hope for him as he waa then —
that Christ loved him tJien and had died for his sins.
148 WHOSE SHALL HE BE ?
He quite broke down when I told him this, and
cried out to God to have mercy on him, and I believe
he was really won before he left the hall. His name
was Samuel Jones. I couldn't help singing for joy
as I went home. How unworthy I am to have such
jewels in my crown."
"The great want in a work like this," said a lady,
" is that the cases are not followed up. I fear it too
often happens that people come in and hear the
Gospel, and receive it with joy, and yet have no root
in themselves, and so they fall away directly they
are exposed to temptation and have nobody to help
them. There was a case last week of a young man,
named Samuel Jones, who was brought in here, and
appeared to be — and perhaps was — truly converted ;
at any rate, he went away rejoicing. But I found,
when I went my visiting rounds, three days after,
that he had broken out again that very morning —
poor fellow ! — and was drinking at that moment. My
heart did sink within me, for I had such good hope
of him. However, I asked the Lord for strength,
and went right after him into the public-house.
There he was, sitting in the taproom with two or
three others, drinking, and looking very miserable.
I went up to the publican and said, 'Will you let
me stay a few minutes ? I want to speak to Samuel
Jones.' He gave a sort of sulky permission, but it
was quite enough for me. So I went in and sat
down by the poor fellow, and took him by the hand,
and poured out my heart to him, and he wept like
WHOSE SHALL HE BE ? 149
a child. And the end of it was that he came away
with me, and I got him work at a distance from his
old companions, and he is living with some Christian
people who will help him on heavenward. What a
blessing it was I found him ! Such jewels for one's
crown are worth hunting for, are they not ? "
Reader, you have read my seven stories, and I do
not think they need much moral.
I do not think it is a good thing to be claiming
souls as jewels and spiritual children. I think it
gets us into a mess, and, after all, it will not make
any difference in the ^umber of jewels we have in
our crowns whether we claim them on earth or not.
It is better to rejoice chiefly, that they are jewels in
the crown of our Lord. I daresay that fifty people
have generally had a hand in each soul's salvation.
EMMA AND OTHERS,
By C. M. C.
(The following Church Army Sketches — of course absolutely-
true — are so vivid that I have induced Mrs. Chohiieley to let me
print them. Emma and others need no introduction. They are
just "poor people," cared for by God. E. C).
Enter Emma, on a sunny morning last July, decorated
with a brilliant scarlet necktie, very cheerful and full
of news, though her greeting was " Yes, it's me —
weary in well-doin\"
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast, she said, re-
proachfully : " You've never said one word about my
millinery." "Dear me, Emma, do you mean your
Coronation hat ? " " Yes, I do mean my Coronation
hat, that's it ! Could I be so unfeelin' to the King,
poor gentleman, as to wear my Coronation 'at when
he couldn't be crowned ? No, indeed, I've too great
a regard for him to do any such thing — onfeeling I
calls it. So, you see, I took the scarlet off the 'at,
and put on this brown ribbin (neat^ ain't it ?), and
the scarlet (it's good^ that is — real silk) I wears round
my neck (robbin' Peter to pay Paul, as you may say).
When 'e's crowned, I'll put it back on the 'at, but
not before. It's a good report of the King this morn-
in', I see on them big posters — been out he 'as.
EMMA AND OTHERS. 151
Them butlers and coachmen what takes invalid gentle-
men out in chairs 'as a bin takin' 'im out, and 'e's
goin' in the country soon, same as me. But he ain't
goin' fruit-pickin' — poor dear, 'e ain't got the strength
to stoop for it, not for strawberry pickin', 'e ain't —
well, not at present, any'ow. I wish he 'ad ; but
them doctors 'as bin too many for 'im — I know all
about it, through my operation leg. It's the times we
lives in does it, and the speriments them doctors
A dull September day. Enter Emma, rather shy,
and not sure of her reception.
"Well, my dear Mrs. Cholmeley, here's your pro-
digal lamb returned. I'm goin' to tell you the truth
— it's better than a parcel of lies, anyhow — the fact
is, I've bin pinched. Now, don't look so sorry, and
I'll tell you about it. Give me Lewes — though I don't
deny I was prejudiced, for I'd heard things against
it ; but I can tell you it's a deal better than 'Olloway ;
the matron 'as a 'eart and knows a good worker when
she sees one. When I gets out of 'Black Maria' (at
Lewes Gaol, you know), I says to the warder : ' It's
the poor as keeps you so neat and clean ; the rich
can pay fines, and ain't a bit of good to all of you.'
' Oh ! ' he says, ' you're a sharp one.' ' Yes,' I says,
* I was always noted for brains.' The officers at
Lewes was a good sort; but the gru'l was cru'l— if
you put yer spoon in, it 'ud sink down and you'd
never find it again. But after the first week, the
soup ain't bad — the only fault is there ain't enough
152 EMMA AND OTHERS.
of it. No, I never see the Chaplain. There's a visit-
ing lady — she says : ' I'm sure you have not always
been in this position, my poor woman ; you have
seen better days.' ' Yes,' I says, ' I was a lady by
birth, but have sunk through no fault of my own.'
(Well, it wasn't all my fault, anyhow, though some
of it may have been). 'And have you no home, or
friends ? ' ' No,' I says, ' not a friend in the w^orld.'
My dear Mrs. Cholmeley, I was thinking all the time
of you, and saying to myself, inwardly : ' Thank God,
I've got une dear friend ! ' But I wasn't going to tell
her so, and have her hurtin' your feelins by writing
to tell you she seen me in such a place as that.
' No,' I says to myself, ' I'll tell Mrs. Cholmeley my-
self, she shan't.' So I says over again (seeing her
look at ihe so earnest) : ' Not a friend in the wide
world.' ' Poor thing,' she says, ' and how do you
support yourself ? ' ' Well,' I says, ' principally by
honesty and hard work.' (I'm very honest, you know
— you said so yourself when I left Gratton Road :
'honest, and a good washer.') 'And have you been
confirmed .^ ' she says. ' Yes,' I says (for I was mix-
ing up baptism with confirmation, but of course I've
not been confirmed ; but by the time I'd thought of
it, the conversation had drifted off, and besides, you
see, I'm quite ready and willin' to be confirmed — it's
you that ain't willin' to do it, as I've often told you
before — and, of course, I can't help that). But, how-
ever, when we left, the matron gave me Is., and they
sent us all back where we come from. I nearly got
EMMA AND OTHERS. 153
out at Brighton, for I like Brighton, and thought I
might get some work ; but it was nigh on two months
since I see you, and I wanted to see you. Now I
come to the sad part : — There was a woman in the
train says, just as we got out : ' Come in the pub and
have 'arf-a-pint. it'll do you good.' ' No,' I says,
* I don't want to, though I don't deny I feels a
cravin ! ' "
Emma here broke off suddenly, and gazed at me
with delight, clapping her hands ecstatically. Then
she resumed : — " I KNEW you'd look just like that —
you've got it so deeply rooted in you, the 'atred to
them 'arf-pints. But you needn't look like it — you
can cheer right up, for I says to the woman : ' It's
tea and bread-and-butter I has the craving for now,*
I says, and with that I stepped away from 'er and
went to Lockhart's and enjoyed myself."
Emma is away hop-picking just now, but a few days
before she left she came to see me, and expressed
great pleasure at finding me at home.
" I was that bad with the lumbagur last night," she
said, " that as soon as I had got myself up this morn-
ing, and 'ad my cup of tea, I says to myself, *I
must go and see her, even if I don't get anything
at all out of her ; it'll be a comfort to tell 'er about
it, 'cause she'll look sorry for me.' There's a differ-
ence in ladies ; I dunno what makes it I'm sure, but
some of 'em looks at you so's if they was only a-
thinkin', ' Well, what a Ohjick to be sure ! ' You'd
154 EMMA AND OTHERS.
never think now that it'd make any matter to me
what they said nor how they looked, but IT DO. I
goes 'ome, and sets, and thinks, and talks to myself,
as mis'rable as if Oh ! (with a sudden change of
tone, and quite a merry twinkle) I feels as if I'd go
off my nut, all becos my feelins was 'urt. Silly,
ain't it ? Now that just reminds me that it seems
a pity I shouldn't never have been confirmed. Why
shouldn't you confirm me now ? "
"My dear Emma," I gasped, my breath quite
knocked out of me, " / can't confirm you : it takes a
Bishop to confirm you. Don't you know it does ? "
"Oh, well (rather huf&ly), I may be very ignorant,
but as you baptized me you know "
"I didn't^ Emma (quite indignantly). What are
you talking about ? "
"Well, you got me done — it's all the same thing.
Don't you think you'd better see me through now
you've started on the job ? It seems a pity to stop
half-way. Now, I'll tell you what — when I comes
back from the 'op-picking you shall explain to me as
much as ever you like, and I'll sing 'ymns to you,
and then I'll be confirmed, and so we'll *kill two
birds with one bush.' "
Emma looked so disconsolate and discouraged last
Saturday. I felt sure there was something amiss.
She had on a rather smart cape, trimmed round with
black beads, but it had none of that quaint, well-set-
up air which generally characterises even her pinned-
EMMA AND OTHERS. 155
up-the-front rough jacket, and the skirt which is still
waiting for my funeral.
"I told your servant that I'd bin away for a rest,"
she said, in a very low whisper, " but I've got had
news, 'eart breaking news — I've been put away for
singing, and I've just come straight from 'Olloway.
What do you think of that ? Ain't it awful ? The
magistrate asked the pleeceman if there was anything
else against me, and he said, * She's quite a stranger
to me.' And then the magistrate said, '' Fve often
heard her sing,' he said, ' but we must call it begging.'
Think of that^ my dear Mrs. Cholmeley ! Why, I
wouldn't beg not for anything. And the magistrate
'ad 'eard me ! And he MUST have thought it was
beautiful singing, and yet he had the 'eart to put me
away. I was only exercising God's gift what He gave
me, and I'm sure He watched over me, or else the
ladies wouldn't shower the half-pennies down from
their winders like they do, nor this cape the little
girl said 'er ma had kept for me this ever-so-long.
I've bin thinkin' it all over. I know I can't sing
again yet, not till I've got over the rekileckshun of
that gruel (ugh !), but you might put me in a Church
Army Home. Yes ! " (suddenly brightening into
eagerness as I lent a willing ear) " I'D do up their
work for 'em. That's what we'll do, the very thing."
" Stop, stop ! Emma, we can't settle it up in that
hurry. I will ask Miss Prentice, but the Homes may
be all full ; and then you know you would have to
be a Strict Teetotaller, and never say one wry word
156 EMMA AND OTHERS.
to one single Nurse or woman in the Home, how-
ever aggravating you thought them."
"My dear Mrs. Cholmeley" (voice and air quite
brisk arid cheerful again), " I'll PROMISE you both of
that. Why, I'll tie my tongue in a knot to oblige
you, because I wouldn't 'urt your feelins for the
And into the Home she went I
" That dress is wearing out, Emma ; the hopping has
been too much for it; it looks grey instead of black."
" Ohy no, ma'am, iVs lovely.''
"Well, you don't take it into any public houses, I
"Oh, no (extreme emphasis). Do you think I'd
take this dress in there— the dress that I'm going to
bury you in .? No, indeed, my dear Mrs. Cholmeley,
I wouldn't do such a thing. Is Mrs. Hilary still
alive ? "
" Oh, yes, Emma, thank God. Why should she not
"Dear me, now, I thought she must be dead, for I
sung * Beautiful Star in 'eaven so bright' so many
times outside her 'ouse, and she's never come out. I
sings according to the streets. When the people are
at dinner I sing * Beautiful Star ' — that's a lovely
song — ' Star of the Twilight, Beautiful Star ' — so cut-
ting, goes 'ome to the very 'eart. In the grand streets
like you live in (Nutford Place !) I sings ' What a
Friend we have in Jesus ' (you've heard me sing that),
and I always finish with ' Abide with me.' "
EMMA AND OTHERS. 157
" Yes ; but my dear Emma, do you always remem-
ber that it is our Lord you are singing of, saying
what a Friend He is, and asking Him to abide with
you ? "
Emma regarded me with a tender look of indulgent
"Ah ! yes. You're so anxious about that always,
ain't you ; and about me going to church, and all
that ? I don't mind confessing to you that I have
got a bit behindhand with my religion ; but now I
put it to you — mustn't I earn something for my lodg-
ing and a cup of tea ? I must earn an honest living,
you know. I must work as well as pray. What's
the good of praying if I do nothing ? God has given
me a beautiful gift, I'll allow, because you know I
have a splendid voice. I sing like a nightingale —
don't I ? — and says all the words so clear and plain.
It's that fetches the people. In the middling streets
I sings " The Old Folks at Home.' That touches 'em
up — makes 'em think of the old country 'ome."
" And what do you sing in the very poor streets ? "
" * Wait till the clouds roll by ! ' or else ' Cheer up,
my own true love ! ' My songs are all very nice
songs, you know, and I sing them lovely. It takes
a good singer to sing that 'Own true love.' Yes, some
of the poor things sings like a mouse in a trap."
Emma laughed quite merrily at her own wit, and
then said, " I feel better now. That's the first good
laugh I've had to-day. It does you good for me to
come and see you, don't it ? Well, now, I'll come
158 EMMA AND OTHERS.
again Sunday and sing you a little hymn, if you'll
be at home. And I'll think about the sense of the
hymn to oblige you, my dear Mrs. Cholmeley — I will,
indeed." — Exit Emma.
"Now, Emma, this is a very nice skirt, so don't
" Ah ! " (admiringly) " what a lot you do know to
be sure, for a lidy."
Emma on Religion,
She came to-day looking ill with a very bad cold,
but with a very smart hat.
I said to her, "why, Emma, where did you get
those bows, I never saw such fine ribbon in my life,
all the colours of the rainbow." Her eyes shone im-
mediately, and she looked delighted. She then ex-
plained — one of the women 'ad a lot, so she says to
me, "Look 'ere, you bein a Court Milliner might
like some of these bits to put in your 'at." So o'
course I took the best, and there they are. Yes, I've
got a shocking cold, it's through listening to that
Matron, I told you 'ow she goes on. They gives us
a cup o' tea first, and you know I'd run all over
London for a cup o' tea, so I goes and a lot more,
and then she sets and preaches. 2'wo hours she went
on, and first I set and wished you was there to talk
'er down. Oh, yes, my dear Mrs. Cholmeley, you DO
talk religion sometimes, you can't deny you do. But
EMMA AND OTHERS. 159
then it's short and sweet. But she keeps on and on,
and besides I know quite as much about religion as
she do. Now what are you looking enquiring about ?
You want me to tell you all about religion ? Well,
/ ivill. You know about the country ? I've often
told you that when it's fine and the sun shines, I
feel like singin 'ymns, and I do sometimes, and if
there's no ladies to throw you out a penny, at all
events there's no copper (policeman) to stop you, and
at them times I believes what all you say about God
is true. Then in London, when I feel religious, I do
say to God that I try 'ard to get a honest living, and
I work and don't mind my poor leg, and I'm very
contented, and — well, what are you looking enquiring
about now ? You say if you was me you should tell
God the bad things you'd done, and the 'arf -pints and
that, not all them good things. / wouldn't then, for
I like to put the best face on, and if you don't speak
good of yerself, who's a goin' to do it for yer ? But,
never mind about that now, I'm a goin' to tell you
about the Matron. There she sets and talks, and there
they sets (all them people), thinkin' where they shall
get their 3d. for the night's lodging. She says you
must trust God — that's true I allow, and God is good,
but then time is time, and you ought to be doin'
somethin with it better'n settin wonderin when she's
goin to stop. Look at the waste of it ! Why you
might be gettin 2d. for scrubbin a door step, or you
might even go and set in church, it'd be better than
to set there while she's talkin ; a deal quieter and
not so distractin to the 'ead.
160 EMMA AND OTHERS.
Emma before the Magistrate.
Does the prisoner wish to say anything to the officer ?
" Yes, your worship, / do^ he said. I was drunk and
used language. Now, young man, I wish to say to
you that if this is the first lie you ever told, / hope
it will be the last."
After the Census in 1901.
"What questions them gentlemen do ask. Why one
says to me when he come to the lodgin 'ouse to git
our names and ages, 'Where was you born my good
woman ? ' I says to 'im — ' Well, really Sir, you must
excuse me not bein able to tell you, for I was but
a infant at the time."
Enter Emma, looking tidier than usual, bedecked
with a red, white, and blue bow ("Must make my-
self a bit smart," she says), and a most smiling
"Well, now, my dear Mrs. Cholmeley, I am de-
lighted to see you. I thought for sure I was never
going to see you again. Well, if I'd been sure you
was here, I'd have sung to you ; it's a wonder, really,
you didn't 'ear me sing ' God save the Queen ' in the
street outside. I was just goin' to, but it flashed in
my mind, * See what a many birthdays I've had, and
the Queen never come round to sing God save Emma,
nor nothing of the kind, though no doubt she does
EMMA AND OTHERS. 161
it for the rich, but not for the poor, nor for poor
Emma, so why should I do it for 'er ? "
"But, my dear Emma, what nonsense that is. I
am sure the Queen wouldn't sing in the street, out-
side the house of the greatest lady in the land, a bit
more than she would outside your house. She's so
very kind and thoughtful to the poor ; think of all
the chocolate boxes she sent the soldiers, and how
she goes to see people in hospitals when they are ill ;
besides, she is 81 — she cannot go round singing now.
You mustn't expect impossibilities, must you ? "
" No, that's true ; and I don't suppose " (confi-
dentially) "that the Queen ever had such a voice as
mine, neither. Why, there was a lady come out of
'er house when I was singing ' Beautiful Star,' up
'Ampstead way, only yesterday, and she says : ' Why,
my poor woman, how well you sing, and what a fine
voice you have.'"
"Yes, ma'am," I says, "no fault to find with my
voice^ but I've got no friends, nor nobody belonging
to me." (No more I haven't, 'cause it's uo use men-
tioning you, for when you ain't in Africa you're in
America, and though I'd tramp Yan Demon's Land
to find you, it ain't in reason to expect that every-
body would do that, especially a lady that only wants
a reference for honesty and industriousness).
" And do you prefer singing to work ? " she says.
" No, ma'am," I says ; " my 'eart's in the laundry "
(it is, y' know), " and I'd stand at the washtub with
anybody, and there ain't many can beat Emma at
162 EMMA AND OTHERS.
" Will you scrub down some steps for me ? " she
"That I will," I says, "but I must be properly
harnessed, you know."
" So I went to the housekeeper and got a coarse
apron and cleaned 'em down, and when she come to
look she said they looked lovely ; but I do feel my
leg — this one that was bad so long in the infirmary"
(here she stuck her left leg stiffly out, much swathed,
evidently in bandages). " I says to my operation leg,
' If you're good, and keeps quiet to-night, I'll give
yer an egg and some toast, and a good large cup of
tea to your breakfast to-morrer ; ' that does it good,
y' know, pore thing— gives it strength. Why, all the
food I can get, that leg wants it all, the doctor told
me so at the 'orspital. 'If you don't want to be a
cripple,' he says, ' you must give that leg good food.' "
"But no drink, Emma."
"Well, he didn't say nothing about drink at all ;
and you've never asked me whether I've been to
" Have you been to-day ? It's Ascension Day — the
right day to go."
" Is it Ascension Day, reelly ? And I never knew
it. How ignorant I am. But there's my lodgin'
money to be earned. What's the good of my sittin'
in a church all the whole day long, trustin' in Pro-
vidence to get the lodgin' money for me ? I'd better
by far run round and sing ' God aave the Queen ' to
please the company.'?
EMMA AND OTHERS. 163
A disapproving look made her add hurriedly : " And
besides, St. Giles' is a Low Church, and I never will
go to them Low Churches. I likes 'igh Churches,
where the music goes 'igh, right up in the roof, so
as I can join in and help them lift the roof off. I
can't sing them low 'ymns, * Art thou weary ? ' and
that. Why that ymn seems to ketch 'old of my bad
leg and give it a pull downwards, 'stead of ' Crown
Him ' and them 'igh 'ymns. That's like the pair of
wings you used to tell about."
"But, Emma ."
I was interrupted by a quaint deprecatory nod,
and an imploring '* Don't stop the clock, my dear
Mrs. Cholmeley. You have told me before y' know
that its doctrine and not 'ymns makes churches 'igh
or low, but ."
I interrupted in my turn, " And I won't trouble
you with any more explanations, dear. Let us only
agree to serve and praise our Lord Who is so good,
and Who loves us so much — high and low, rich and
poor, one with another."
Emma's expression softened, and she said, very
gently, " Does He love me, I wonder ? I'm going
into the country fruit-picking soon ; and then, when
it's fine, and the sun shines, and the trees and
flowers look all green and pretty colours, then I some-
times think He does. Well " (with renewed vivacity)
"I'll read that little book you've just give me, and
now I'll go. I would sing ' God save the Queen,' but
the people are at prayers in the church opposite, and
164 EMMA AND OTHERS.
I might drownd 'em. Good-bye ! I don't want to
lose you till I find you, so take care of yerself, do.
In these Boers' times, it's dreadful ; you never know
what you may have next, so I'll come again soon, for
I know it does you good to see me. Cheers you up
like, don't it ? "
Off she went, smiling, and limped briskly down
They were a most respectable old couple. He was
a costermonger and she made the rent of the house
by " charing," and letting rooms, but misfortune had
overtaken them. I found her alone in the First Floor
Back, which was almost bare of furniture.
"You must excuse it, m'm," she said, "for I've
sent the rest of my furniture to where that dead
person lives, he died yesterday, but he's very honest,
and his wife, poor thing, will see to it. You see,
m'm, everything's against us. The man downstairs
owes us £4 10s. and the other one owes two weeks
at 5s. a week, and I've got behind. And my hus-
band is ill and the road's up so's he can't stand in
the gutter, or else he could have got a few heads of
cel'ry and earned a few ha'pence, and then next
door is empty and the Landlord he wants to make
one job of the two houses, you see, m'm, and so he
sent the Brokerman with an injectment notice. I
thought I should have dropped, for I was just coming
along the street with the loaf of bread in my hand
EMMA AND OTHERS. 165
when I see the Brokerman going in front of me and
he stopped at my door. Tliat was Monday, and next
Monday the Brokerman '11 come again and serve us
another injectment. and / am told (I never had
nothing to do with Brokermen nor such-like before,
but I am told) that they'll stuff up the chimblies,
and take out the winders, and p'rhaps have us off
to prison for being on the premises.
"Oh, yes, m'm, we shall have to go. But I've
lived in this house five-and-forty year. I buried
my Mother out of the Front Parlour, and I buried
my Father out of the Back Parlour, and I buried my
oldest son (he was just 29) out of the Top Floor
Back, and my sister was stopping with me and sleep-
ing in the Top Floor Front, and I went to wake her
in the morning, and there she lay dead in the bed ;
so you may guess I clings to the house. My hus-
band '11 have to go the Infirmary, and I s'pose I
must go to my niece's, but it don't answer, that
mixing up families don't, and I wish I could get
ever such a little room to ourselves. It do seem
I think a little bit of pink did come in after all,
for I was able to say with entire conviction that it
did seem hard ; and then to tell her how the Yicar
and the ladies she had worked for respected her
and thought so much of her and her husband, and
that when he came out of the Infirmary they
would pay the rent of a room for a while and start
him with stock. And then I think she was ready to
166 EMMA AND OTHERS.
be reminded of her Divine Lord Who may be trusted
to bring good out of our worst troubles, and of the
Home in Paradise, where our living dear ones are,
and whence no landlord will ever eject us. For here
we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
It is one of the primary principles of Church Army
work, that we do not give away money, it has to be
earned, but we interpret " earning " in a wide sense.
Still, I fear even that wide sense does not, strictly
speaking, justify me in the sixpences I make over
*' otherwhile," to an old Sussex friend of mine (you
would doubtless call him a tramp) simply on account
of the pleasure I take in his conversation. It is, I
fear, impossible to give any idea of the rare quality
of this conversation, because our old Sussex labourers
have such amazingly eloquent gestures and tones that
they convey great depths and delicate shades of mean-
ing without using more than two or three of the 200
words allocated to them by Professor Max Muller.
One day my friend had brought his wife to see
me, a little, thin, weasel-faced old woman, who duly
walks six yards behind her husband, according to
the strict etiquette of her class. "We had been con-
versing on various subjects, and I had asked her
some questions about Church-going and prayers. He
never likes any question addressed to her except
through himself, so he hurriedly replied for her :
EMMA AND OTHERS. 167
" Yes mum ; yes, she says her perayers, but she
didn't use when I married 'er, but I says to 'er,
Amelier Blantyres, I says, you say your perayers, I
says, or if yer don't Fll knock yer downy
" You shouldn't scold her so much, Mr. Blantyres,
you should be kind to her, she doesn't look well,
and her hair is ever so much greyer than last time."
" Ow, that ain't it, mum ; she understands me ; it
ain't my scolding of 'er turns 'er hair gray. I was
a-telling of 'er only last week. 'Amelier,' I says,
' look at yom- hair,' I says, ' that's all gone grey 'cause
yon 'ont do as I tells yer and put on some of this
yer Bear's Grease on to it mornin's. Bear's Grease is
what you oughter put on, Amelier.' That what I
tells 'er, mum, but, bless yer, she's that obstinate, is
my woife, she will keep on wettin' 'er 'ed with this
yer plain cold water. 'You look at me,' I says, 'you
don't see me a-doin' that ; look at my 'air, I ain't all
turnin' grey-'aired afore my time,' I says. 'Let that
water alone,' I says, 'and use Bear's Grease.' But,
there, you mought justswell talk to that 'ere post as
talk to my woife ; she's the 'oodeneadedest 'ooman
ever I see."
There was a workman attending to the gas in the
hall, whose gravity was completely overset by my
old friend's oration, illustrated as it was by the
sphynxlike calm of the oodeneaded wife, standing in-
side on the mat, while her husband fulminated on
the doorstep. His hand shook so that the gas lamp
rang again. Old Blantyres looked at him gravely
168 EMMA AND OTHERS.
and enquiringly, but made no remark ; he did not
consider it manners to enter into conversation with a
man who was "tendin' to his bisness what e'd got to
do," This brought him back to the thought of his
" Whoy, she 'aven't got any sense at all, 'aven't my
woife ; see 'ow she goes on a-workin' for this 'ere
Johnnie Whatsisname, sixpence a day 'e says 'e gives
'ev—sixpefice a day (in a voice of concentrated scorn)
for doin' all that scrabbin' ! / don't see none of
them sixpences, I don't, ow, no. Eightpence a night
I has to pay for our room — eightpence every night.
I must airn that a sellin' a few ornges, or water-
creeses, or theseyer laaces.
"'Ain't you got the money for the lodgin', 'Arry,'
" ' Money for the lodgin',' I says, ' where's all them
sixpences,' I says (he then bj' an excellent grimace
shows that there is no reply). Oaw, no ! not a bit
of it, them sixpences has all gone to 'er tay. ' I don't
begritch you yer tay, Amelier,' I says, ' but you
makes it too strong, you shovels it in too permiscus.
It ain't good for yer,' I says, 'all that strong tay
ain't, you look at it in the dish when it's stud a bit,
and on the top there's all sorts o' colours come over
like on the top of a pond that ain't been stirred ;
that's what makes yer inside ser w^eak, Amelier,' I
says. Ow (with an indignant shrug) what's the use
o' talkin', she's a 'ooman as ain't got no sense, so
you sees, mum (coaxingly) what I wants is just a
EMMA AND OTHERS. 169
shilling' or two to buy a stock of them whatisits,
ornges I manes, I gits 'em at Mrs. Jones, yer know,
up 'Ammersmith Broadway.
" Then I'd git the money to go down in the country,
Sussex way, Arndel and Chichester (that's my native,
yer know, mum, up Chichester ways is), and I might
git down Findon ways and see Mr. Whatisit — 'Ampton,
that's 'im, see if he'd got a bit of 'oein' 'e could gimme,
'e's been a gentlemen to me, so's poor Mr. Higgs,
he's dead now, but I know'd 'im, and 'is father
before 'im " (and so off into many and mazelike
reminiscences not to be reproduced here).
"Plase, ma'am I want to go to St. Leonards again,"
said four year old Freddie just now, "'cause then I
shall see my sister Amy too, and I want my sister
Freddie's mother is a young widow working hard
in service, and the Church Army Fresh Air Home
was the only place we could find last summer where
she could have her two little children together with
her for one blissful fortnight's break in the long
year of separation.
"Tell me what you did there, Freddie," I said,
and the blue eyes looked fearlessly up, and the little
square figure in its sailor suit, with the small hands
thrust deep down in the pockets, stood gravely at my
side as the child searched among his happy memories
of eight months ago. " I didn't catched the little
170 EMMA AND OTHERS.
crab, it ran too fast, but the other Fred catched one,
— but I put shells in my pail, and stones ; — and I
dugged holes in the sand with my spade ! And I
slept in a cradle side of my mother's bed 'cause Amy
sleeped in with mother,— and I had a nice cake on
Sunday ; one day I couldn't walk so far as the
others, so I swinged in the garden, and I fell off and
cut my head right open, it was a dang'rous swing,
but Nurse bathed it and made it quite well again. I
want to go again, and my sister Amy wants to come
too ; — next time I'm going to catched that little crab
and some little fishes ; I'm going to let them die first
so as they shouldn't mind, and then take them out
of the water with my spade and hold them in my
hand. My sister Amy wants to go to Sunlennards
too, it is a nice place."
Amy is a dear and loving child, and almost broke
her mother's heart and her own a year ago by her
piteous distress when the parting time came and she
had to go to school, poor mite of four as she was
4» » « «
"It's Jem and Maggie you see. Miss, that's the
difficulty, because the doctor he says that after me
having the double pewmonia the only chance is to
go away. But there, wot's the good of talking be-
cause Maggie is that owdacious though she is but
four years old and will do everything Jem does though
he's five. They're fishing in the drain outside now
and pretty quiet, but if I was to leave 'em I shouldn't
EMMA AND OTHERS. 171
have a bit of peace through, knowing they might be
over the road and under them tram 'orses every
minute of the day and nobody but their m.other
could stop 'em. It's through being with their grand-
mother, Mrs. Jakin, made 'em like it (though she's
dead and gone now, poor dear) as was my husband's
mother. But Bob, that's my husband. Miss, thinks
such a lot of Maggie. He says to me, 'You must
take 'em with you,' 'e says. 'What with Jem being
such a owdacious young limb a-drorin' his sister along
with 'im, why ' my husband says to me, ' you must
go to the Church Army which they tell me is not
afraid of mixing up mothers and their children in
one 'ome and arsk 'em from me to name their terms
and I will meet 'em if its anyways possible.' Yes,
Miss, Bob and me 'ave saved 15/- towards it and 'e
will do more, but times is 'ard and in course while
we're away 'e must Uvey
i,^ «= # *
" Could you possibly take Mrs. Macdonald and her
baby. Miss Prentice," said our Dispensary Nurse last
week. "Her husband is at the front, and though she
gets a little money regularly, she is so anxious over
the long clothes baby that I think it would be every-
thing for her to have a real change. She has a
conviction on her mind that either he will die or
baby will die before his return, she juSt needs
cheerful society and to be taken out of herself and
to be reminded of the Heavenly care. She is a good
woman, but is getting morbid, and its such a sweet
babe, you would love it, I am sure."
172 EMMA AND OTHERS.
* =;s= ■:^ #
"Now, Prissy, when you gets to St. Leonards you'll
mind little Willy, and Lucy will mind Ethel, and
Jackie must be a good boy and mind you. Prissy,
for you see mother must stop and mind father for
it's been a bad accident ; perhaps by-and-by the
District Lady will get him a Convalescent Letter and
mother must try and clean the rooms against you all
come back. The District Lady said she should think
it was better for mothers not to go into the country
with their children (tiresome little bothers, she says),
but to get a bit of rest and pleasure ; but I don't
know what sort of mothers those was, Im sure
I always find it a pleasure to be with my children,
it ain't much pleasure I gets when they're away,
though there's no denying but that when there's ill-
ness in the house it's bad for the children too, so
I'm glad you're going, for I know Nurse will take
the best of cares of you ; and father he says the
little uns wouldn't never live through another summer
here 'thout a breath of fresh air, father 'e says it's
through him and his family being country people so
fur back, the children sort of pines and can't fetch
their breath proper 'ere in Lisson Grove, though 'e
says that's an autocratic sounding name and no doubt
ivas a Grove eventually."
* * * *
The women do their very best to save up towards
the expense of their holiday. By the end of Feb-
ruary some twenty mothers had already begun to pay
EMMA AND OTHERS. 173
in, laying up for a sunshiny instead of a rainy day.
Last year when we reckoned up our receipts we
found they had just paid their fares and a little
over, and their kind and better-off friends had paid
for their keep. How much daily self-denial this
saving up means.
Since our little Home was opened in June we have
taken in 161 women and children who have enjoyed
a delightful fortnight of rest and fresh air. Besides
this we have also received for varying periods 24
of our own Mission Nurses and Sisters, who have
greatly benefited by a stay in the Home. Many
grateful letters came from the visitors.
" Dear Nurse, — Just a line to tell you we arrived
home quite safe and feeling better — mother said we
look much better for our holiday. Father and mother
thanks you very much for taking care of us."
"London seems so smoky after the beautiful air of
St. Leonards. I must thank you for your kindness
to me and my children, as I did not expect such a
happy time— I saw Nurse E., and had such a grand
account to give her of my holiday."
"Dear Nurse, — I shall be looking forward of see-
ing you again soon, as I was very happy."
" Dear Nurse, — I feel I must write these few lines
to w^ish you a pleasant time and a nice rest, which
I aiii sure will do you good, you must accept the
same in this short note. I cannot wish you warm
weather as we had the best of that, but do hope you
will have it dry and fine, so that you will enjoy
174 EMMA AND OTHERS.
your holiday, as you made ours such a pleasant one —
it is only a duty to wish you the same."
Our Mothers' Meeting was over, and one of my old
friends waited to speak to me, and this is what she
"Oh, I did have a time of it on Saturday night,
ma'am. My eldest son had been on the drink, and
I was settin' up for him because he had lost his
key. He came home at 2 o'clock, and when I opened
the door he fetched me such a blow across the head,
it sent me staggering against the wall, and when I
screamed he said, 'I'll do for you,' and I ran to
the doorway, and there — just dropped from Heaven
— was two great stout policemen ! They must have
dropped from Heaven, for I had looked out the
minute before my son came, and the street was clear.
So my son rushed out after me, and one of them
caught him by the collar at the back of his neck,
and gave him such a shaking ! Just then his father
came downstairs, and 'You let him come in,' he says
to them, and took and shut him in the settin' room.
"I was still lookin' out at the door, and my son
wouldn't stop in the settin' room ; he comes rushin' out
and ^ rU do for her!'' he says again, and the police-
man says, 'Will you, my man,' he says, 'then you'd
best come along of me,' and with that they both
grips his arm, one each side, and walks him off to the
Station House, with me walkin' behind all the way.
EMMA AND OTHERS. 175
crying, and when the door shut upon him my heart
gave a great thump, and I thought I should have
sunk into the pavement, for I kept thinking, ' Me to
have taken all the trouble in rearing him, and for it
to come to this.' But just then it flashed in my
mind what a good thing it was I did set up for him,,
for if not I should have been in my nightgown, and
I should have caught my death of cold, so perhaps
it was all for the best."
Mrs. Farringdon is as remarkable a talker as Emma,
and I think our readers may be interested in some of
The introductory scene is outside a " Home " (not
C.A.), where I had been summoned by a peremptory
wire : " Come at once and fetch your patient away.'''
She had discharged herself from the inside of tlie
Home, but was walking about outside much "on the
war-path," a tall, stout woman, with scarlet flowers
in her bonnet, a scarlet tomato in one hand, and a
large stone in the other, ready to hurl at a window
by way of giving point to her very loud and obju-
I went up quietly behind and said how fortunate
I was to have come across her, as I travelled down
on purpose, and we might have missed — &c.
"My dear, she said affectionately, with an instan-
taneous change of voice and expression, " I'm truly
delighted to see you, and as you say, it would have
176 EMMA AND OTHERS.
been most unfortunate had we missed. I'll come
back and take care of you up to town, for it isn't fit
you should be travelling about alone. But there's
one thing to consider, for it's wicked to waste, and
I've just given a woman a shilling to buy some
whisky. I'll just run and drink it up, it won't take
a minute, and then we'll start. Do I hear you say,
* Never mind the whisky ? ' Now how can a re-
ligious lady, like you, say that, when ' Waste not,
want not ' is in the Bible. Now, could I have kept
a Boarding House for fifteen years and made it answer
on such principles as never mind wasting a shilling ?
'Economy, my dears,' was my poor mother's in-
structions from the time I was able to run alone.
You say you'll give me a better shilling's worth in
London .? Yes, very likely, but that won't be any
economy, that's what I look at."
* * * *
"I can't drink the whisky and catch the train you
say. Well, that's very likely too, for ever since I
fell with my head on the curb, and that young
doctor was so careless that he caught in my jugular
vein with the bandages, I've found a difficulty in
# # * *
" Do you say you don't keep your jugular vein at
the back of your head, but we can discuss the subject
as we walk along ? That's where I blame you dear,
you are not economical, and you don't understand
logic ; what difference does it make to me where
EMMA AND OTHERS. 177
2/9wr jugular vein is, when mine was caught in once
for all, and it's too late to extricate it.
"And another thing I blame you for, is you're so
obstinate, for you see, you've walked me half-way
to the station, just while I've been talking, and
there's that woman waiting with the whisky, and
she will say that I don't know manners and am a
" You say she may as well drink it all herself !
But how bad for her. Fancy you with your prin-
ciples wishing her to do it ! Oh, you say you don't
wish her to do it ? Well, aint that a self-deception
to say so when you won't let me go back and see
that she don't ? "
* * * *
" My box you are asking about ? Oh, that's at the
railway station — yes, it's got my beautiful black satin
gown in it that you always admire on me, but I've
done with all that. Mr. Farringdon don't care, so
why should I ? "
* * » *
" Close to the station now, are we ? Very well,
then, I shall just go back and drink that whisky.
Well, I'll come and see you off first if you make
such a point of it."
* # * *
" Oh, the train is off is it, and me in the carriage ?
Well, that must have been because I didn't mean to
come ; we should never have caught it if I'd meant
to. See that woman in the end compartment with a
178 EMMA AND OTHERS.
lot of children ? Let me ask her if they're all in
a Band of Hope as they should be."
Here Mrs. Farringdon began giving advice gratis
in a loud voice to our fellow travellers by turns, so
that I was naturally much relieved when we reached
King's Cross. "While I went to secure her box, which
took some time, she went to the refreshment bar to
advise the young lady there to be a total abstainer.
Directly she caught sight of the porter, the box and
me, she hurried towards us (her bonnet much on
one side) and said, " This is a very pleasant meeting.
Porter, this is my friend, Mrs. Cholmelly. She is a
"Yes, mum," said the porter, labelling the box,
and as the train happily came up at the moment, he
shunted her in and we went on to Edgware Road.
Of course the difficulty was to know where to put
her for the night, as it was Saturday, and so no
C.A. Home was available. I left her in the waiting-
room, and went to Nutford Place to get the help of
a C.A. Nurse. When I returned she was asleep, and
wished to remain so. "Let me alone," she said,
angrily. "I promised Mrs. Cholmelly, a lady-friend
of mine, not to leave this place till she came to fetch
me, and I musn't break my promise. Now you say
you are Mrs. Cholmelly, but she was alone, and you
have a young person with you, and if I go away
with you what shall I answer if the right Mrs. C
comes and tells me I oughtn't to have done it ? If
you can satisfy me about that I'll come. What do
EMMA AND OTHERS. 179
you say ? Say it again — you will leave your card
■with the attendant, and then if the right Mrs. C -
comes and finds me gone she and I will be satisfied ?
My dear, there is nothing in that argument, for I
shall never be satisfied till I go back and have that
whisky I paid the woman a shilling for. ' Drunk it
it all herself by this time ? ' Oh, what a low opinion
you have of your fellow creatures ; now I'm quite
different, I always hope the best of everybody, I
speak as I find them — but till I find them dishonest
I would scorn to lay it to their charge."
* * * *
"Well, you've got me upstairs between you, and
this is Lisson Grove, you say. A poor sort of a
Grove, mean little streets I call them. Oh, here's
*The Shaftesbury,' now let's hear what the Matron
has to say. I don't think much of her looks, no
style about her, what does she say ? She won't
let me have a bed. The worse for drink, am I ?
What a shocking untruth I Where does she expect
to go ? But that's just the way, they take the
public money, and then when a respectable married
woman like me comes for a bed to lie down upon
they make any excuse rather than let me have it.
Its a perfect scandal and disgrace. Not talk so loud,
do you say ? Oh, yes, she's shut the door, but look
at all these men and boys standing round, what do
they want ? I'll teach them to interfere. If they
was all the forty thieves (and I daresay most of 'em
are thieves), they shan't mix in my family jars."
180 EMMA AND OTHERS.
Mrs. Farringdon was really very angry, and was
fumbling after the pin of her shawl, so that she
might be free to fight the derisive crowd of men and
boys, who had collected at the sound of her loud
I begged the Church Army Nurse to get her aw^ay
round the corner, and then I put it to the crowd
that it would really be very kind of them to go, as
I could not get her away while they stayed. With
the kindness I have always met with from London
men and boys, they agreed at once, the crowd dis-
persed as quickly as it had come together, and we
pursued our way undistracted. After several efforts
we succeeded in getting her a room, and the last I
heard of her that day was a very sleepy voice saying
to the Nnrse who was undressing and putting her to
bed : " Now be careful, because you know Mrs.
Cholmelly is a lady, and besides, modesty becomes
" If you please, m'm, I w^ant to come into the Church
Army Labour Home for a bit, where I was three
years ago. I'm sick and tired with living in these
low lodging-houses, and I must have a rest from Mr.
Danby. I'm completely wore out with his ways, and
with keeping him, for he's had no work this ever so
long, and there's been such upsets in the next room
to us ; and Mr. Danby's eldest daughter is home.
No, m'm, she don't live with us, but she thinks she
EMxMA AND OTHERS. 181
has a right to come in and out as she pleases ; and
yesterday she brought a woman in, and gave her tea
in my room. She brought her own tea and cakes,
but she used my butter, and my teapot and cups, and
she left me to wash up ; and the woman is one I
have no acquaintance with, nor don't wish to, and
she didn't ought to do it."
" I quite agree with you, Mrs. Danby. But can Mr.
Danby help it ? Does he encourage her ?
"I can't say he encourages her, m'm, but he ought
to see she don't do it, instead of saying I am his
wife, and she is his daughter, and he don't want no
disagreeables — as though we didn't know that; it's
foolishness to talk so. And another thing ; he don't
treat me properly, for though we have been married
two years, I only accidentally found out last week that
he has another daughter, and when I taxed him with
it, he said it didn't matter to me, as he supposes she
will be something like ten years old now, with her
mother's relations in the country. And I'm sure I
told him the first time we ever walked out together
about my little Jane that is with Dr. Barnardo, and
doing so well ; and why should he make mysteries
of his daughter any more than I did of mine ? "
"Why, indeed ! I don't wonder you felt hurt, but
still perhaps he meant no harm. He is not unkind
to you often, is he ? "
"Well, he says things that's very hurtful to my
feelings. If I do happen to have a little drink he
misscalls me everything he can lay his tongue to.
182 EMMA AND OTHERS.
Poor Mr. Blenkinsop was quite different to that ; he
always kep' hisself quiet, and never hurt my feelings
if it was ever so. And then Mr. Blenkinsop used to
go to sea — he was a sailor, you know, m'm — but Mr.
Danby, he's there all ^ the time, and I don't seem
never to get the place to myself. No, I don't want to
leave him, m'm, I'll promise you that I'll go back to
him right enough."
Then suddenly bursting into a tempest of sobs,
" I'm getting to be such a wicked woman, and I do
want to be good, I do want to be good. I did think
I'd given myself to Jesus, and I've gone all back —
right back into the Devil's ways."
Then as I soothed her, and she grew quieter, she
said, softly, " I do love Church Army ways, and the
hymns and all, and I want to hear about the Lord
Jesus again. I thinks about it often and often, nights.
I could be good if I went to the Home again, but
there is dreadful wicked places in London ; I can't
be good there. Mr. Danby was in a Labour Home
too before we was married. He liked it well enough,
but he don't hanker after it like I do."
"What an excellent plan it would be if he could
go to one of the Men's Homes while you go to the
Women's Home, and then both start fresh."
"Yes, m'm, but I don't know as he would. But,
oh, do make him let me go."
"Well, then, you go and ask him to come and see
me to-night. We must talk over what can be done."
The loyal little woman went away without having
EMMA AND OTHERS. 183
said a word of complaint about the many days when
her husband had lain idly in bed till late in the
afternoon, while she slaved at the ironing board ; or
of the arguments, harder than words, by which he
had lately begun to testify his disapproval of her
" happening to have a little drink.'
Her bright brown eyes were growing dim, and her
cheeks which used to be so rosy and pretty looked
puffed and swelled from drink and overwork. It
was high time something should be done, and one
could but hope and pray that the C. A. Home would
prove to her all she expected — a House Beautiful,
where Piety, Prudence and Charity could feed and
rest and clothe her, and set her forth in the right
way, with Greatheart as her guide, a joyful pilgrim
to the Celestial City. For do we not all of us, what-
ever our advantages, need often the comfort of being
reminded that " new beginnings are the soul of per-
In the evening Mr. Danby arrived, very much
tidied up, but rather on the defensive.
" I suppose my wife's been complaining, and saying
that I knock her about ? "
"No, there you are quite mistaken," I answered,
warmly, " She said nothing of the kind ; but there
seem to have bean a few upsets lately of one kind
"What, in the next room to us, you mean, m'm .^
Yes, well they are a bad lot, and it certainly did up-
set her a goodish bit. You see, m'm, the man and
184 EMMA AND OTHERS.
his missis got drinking and quarrelling (same as me
and my missis might), and there was a row, and she
rushed into our room screaming, and would I go in
directly and cut him down, as he had hung hisself
up with a rope to the head of the bed. Well, I
really didn't hardly like to interfere, as we were not
anyways to say acquainted, only through living next
door. But, however, she kep' on a beggin' of me,
wouldn't I please go, so I did, and there he was ; so
I cut him down ; so then he said he would go to
Edgwer Boad Station and thi-ow hisself on the line.
So I told him he must please hisself about that.
'I've done my best for you this time,' I says, * me
and my missis being given to the drink at one time
I know what it is ; but I aren't going to f oiler you
about all over London, so don't you think it,' I says.
My wife didn't much like my doing anything for
him, and I didn't know but what he might turn on
me, as there was a hammer laying handy, but still
I'm glad I done it. It's a cowardly trick, that trying
to kill yourself."
" I quite agree with you, Mr. Danby, but, however,
your wife did not mention the incident, she seemed
most concerned with some misunderstandings about
"Oh, well there's no pleasing of her about them,
you see, m'm. One of my daughters comes and that
ain't right, and the other stops away and that ain't
right neither, so what's a man to do ? "
I knew that the grievance of his daughter's invit-
EMMA AND OTHERS. 185
ing some one to tea in his wife's room, without her
leave, would elude the grasp of the masculine in-
tellect, so I left that point and took up the other.
But the existence of his younger daughter appeared
to him so entirely a matter of detail that he was at
a loss to understand why any sensible woman should
put herself out about his not having mentioned it ;
and although I took some pains to make him see the
matter from his wife's standpoint, and he listened with
great attention, he merely remarked at the end, with
a resigned air, that he "wished he had mentioned it,
and no doubt he might have done so if he had ever
gave it a thought."
What a revelation that remark seemed of the miss-
ing elements of happiness in the lives of some of the
very poor— a father who could go on for years with-
out giving " a thought " to the existence of his little
To those of us who look back on a home where
the wise and tender presence of the father gave our
early life its savour and its sunshine, there is some-
thing almost overwhelmingly sad and terrible in such
absolute lack of love. Facts such as these, set us,
women of the Church Army, longing to throw em-
bracing arms of dauntless love round those poor girls
who have never had a home, never known anything
of the strength of a father's tenderness, or the depth
of a m.other's compassion.
It was clearly useless to talk to Mr. Danby about
his child, but we talked long about his wife and him-
186 EMMA AND OTHERS.
self, the miseries and temptations of their present
life, and of God's great offer of salvation which we
'must close with not v.
At last he said, *• Well, if my wife wants to go to
the C. A. Home for a bit, and thinks it will help her
to give up the drink, I won't make no objections. I
don't want to drink, I'm sure, and I'm sick and tired
of things as they are. But she must wait till I get
some work I'm expecting down Seven Dials way, for
of course, while I don't have no work she must go
to the laundry, or else how am I to live ? "
Alas ! the delay w^hile that work down Seven Dials
way was waited for led to sorrowful experiences, and
to more than one sojourn in Wormwood Scrubbs ;
but we are looking for a better time now, and be-
lieving that our poor friend's longing will be granted,
and that in the C. A. Home she will again hear about
her Divine Redeemer and will return to Him.
Shall not we, who have bright homes, and "a
place to ourselves," say a prayer for her, and help to
provide a House Beautiful of Peace, Praise and Prayer,
where those, whose life is passed in stifling rooms
and flaring public-houses, with drink, dulness, dis-
comfort and despair, may come and revive and re-
THE LADY AND THE VAN.
: O :-
Miss Estcott was not given to weeping, but to-
day her eyelashes were wet with tears, her mouth
trembled, and her hand even clenched a little.
Her mother had just refused what was for the
moment the great desire of her heart, and she was
so bitterly disappointed that she felt that life was
almost intolerable. Collisions between mothers and
daughters are not so uncommon as might be sup-
posed, and they often reveal a want of sympathy and
mutual understanding which surprises both parties,
and is most wounding.
Miss Estcott was eight-and-twenty years old, and
was an extremely charming person in a quiet, grave
style. Her beauty had already begun to fade, but
she had gained rather than lost in attractiveness. She
was tall and tragic-looking, with a dull swarthy com-
plexion. Her hair parted low over her forehead.
Her eyebrows were straight and dark, and her hazel
eyes often lighted up with the fires of enthusiasm.
But they soon dropped nervously lest they should
betray more emotion than she wished.
About five years before she had had a love affair,
and she looked as if she had never really got over
188 THE LADY AND THE VAN.
it. Her friends reckoned lier to be sad and dis-
appointed, and she certainly belonged to the class of
women who, whether willing or unwilling to marry,
find it difficult to know how to spend their lives.
There are many such. It was admitted by all people,
however, that she had a fascination of her own. She
was generous and impulsive — easily elated and easily
For five years religion had been the motive of her
life, but for all that she did not quite know what to
do with her religion. It did not make her happy,
though it comforted and sustained her. She had
begun to care for the poor and to visit them, and
the problems of their lives had become her burden.
She felt that little was effected by her casual, amateur
visits, and gradually the desire had taken possession
of her to become a regular trained nurse. Her father's
place was near a small manufacturing town, and
already Miss Estcott gave more time than her mother
liked to its dull, monotonous little streets. Her
desire to become a nurse was never to be fulfilled,
but we shall find that God's way for her was better
than her own way.
It was on the point of the nursing that the collision
with her mother had just occurred. Lady Estcott
was shy, rather indolent and very conventional.
When her daughter expressed her wish in the rather
jerky, grating voice, which was all she could summon
on such an occasion, Lady Estcott had said in a low
freezing way : —
THE LADY AND THE VAN. 189
" Oh your father and I should not think of
it for a moment. Pray do not allude to the subject
" Why should I not do something, Mamma ? " said
Miss Estcott impatiently. " Mary and Evelyn are
both out, and I hate going out, as you know. Surely
I am old enough to have my wish considered in the
matter. Why need I live this aimless life when
nurses are so needed and I have nothing else to
do ? "
" It is very wrong and ungrateful of you to talk
like this, Adelaide," said her mother ; " you have
everjiihing to make you happy. Why can you not
be satisfied with your home duties ? "
" I have no home duties," said Miss Estcott, angrily,
and already conscious that she was putting herself in
" I should have thought that to please your father
and me and to make yourself pleasant were home
duties," said Lady Estcott ; and then, after a pause,
she added, " Surely your pride ought to make you
unwilling to have it said that you are disappointed
in love, which certainly will be said if you become
a nurse. Why do you not marry Mr. Lippington if
you are dissatisfied at home. He has asked j'ou
twice ? "
" Because I don't choose to marry him, as I have
told you fifty times," said Miss Estcott.
" If you cannot keep your temper you are certainly
not fit to be a nurse, Adelaide," remarked her mother.
190 THE LADY AND THE VAN.
" I never said I was fit," replied Miss Estcott,
bitterly, "but I wish to learn to be fit. If religion
means anything, surely it is worth while to take
some trouble about it."
Lady Estcott had not much religion herself, beyond
conventionality, and what she had entirely consisted
in an occasional half intention to become a Roman
Catholic. She liked the dignity and antiquity of the
Koman Church, and wh'^ni^ier conscience pricked
her about anything, sh^, usually proposed to herself
a plan of bye-and-bye becoming a Eoman Catholic,
which course appeared to her an act of religious
heroism, because she knew it would annoy her hus-
band and family a good deal. Probably she estimated
unduly the amount of distress it would give her to
grieve her friends. It will be seen, therefore, that
her aspirations had not much in common with her
daughter's. She rose to leave the room, and as she
went out she said :
" It is no use discussing the matter, Adelaide ; you
had better consider it settled."
Miss Estcott's cheeks were hot, and for once tears
trickled down them — tears of mortification, of disap-
pointment, of anger, and self-accusation. She glanced
round her pretty sitting-room, and, for the moment,
she almost hated the signs of her usual occupations,
her pretty water-colours, her piano and her harp.
She even looked with distaste at the beautiful bank
of flowers arranged on her side table.
"What is the use of this portfolio of sketches, all
THE LADY AND THE VAN. 191
third-rate ? " she said to herself. " Why need the
world have any more of them ? Who cares to hear
me play ? Even flowers lose their significance in
this luxurious room. The white hyacinths in old
Granny Lovelock's cottage give me more pleasure
than these orchids arranged by the gardener."
She passed through the door into her bedroom,
which was adjoining. Phe knelt down by her bed-
side and actually sobbeu. Then the words came,
"Oh God! Oh God! Oh G i! show me the path
The bitterest part was that she felt that she was
to blame. She had lost her temper and been un-
dutiful. She accused herself of selfish motives, even
in her desire to consecrate herself to Christ's service.
" I wonder how much I really do care for the
poor after all," she said to herself, "perhaps it is
mere egotism." Again she prayed desperately that
she might be helped and guided. Then she rose. It
was intolerable to do nothing, so she put on her hat
and cloak, and went out towards the town for a
About half-a-mile beyond her father's park gates
there Avas a common, and she noticed as she reached
it a sort of gipsy van ; by the side of it some young
men were standing round a fire of sticks. They
wore braided tunics, and on the van she read, printed
in large letters, "CHURCH ARMY MISSION Yan,"
and underneath were the beautiful words, " Let not
your heart be troubled."
192 THE LADY AND THE UN.
A sudden thrill mastered her a^ she read these
words. She felt that they were a ressage from God,
and as she drew near she paused, tae of the yonng
men saw her and immediately caie forward with
some papers, and, touching his ca} said, "Will you
please take a Church Army GazetU Ma'am ? "
" I am afraid I have not any inney " said Miss
Estcott, and she stopped.
" Never mind, Ma*am, if you wi be good enough
to accept it," said the young man ivllly.
Eeligious papers were not genertiy very attractive
to Miss Estcott, but she took it, nd said, "Thank
you," and asked, "What is the Ourch Army, and
what are you doing here ? "
" This is our Mission Van, Mam," replied the
young man. "We are visiting twns and villages
about here to do open-air preachig on market days
and at other times, especially Sudays ; and to sell
Bibles and Prayer Books and Churcl Army literature."
"And have you been to Mr. ^felford, the Vicar,
asked Miss Estcott.
"Yes, Ma'am. He said he hadno objection, and
we have sold a good lot, and th( people seem glad
to see us."
" How many of you are here ? "
"Three, Ma'am. There is a Gptain with two of
us under him. We two are not pod enough yet to
be Captains, so this is a sort of raining to give us
" Indeed, and what was your work before you
began to do this ? "
THEJLADY AND THE VAN. 193
"I was a collif. Ma'am. Jones, who is cooking
our dinner, was a onfectioner's assistant ; our Captain
was an electrician and used to earn two pounds ten
"Is this the soj of thing that the Church Army
always does ? "
" No, Ma'am, on Captains often go to some Yicar
and stay there a jar or two, preaching and visiting,
and sometimes the get a Labour Home started for
tramps and peoplewho are out of work."
"Well, this townis very poor, and there is a good
deal of drunkenneE Is Mr. Salford going to engage
one of your men ? ' I know he finds it very difficult
to get the people tc church.
"He says he canot afford it Ma'am; so I am
afraid he will not.*'
" Oh. And how auch would it cost ? "
"A married manj salary would not he less than
about 27/- a week. Ma'am, and he ought to make
about 10/- of that rom collections at the meetings
and from Gazette stiing."
Miss Estcott pondred. She knew Mr. Salford very
well, as she often M to speak to him about poor
people whom she Ydted. He was an earnest, hard-
working man from Oxford. He had been brought
up in the evangelict school, and had never lost his
love of it. But the scientific literature of the day
had given him soie sympathy with the broader
school, and he was lot indifferent to the growth in
reverence and beaut, which High Churchmen have
194 THE LADY AND THE VAN.
fought for. He believed that beauty of architecture,
and of music and colour, were all powers for God,
which ought to be used in His service. He might
be called, therefore, an evangelical, influenced by both
the High and Broad Schools ; and he certainly be-
lieved that the Body of Christ makes the best increase
when all its joints and bands minister vitality to it,
and when all recognise that they have need of all.
But his work had been very difficult, and to a certain
extent disappointing. The shop-keepers and the
wealthier people c^me regularly to church, but he
felt that with them it was largely a matter of respect-
ability ; and the working classes were conspicuous by
their absence, though he had tried hard to win them.
He would have sacrificed all his culture if he could
instead have gained the power of making the poor
one with him.
He had made a great efi:ort to get the Church into
good and beautiful order, and sometimes he feared
he had spent too nauch money on it. How easily
our work would go if we never made such mistakes !
Now, having exhausted his givers, he found extreme
difficulty in collecting for current needs ; and when
the Church Army Captain had called on him with
one of the Cadets, he had been painfully sorry to find
that he could not possibly take the monetary responsi-
bility of engaging an Officer. His acute mind had
shown him that a pleasant, vigorous, working-man
Evangelist would be just the needed link between
himself and his people ; and when the Captain left
THE LADY AND THE VAN. 195
him he read the papers which had been given him,
and especially the testimonials from Vicars where the
Church Army had been working. He really longed
for such a helper.
" Oh, that God would send me a generous person
with a purse. Why am I so harassed for money," he
said to himself. Would it be possible for him to
retrench personal expenses ? .Perhaps a very little.
He had a wife and children, and he feared he could
not do much. Indeed it seemed almost impossible
to do anything.
The Lord Lieutenant of the County was a good
man, but he had already helped largely with the
church. He felt that he could not ask him again
so soon. Besides, he felt sure that Lord Lancaster
would dislike the idea of Church Army work, and
would suppose that it meant religious excitement and
Lady Lancaster might help a little, for she was a
kindly and generous person. But smart London Society
had blunted her finer nature, and she lived for enter-
tainment, and was always busy about some useless
pleasure. She could seldom afford to contribute
more than a guinea to a charity, and she generally
forgot that she had promised even that much. The
Vicar could count on a pleasant hearty interview
with her, if he got an interview at all, but probably
it would end in the suggestion to get up a Bazaar, a
Avarm promise to collect for the good object, and a
few months later, a deeply penitent apology for having
196 THE LADY AND THE VAN.
done nothing whatever, because she had been so busy,
and had had such headaches. Mr. Salford knew her
too well to go to her.
As he thought it all over a knock came at the
door. " Please, sir, can you see Miss Estcott ? " said
the servant, and the young lady entered looking
eager and absorbed. In fact with her usual im-
petuosity she had become most keen about the matter
after her talk with the Church Army officer and his
" Oh ! Mr. Salford, I have been speaking to those
Church Army people. I do wish we could have a
man and his wife here under you. I would help
if you would let me."
"You are most kind, Miss Estcott," said the Vicar,
" I should be delighted to have a man, and was just
wishing it with all my heart, but I declare I don't
know how to raise £10 a year, and it would cost at
least £60 to have a man of any experience, even if
he cleared something with collections and his selling
" I have been so wanting to do something,"' said
Miss Estcott. " And my mother won't let me be a
nurse. I daresay I should have been a very bad
one. But as I may not do that I should like to set
someone else to work. I care for nothing so much.
I have a hundred pounds a year of my own, and I
think I could manage with £40. I will willingly
give £60 if you will engage a really good man and
woman to visit and to do good. Please let me help,
THE LADY AND THE VAN. 197
it is all I can do, and I am sure God intends me to
do it/' Her eyes were bright and soft, and her
mouth nearly smiled. "Do let me do it," she said
again. "But please you must not tell anyone. I
shall feel that God has accepted my little, poor
service, and that I am not useless any longer."
Mr. Salford was much moved. He had always
thought Miss Estcott cold, and hard, and distant, and
he had not liked her. Now he saw how wrong he
had been. He held out his hand. " Thank you,
thank you, Miss Estcott. I do accept your offer most
gratefully," he said.
"But I should like to see to the cottage they are
to live in," continued Miss Estcott, who scarcely
seemed to notice his reply, " so that "when they come
they shall feel they are welcomed. Do write and
ask when they can come. Oh ! how different every-
thing seems now to what it was an hour ago."
Miss Estcott's hopes were not disappointed. The
Church Army Van did its work. The young men
preached, and visited the neighbouring clergy. They
sold quantities of Church Army Gazettes and papers,
and created a real interest in the neighbourhood.
The preachings at the little fairs, and on the village
common, were largely attended. A great many people
signed the pledge, and there was ground for hoping
that there was work done that would last. Certainly
the way was prepared for the Captain and his wife,
who arrived in about a fortnight's time, and for the
Church Army Mission Nurse, who followed a few
198 THE LADY AND THE VAN.
The opening of the work made a great sensation
in the town. Some over-sensitive people disliked
the sound of the cornet in the street, and thought
that the services were too informal and homely. But
the poor loved them from the very first. There were
marked conversions, and at the end of three months
the Captain brought to the Vicar a considerable list
of men and women who desired to be confirmed.
People laughed no longer when they heard that well-
known drunkards and ne'er-do-weel's were living
respectable and religious lives. And nearly all (but
not quite all) ceased to grumble that people in their
working clothes came to Church and knelt with them
at the Holy Communion.
The police gave unequivocal testimonies to the
change. Drunken brawls, and vile language in the
streets, were becoming things of the past.
The Vicar was deeply thankful, yet, strange to say,
he was not without trial in the matter. It had been
a kind of mortification to find that an uneducated
man could win the people whom (as everyone knew")
he had failed to win, and it was an effort to seem
entirely delighted that the Mission Room was full,
while his own week-day s^vice was thinly attended.
He was tempted to tell the Captain that he must
make all his converts attend Church instead of the
Mission Hall. But he did not yield to the temptation.
He came out of the fire like pure gold. After pray-
ing about it he felt that he must not expect every-
thing to come in a hurry, and he bore with the
THE LADY AND THE VAN. 199
rongh services, the stirring testimonies, and the
homely, irregular meetings which followed each
evening after the General Confession, the Lord's
Prayer, and the Creed. He even got before long to
like to come in and sit by the door for a few minutes
as the service w^ent on, and gradually the mistrust
and shyness between him and the poor of his flock
disappeared, and during a time of sad domestic
trouble that came to him by-and-by, he was full of
wonder and comfort at finding how true and deep
was his people's affection for himself.
As to Miss Estcott, she could not often attend the
meetings, for in the evenings her parents disliked
her being away from home. But she worked hard
and very happily during the day, and she made
friends of the Church Army Officer and his wife,
bearing with them their anxieties, and often helping
them in different ways.
Nobody knew, while she lived, that the work was
really -of her originating, and that she paid for it.
Her parents knew that she helped, but neither of
them really sympathised with her, though they let her
have her way. Her father loved her tenderly and
always indulged her, and her mother felt that some
amends were due in the matter of her refusal about
the nursing. She saw that a new sweetness and
bright content had come into her daughter's life,
and she felt that this was due to her "good works"
and to her having become " serious." Her brother and
her younger sisters idolised her, and she had attained to
200 THE LADY AND THE VAN.
"The heart at leisure from itself,
To sooth and sympathise,"
which makes the possessor worth her weight in rubies.
And thus Adelaide Estcott, beloved by rich and
poor, solved the problem of how to live a blessed,
joyful life for Christ's sake. When she died, two
years later, people found that an angel had been in
their midst without being recognised. And when
her body was carried to the little churchyard, there
followed after her own family a long array of about
two hundred poor people, led by the Church Army
Officer and his once derided banner. Inside the
Mission Hall there was a little brass plate put near
the door —
^n ^emortj of
WHO ORIGINATED THE WORK OF THE ChURCH ArMY
IN GaISFORD, and who LEFT AN ENDOWMENT
OF £100 A YEAR FOR ITS PERPETUAL
The grass grows green over her grave, and when I
visited it I found, placed there by rough but loving
hands, a great store of wild hyacinths, primroses,
daisies and daffodils. High in the air sang the larks.
THE CRISIS OF MIDDLE AQE,
: O :-
Arthur Rivers was a busy man, and his wife
wondered, therefore, to see him sit doing nothing for
a considerable time one morning in the library. She
was writing letters. They were both good people,
cultivated and well off.
" Kate," said he, " I went to see the Training
Home of the Church Army yesterday, and it has
made me ponder. You and I are both getting past
our youth, and though we are considered exemplary
people, I very much doubt if we are so good as we
were fifteen years ago. I am inclined to think that
most people lose more than they gain as life goes
Mrs. Rivers laid down her pen ; her colour rose,
and she looked eagerly at her husband. "What do
you think we have lost, Arthur ? "
"A good deal. Seeing these young fellows full of
the freshness and joy of self-sacrifice and service,
made me long to be young again. Do you remem-
ber how we were never satisfied— twenty years ago —
unless we were helping at Mission services, or visit-
ing hospitals and districts ? Almost every day we
hoped we had won to God one or two souls. And
how glad it made us. There was just the same glad-
202 THE CRISIS OF MIDDLE AGE.
ness and triumph about those men and women that
I saw at the Training Home yesterday."
" Yes ; I remember it all very well, Arthur," said
Mrs. Rivers, and she sighed. "Why did we ever
leave ofe ? " .
"It was easy to leave off, and it was a gradual
thing. We were disappointed in a good many people
whom we had believed to be converted, and in a
good many people whom we had looked up to as far
better than ourselves. When we found that conver-
sion was not generally the beginning or end of the
Christian life, but only one important chapter of it,
preceded by long, patient work, and sometimes fol-
lowed by disaster, then I think we felt that preachers
and little books had deceived us, and we tired of
after-meetings and of personal talk with inquirers."
" And do you think that we were wrong, Arthur ? "
"Yes, I do. I think our characters have suffered
spiritually. We need direct Christian work to keep
us bright and happy and strong."
"But no one can say that we are idle, Arthur."
" Certainly not ; we have Committees, and we give
money, and we set other people to work, and that is
all right, but it is not enough. We ought not to
have let our hands get slack and our knees feeble
because we had foolishly made conversion everything,
and had often found it imperfect. We ought to have
accepted the laws and facts of God's Kingdom, and
to have learnt experience and not discouragement from
THE CKISIS OF MIDDLE AGE. 203
" I got SO disgusted with our Vicar, Arthur ; I
think that was what stopped my working. He was
so selfish and jealous."
" Yes, my dear Kate ; our disgust was natural, but
our cessation from work was not justifiable. We al-
ways said we were working only for God, and there-
fore our Vicar's faults ought not to have hindered
"Don't you think most people, as they grow older,
get cool about that kind of work, Arthur ? I think
that most of the people who convert souls are rather
" Most of the people who claim souls as their con-
verts are young, certainly. But a soul's conversion
is as complicated and as little sudden, in one sense,
as a child's birth and growth, and as long as we do
our part in it we need not mind what the part is.
Kindness, holy living, prayer, self-denial, are probably
as important factors as straight questions and diffi-
culties cleared. I believe a seeking soul finds God,
whether he finds an eager worker to explain per-
plexities or not. People's work ought to be better as
they get older and more experienced."
" Well, what ought we to do, Arthur ? "
" I mean, first, to give more money to Christian
work. If you are willing, we won't buy that broug-
ham, and we won't give such expensive dinners.
Why should we try to do like enormous swells ? It
is foolish of us. Let us give £100 to the Church
Army. Let us also help other Societies that seek to
204 THE CRISIS OF MIDDLE AGE.
save the lost. And let us get into touch again with
poor, miserable folks. That doesn't seem much to do,
but it will be a fresh start. I want to learn of those
beginners whom I saw yesterday."
Tears stood in Mrs. Rivers' eyes. She felt little
regret at giving up the luxuries her husband had
mentioned, and she silently recorded a vow that she
would burn a letter which she had just written to
her dressmaker about a velvet gown.
Womanlike, she rose to the situation, and encour-
aged and supported her husband.
A bright peace came to them, and something of
the buoyancy of youth, without its cmdeness, gave
a fresh spring to their life and work.
: o :-
Mr. Strudwick, the Yicar, sat in his study, deep in
A sore and heavy trouble had come to him. Alfred
"West, his sexton, Scripture reader, and principal lay
helper, had, after ten years' service fallen into sin.
Money, morals and temper had all gone wrong, and
the Vicar had found it out, and was expecting him
to call in ten minutes' time.
He dreaded the interview intensely.
He had trusted West, and had treated him as a
friend and brother. Every week they had knelt and
prayed together, and the Yicar, who was a simple,
godly man, and also a gentleman, had had no reserves
from him, but had been in the habit of freely talk-
ing over all parish affairs, and even private matters
of his own.
And now it had transpired that West had been
secretly married for nearly a year, to a girl in a
neighbouring parish whom he had led wrong about
fourteen months ago. There was a poor baby, and
alas, West had stolen and embezzled Church funds to
the amount of £35.
The Vicar had felt for some time that he was not
satisfactory. He had been proud and disloyal. And
he had also been quarrelsome, which had never be-
fore been a fault of his. Mr. Strudwick had spoken
to him kindly about his frequent absence from Com-
munion, and West had made excuses, and been more
regular since. Now the Yicar earnestly wished that
he had never spoken on the subject, for the coming
to Communion had added to the sin.
The deception of it all grieved him as much as the
fall. He had only known about the matter for two
days, and he had put off taking any steps for twenty-
four hours. Then he had sent a note to West, telling
him to come to the Vicarage the next morning at
ten o'clock. It was a short, brief note, and he knew
that West would guess that he was discovered. Would
he confess his sin, or try to exculpate himself ?
The Vicar heard the front bell ring, and then came
a knock at his study door. " Come in," he said, and
fixed his eyes on the ground, as if he himself had
been the guilty party. He felt that he could not
meet West's eye.
" Sit down," he said, in a low broken voice, and
glanced for an instant at the culprit. West was thirty-
eight years old, with a dark, rather pleasant face.
He sat down silently. One look at the Vicar's sad,
dejected attitude and lowered eyes would have told
him that he was found out, if he had not felt sure
of it when he received the note.
" West, how could you deceive me ? " said the Vicar,
in a sad, reproachful voice.
The kindness of the tone smote West, and in a
moment his eyes moistened and reddened.
"I am in your hands, sir," he said.
" You are in God's hands, my poor fellow," said
Mr. Strudwick, and his voice trembled. " What have
you to say to me ? " he added after a pause. He
seemed even more moved and distressed than the
"I cannot explain it, sir," said West. "I fell all
in a moment. I was never tempted before or since.
It was entirely my fault, not hers. I tried to tell
you, but I dared .not. I did what I could. I married
" And the money ? "
Tears of shame were trickling down West's cheeks.
"I took it for her and the child, sir. And that sin
was the reason why I lost my temper and spoke evil
of you and everybody."
" If you had but told me ! But you kept it con-
cealed, and you only confess it now when it is found
out. What can I say ? What can I do ? I cannot
keep you, of course, in your present position. How
could you go on preaching and visiting and praying
with the people ? And how could you come to Com-
munion ? "
W^est was silent. He had nothing to say.
" I cannot be hard on you," said Mr. Strudwick,
" we are brothers. I have never been tempted as you
have. If I had, perhaps I might have fallen."
The good, humble man spoke with a broken voice,
and looked away at the distant landscape. He felt
that fellowship with sinners which all the best men
feel, and an impulse made him say —
"Years ago I nearly fell into a gross sin. But God
made it impossible. At the moment of temptation,
a sort of freezing horror came on me, and saved me,
so that I fled from the tempter. But I confess that
if I had been tempted again later, in the same way,
I might have fallen as you fell. God forbid that I
should be hard on you.
" As to the money temptation, I have never wanted
money so badly as to be tempted to steal it. My
innocence is no virtue. But, "West, I have never
deceived a friend as you have deceived me. How
could you do it?"
West was silent, and then replied, " You are a
gentleman, sir, and your father taught you better. I
was brought up to deceive till I was converted ; and
my father and mother were both bad."
The Vicar was silent. "Let us pray,". he said, and
they both knelt ; and broken, tearful petitions went
up from each of them.
West knew that he was forgiven. The Vicar took
his hand as they rose, and pressed it.
" You must go from here. West, and I cannot re-
commend you for religious work without saying what
has happened. Get secular work, and I will help
you if I can. God bless you."
THE BEAST'S MARK.
(Reprinted from ''Broadlands as it wa?," 1889).
: o :-
I AM now past sixty, and it is nearly fifty years ago
that I fell in love as a child with my cousin Oliver.
He returned my affection with a brotherly regard,
but with no warmer feeling, and time, aided by the
strange circumstances which I have unwillingly to
relate, gradually changed my feeling for him till there
was on each side no more than a quiet trustworthy
It may seem as if the experience which for so
many years he half cherished and half hated would
have separated us from each other. But it did not.
I suppose that I never wholly understood the matter,
though I knew that his finest qualities were impaired,
and that he was deprived of much of the grace and
power in which he had promised to excel. Much
remained, however, and he was always the central
figure of my life. I have known greater and nobler
men, but I never knew one so intimately or for so
many years, nor was I ever bound to anyone else
by the same ties of mutual help.
A few weeks before he died, as I was sitting one
210 THE BEAST'S MARK.
day by his bedside, I saw that he was making a
great effort to say something to me. At last, with
much apparent difficulty, he spoke as follows : —
" Cynthia, I must ask you to do a thing for me
which I know will be painful to you. I have tried
to write down my secret, but I am too ashamed, and
I want you to do it and to publish it. I should
have kept it from you, if I could, but as you know
it was impossible for me to do so. And now I am
glad that you know it. You are aware of all the
facts, though I think you are too innocent to know
their full significance.
"I charge you to record the whole story for the
service of those whom it may concern. I sometimes
think that if I had been warned in time by another
victim that I should have rid myself of its terrible
hold before it had mastered me, and that my life and
work would not have been wrecked ! Now I can
only be one of the witnesses who prophesy clothed
in sackcloth. It seems to me that I have myself
failed in every way that I have tried hardest to warn
I was greatly moved as he said this, and it was
only with a choking voice that I could reply, "Your
life and your work have not been wrecked, Oliver.
Your life has done much good and no harm. You
have steadily loved truth. You have always been
kiiid and self-denying, and useful. Who can accuse
you of having injured them ? "
He looked at me gratefully. "I am glad you think
THE BEAST'S MARK. 211
SO," he said, and then added passionately, '' But for
all that I have been withered, and stunted, and cursed,
and blighted. And you know it. I did good service
whenever I escaped the power of that vampyre-like
thing. But generally I did not escape. Thousands
of times I have felt nerved and fired for work, and
thousands of times it has come upon me and drained
me of all my zest and power. I shall enter into life
halt and maimed."
" Oliver," I said weeping, " It is asking too much
when you ask me to tell this story. I don't half
understand it. We have seldom spoken of it. Do
not insist on my telling it. Have mercy on me, for
you know I cannot refuse you anything that you ask."
"But I do ask it of you, Cynthia, with all the earn-
estness I am capable of. You must do it. I do not
require you to make theories about it, but only to
tell the bare facts."
" Do you not pity yourself rather than blame your-
self, Oliver ? Was it your fault that you were beset
by this strange thing ? You hated and detested it."
"Unhappily I loved it in spite of all my hatred,"
said he almost in a whisper.
" It was an inheritance, and you were not respon-
sible for it," I urged.
After a short silence he answered, "Yes, it was an
inheritance. But I believe I could have resisted it
if I would."
"You have resisted it, and I believe you have con-
quered it, Oliver. You have bruised its head."
212 THE BEAST'S MARK.
"And it has bruised my heel," he replied sadly.
"Heaven knows which is the conqueror."
There was another silence, and then suddenly he
cried out, " God save me," and I saw the drops on
I trembled, and my heart beat hard as I dumbly
prayed for him.
After a dreadful half a minute he said, "Thank
God ! " and blushed to the roots of his hair. '
"Cynthia," he said, "I know heaven and hell, and
part of me belongs to each. You will do what I
have charged you to do, not only for my sake, but
because it is right that you should do it. Tell it
truly out, and let it be published. My hope is that
this ghastly bit of truth-telling may perhaps atone for
some of my sins. To most men, happily, it will only
read like a ghost story, but some will know its mean-
ing, and perhaps it may be their deliverance. Fore-
warned is forearmed. All temptations are in their
degrees alike, and I often wonder if most men have
not an experience which they could translate into
something similar to mine. There is a bait about
every sin. Every one is pleasant as well as deadly.
Pride, hatred, profligacy, drunkenness, avarice, idle-
ness, ambition. I have lived long enough to know
something about them all, and to know that they
have all got something akin to my own sin."
I dared not refuse to give my promise, and it
seemed to comfort him. He alluded to it once or
twice before he died, and I now sit down, not many
weeks later, to do his bidding.
THE BEAST'S MARK. 213
Oliver and I were brought up together as children,
and we were always the greatest friends. He was a
bright, clever boy, full of life and enjoyment, and
always busy about some keen interest or other. To-
gether we invented tales, made our collections of post-
age stamps, and did our lessons. I lately found a
collection of our childish essays, which had been in-
dulgently preserved by our mother, and one of them
I will transcribe here.
Bloody Mary ascended the throne in 1553. She
was surnamed Bloody from her Bloodiness. Ignorant
people mix her up with Mary Queen of Scots, but
there is no foundation for this, as, for instance, she
was never beheaded.
In her short and bloody reign, the principle marters
flurrished, of whom she burnt thousands, because
they would not believe in the Pope. She was also
rather unkind to Queen Elizabeth. When she died
the name of Callis was found written on her heart,
which was a great disgrace, though her behavyour
to the marters was even worse. Bloody Mary was a
striking instance of Roman Catholicness.
We should all earnestly try not to be like her,
though if we had lived in her reign, and been her,
we should very likely have been still worse. But I
don't believe I ever should, the horrid old thing !
We have a picture of her in our history book, which
is exactly like aunt Maria.
214 THE BEAST'S MARK.
When Oliver and I were ten years old, we were
invited to spend our holidays with our great-grand-
father at Afton Grange, a fine old house in the
country, which we had visited several times before.
Our tw^o great-aunts lived with him, and always
proved themselves kind and indulgent to us. But we
had a childish dread of the old man, and this made
a visit to the Grange a somewhat mixed pleasure.
We did not often see him, and I have sometimes
thought that he must have been half demented.
Certainly he used to glare at us in a terrifying sort
of way, and a dignified and reticent person called
Mr. Hatchley w^as always with him as an attendant.
The great mystery of the place for us, and the
thing we longed above all things to explore, was a
room on the ground floor, of which the shutters were
always kept closed and the door locked. I think we
both disliked passing this room after dark. It figured
in many of our stories, and we invested it with all
sorts of superhuman characteristics.
Our great-aunts were stately, but rather common-
place old ladies, and when once or twice a year they
went into the yellow room on the occasion of its be-
ing cleaned, I do not believe that they showed any
special sentiment about it. But it was noticeable that
they never had off^ered to take Oliver or me into it.
" That chamber is not used," I remember hearing
my Aunt Susan say one day when showing some
visitors over the house, and she said it in a way
w^hich prevented questions, while it stimulated curi-
THE BEAST'S MARK. 215
osity. Oliver and I longed more and more to know
It happened on the occasion of the visit I am writ-
ing about that Oliver had not come with me to Afton
Grange, but was to follow a few days later, and I
was, therefore, kept more than usual in the company
of my great-aunts. My feeling about the room was
intensified during this time, because once as I w^as
coming in from a walk, I saM- my great-grandfather
coming out of it with wild eyes and a guilty look.
He seemed frightened when he saw me, and as he
shuffled off t^o his own room he said something which
I took to be a kind of apology, and, therefore, very
uncalled for to a child.
About an hour after he had one of his bad fits,
and later I heard my great-aunts talking together in
a low^ voice, and one of them said, " It was exceed-
ingly wrong of Hatchley to go out without informing
me. Of course, poor papa was sure to get into the
yellow room if he could. Most unfortunate that the
key was in my open desk, but I had no idea that
Hatchley was not with him."
It was only two or three days after this that my
wish was fulfilled. The room was to undergo its
half-yearly cleaning, and my Aunt Winifred, little
knowing what a fearful interest it had gradually
acquired for me, unlocked the door calmly one morn-
ing after breakfast and took me into it. I remember
feeling a little sick as we went in, and being very
much ashamed of the feeling. I hoped intensely that
216 THE BEAST'S MARK.
she would not see the whiteness of my face and
cause me to forego the excitement of the adventure.
However, she noticed nothing, but went composedly
in and opened the shutters. As the light streamed
in I found that the room was large, and rather scantily
furnished. The wall paper and the upholstery were
yellow. There were some large mirrors, an old piano,
a bookcase, and some Chippendale furniture.
But all the interest was at once concentrated and
baffled by the presence of a verj^ large picture, which
was concealed by a green blind made to draw up and
down over it. It was in the middle of the side of
the room facing the door, and I instantly felt that
here was the key to the mystery of the room.
I said that the picture was concealed by a blind,
but this was not strictly the case, for the lower part
of it was left uncovered, the blind having been drawn
down only to about three feet from the bottom of
the canvas. My great-aunt, perceiving this, went
quietly up to the picture and drew the blind down
till all was completely hidden. What I had seen was
the feet of a horse, and, standing up in front of them,
a soldierly pair of legs in riding boots with long spurs.
I stood rivetted, but, child-like, I dared not ask a
question, though I was almost crying with my long-
ing to know who or what the booted man might be.
My great-aunt trotted about unconcernedly, throw-
ing open the windows, and finally she took me away
with her, calling the housemaid to come and begin
THE BEAST'S MARK. 217
"Don't touch the large picture, Mary," she said.
A sudden feeling came into my mind that it was
my great-grandfather who had drawn up the blind
and had left it partly uncovered, and that it was
naughty of him.
Three days after this Oliver arrived, and he brought
with him a new possession, a delightful black-and-tan
Of course I seized the earliest opportunity of tell-
ing him what had happened, and I then said, " Let's
go into the room, and draw up the blind to the top."
" Oh no, we mustn't, Cynthia."
"Why, we have never been told not to," I said.
"We haven't got the key, and I don't believe we
ought to do it," said he. But I saw that the idea
"I know where the key is," said I. "In Aunt
Winifred's desk, and she often leaves it open. I
don't believe she'd mind." (I knew perfectly well
that she would mind, however).
We said nothing more then, but the idea settled
in our minds, and two days afterwards, when our
great-aunts were entertaining some visitors in the
drawing room, I hastily went into the morning room
and discovered, as I hoped, that Aunt Winifred had
been writing, and left her desk open, and that the
key of the yellow room was lying there in company
with the pens and sealing wax. I quietly took it,
and ran out into the garden.
It looked as lovely as Eden on that sunny May
21<S THE BEAST'S MARK.
hiorning. The pink may and the guelder rose, the
laburnam and the lilac were all in blossom, and the
Solomon's seal grew thick under their shade. The
birds were singing as if the world were but just
"Oliver," I cried in a low voice. "Oliver."
" Hullo ! " said he.
"Oliver, here's the key, let's go in and look at the
" Jolly ! " said he.
We went into the house together by the back way.
Looking warily round, I turned the key of the door
of the yellow room, and we both entered and shut
ourselves safely in.
It seemed to me as soon as we were inside the
room that I felt an evil influence beyond the mere
sense of naughtiness, but I was too excited to regard
it. A little light came through the chinks of the
shutters. I jumped on a chair, and unbolting the
fastening, let in the full day-light.
There before us was the ominous picture, with its
dark covering. As we stood before it I had a sensa-
tion as if there were strong forces — almost physical
forces — ^pulling me two ways, and I stood transfixed
for two or three seconds.
"Draw up the blind," said Oliver.
And, woe of woes, we drew it up and saw. When
I think of it there is a verse that always comes into
THE BEAST'S MARK. 219
*' She left the web, she left the room,
She made three paces through the room.
She saw the water lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume.
She looked down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide,
The mirror cracked from side to side,
* The curse has come upon me,' cried
The lady of Shalott."
Yet what we saw seemed at first nothing much
Simply a tall soldier standing by his horse.
It was magnificently painted. The uniform was
white and dark blue and gold, and all the details
were duly expressed, but in subordination to the face,
which was nearly full, with the eyes fixed steadily
on the spectator. The face could not have been hand-
somer, but there was surely something brutal about
the smile and the gleam of the teeth. The jaw was
square, the neck was thick and muscular. The short
dark hair was crisp and curly, the brow was low, the
eyebrows were heavy. The strong fierce eyes held us
perfectly breathless. Beautiful they were, but they
were the eyes of a demon.
The man's figure was muscular and graceful. The
fingers of the left hand rested on the hip, the right
arm lay carelessly across the horse's neck, and the
hand held a heavy riding whip.
" Look at the snake," said Oliver, and following the
direction of his eyes I saw that the heel of the boot
trod on an adder's head.
220 THE BEAST'S MARK.
Just then Oliver's dog began to howl most dismally
in the garden.
" Let ns go," I said suddenly.
" No, no," said Oliver, " let us stay." His lips
were parted and his cheeks were burning.
We stayed I don't know how long, probably only
half a minute. Then we heard a carriage driving up
the approach, and we fled in a sort of panic, locking
the door behind us. Oliver ran into the garden. I
went into the morning room, feeling guiltily sure
that my misdeed would have been discovered. But
all was as I had left it. I dropped the key into its
place, and sat down.
What had I done ? Was it so very bad, or was it
not ? Child though I was, my heart ached. Do not
reckon my fault a light one. I would now give all
that I have not to have committed it. Innocence had
I stayed crying a long time, but at last I went out
into the garden to look for Oliver.
He was lying under a tree, apparently reading a
story book, and he did not look up as I approached.
When I spoke to him he answered me rather shortly
and crossly. And from that hour I became often
aware of a kind of reserve between us which had
never before existed.
" Oh, Oliver," I said, beginning to cry again, " I
wish we hadn't gone into that room."
" It's all right, you donkey," said he. " I am very
glad we went in, and I mean to go again."
THE BEAST'S MARK. 221
The day had changed. The sunshine was gone,
and all pleasure was gone too. Something immeasur-
able had happened or was going to happen, I did
not know which.
We played about till dinner-time, and I remember
we quarrelled. When we came in there was a hush
and a stir in the house.
Aunt Winifred came down to meet us. She had
red eyes, and she spoke in a whisper. "You must
try and be quiet, dears, for your great-grandfather is
very ill. Your Aunt Susan and I shall not come
down to dinner."
" Is he going to die. Aunt Winifred ? " we asked,
much awed by her manner.
" We don't know," she replied. " He has had a bad
attack, and the doctor is coming."
It was dreadful, and I felt sure that the illness
was somehow the fault of our naughtiness.
After dinner we crept upstairs, and listened outside
the door of the sick room. We heard a terrible gasp-
ing sound, and were glad to steal away again. The
rest of the day was long and miserable. It is easy
to bear troubles if our hearts are innocent, but con-
science makes cowards of us all, and we were both
afraid when we went to bed.
The next morning when we were called, the first
words that Mary said to us were, " Your great-grand-
father is dead."
It was a sad week that followed, and the death in
the house seemed to intensify my sense of wrong-
222 THE BEAST'S MARK.
doing in having entered the room. At last I could
bear it no longer, and took courage to make my con-
fession to Aunt Winifred.
I think she was a little surprised at my feeling so
guilty about it. After a slight pause she said, "You
should not have done it, Cynthia. You know that
chamber was always kept closed. It was naughty of
you, and especially naughty to go to my desk and
take the key. I can't think what made you wish to
I cried a little and said. "I don't know, Aunt
Winifred," which was quite true. And then I added,
" I suppose it was the devil. Please forgive me."
"Well, I forgive you, and don't ev^r do such a
She did not evidently take it very seriously, and
so I ventured to ask, "Who is the man in the picture,
"He was an uncle of your great-grandfather, but
I don't know anything about him. His name was
Sir Carnaby Fane."
" Why is he treading on a snake. Aunt Winifred 1 "
" I never noticed that he was treading on a snake,"
said she. " I suppose there must have been some
story connected with him and a snake."
" Why is a curtain kept over the picture ? "
My aunt hesitated a moment, and then said, "You
shouldn't ask so many questions, Cynthia. The reason
was that your poor great-grandfather used to get
THE BEAST'S MARK. 223
excited when he looked at the picture, and the doctor
Baid it was bad for him. It ia too valuable to be
destroyed, but I don't think it is a nice good picture.
I remember our old clergyman at Shrewsbury used
to say it had the mark of the beast on it. If you
want to look at pictures, why do you not look at
nice ones like Eva and Uncle Tom, or Jephthah's
Daughter, or Mrs. Fry in Newgate ? Now run away,
and tell Mary to get you ready to go out."
My heart was light again, and I told Oliver of my
conversation with my aunt.
" I wish I knew about the snake," said he gravely,
"It makes me think of where it says in the Bible to
the serpent, ' It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt
bruise his heel.' Are heels wicked ? Do you suppose
the snake could bite through that man's boot ? "
That afternoon I was sitting upstairs doing my
worsted work when I heard Oliver's dog beginning
to howl in the garden. I ran downstairs, and I saw
Oliver coming out of the yellow room alone. I shall
never forget the pang it gave me. He got red, and
pretended not to see me, and I felt that he was do-
ing the same wrong thing that my great-grandfather
I ran up to him and said, " Oliver, w^hy did you
go in again ? "
Like a boy he brazened it out as well as he could,
but his voice was unnatural as he said, " Why shouldn't
I go in ? "
" You know it is wicked," I answered.
224 THE beast's mark.,
He laughed scornfully. " Wicked ! what is wicked?"
" It's wicked to look at that picture."
^' It isn't. Rubbish ! "
My tears came again very readily, and I said, " It's
all my fault. I took you in first. Oliver, I'll give
you my silver pencil case if you'll promise never to
go in again."
" What nonsense ! As if I wanted your pencil
case ! You needn't go in if you don't choose. I shall
go in if I like because I am a man. But I daresay
I shan't like again, so you needn't cry."
I was only half consoled, for I couldn't get a pro-
mise out of him, and I afterwards felt sure that he
did go in sometimes when we were not together.
Occasionally at night if I heard a cock crow or a dog
howl, the conviction came to me that he was either
there or wishing to be there. I can't account for this
strange unchildlike sort of clairvoyance. I thought
that Oliver seemed dull and inattentive and unlike
himself. It was clear that something had gone wrong.
Not many days after the funeral was over our aunts
told us that they had decided to let Afton Grange, and
to return to their old hous^e at Shrewsbury. There
was to be a sale of the greater part of the furniture,
and the place soon began to be dismantled in pre-
paration for their departure.
The yellow room was now as public as any other
room, and the picture's blind was drawn up. What-
ever reason there had been for concealing it had
ceased with my great-grandfather's life. We were
THE BEAST'S MARK. 225
now going in and out many times a day on all sorts
of errands, and though I still had a certain dread of
the picture, yet it seemed to me to have lost a good
deal of its balefulness. Now that the doors were
open I no longer had the feeling that it was wrong
for me to look at it, and so I often stayed and won-
dered about it. But strange to say I couldn't bear to
see Oliver looking at it, and it was most mysterious
that whenever we looked at it together I was sure to
hear some animal making a noise. Either a dog
whined, or a horse neighed, or a cock crew, or a cat
howled. It was very odd. I did not know if Oliver
noticed it, but again and again it made me start, and
I felt as if the world of kind beasts knew all about
it and was vainly warning us and lamenting over us.
It was certainly a most splendid picture. The dis-
tance was lurid and stormy, the great war-horse was
full of grandeur, the man was superb. He always
made me feel as if he could hurt me if he chose,
but let me alone because I was only a little girl and
it was not worth his while to injure me. The beauti-
ful eyes looked steadily at me, but disdainfully, and
I hated beyond words the curled savage lip and the
heel that crushed down the serpent. He looked as if
he had worse fangs than the reptile he trod on.
Oliver was standing by me one day, and I said,
" Doesn't he look as if he despised us ? "
" No," said Oliver. " I like him, and I should like
to be like him."
"I should hate it," I replied. "What makes you
like him ? "
226 THE beast's mark.
"Oh, I don't know. I shan't tell you. I suppose
it's because he looks so proud and strong and fierce."
" I don't like people to be proud and fierce," said I.
"Well, I do then. Fancy being on that splendid
horse and making him tear along."
It distressed me that Oliver and I should differ
about anything, and I could not bear that he should
feel this way about the picture. But I reflected that
boys and girls could not be exactly alike.
Soon after this Sir Carnaby was packed up and
sent off to London to be sold at Christy's, and it
seemed like an incubus gone. I never saw the picture
again, or wished to see it again, but years afterwards
I found with strange sensations an attempt at copy-
ing it in pencil, which Oliver must have made at
this time. It was, of course, very imperfectly exe-
cuted, but it was unmistakeable. There was the
stately horse, the elegant pose of the figure, and
there well emphasized was the heel grinding down
the adder's head. As I looked at it, a mouse behind
the wainscot shrieked. I burned the sketch in a
hurry, and breathed again.
After the sale at Afton Grange our life went on
smoothly and happily. Oliver's parents had died
when he was a baby, and he had been adopted by
my father and mother, who had no child besides my-
self. My father was a clergyman, and I must men-
tion that we were brought up to read the Bible every
day, and to learn a good deal of it by heart, so that
it was not strange that Oliver should be reminded by
the picture of certain texts.
THE BEAST'S MARK. 227
To describe our childhood and youth would not be
very interesting, for it was in the main like other
happy childhoods. Oliver was less selfish than most
boys, I think, and he was very affectionate, active,
and innocent-minded. We were all inclined to in-
dulge him a good deal. At school he was popular,
and he specially pleased grown-up people, to whom
he generally behaved with very nice manners.
He and I often talked together about what he
would like to be when he was grown up. He wanted
to be the best man possible, and he hesitated chiefly
between becoming a doctor, a soldier, and a clergy-
man. As years went on he inclined more and more
to take orders and he read a good many religious
books with that idea, and there were certain poor
people in the parish whom he used to visit and try
to do good to. The impression of the picture was
beginning to fade in my memory, but I think I men-
tioned it two or three times in our talks, and I be-
lieve he received my observations without comment,
and with something of that slight reserve to which I
When he was about S3venteen years old some rela-
tions asked him to pay a visit at a distant country
house, and he went. On his return he seemed to me
a good deal older, and not so light-hearted. Some-
times he was depressed, and even rather peevish.
The spirit seemed gone out of him, and he was back-
ward not only in going to see the families in whom
he used to take an interest, but even in his studies
228 THE beast's mabk.
One day m\^ mother was recommending him a
book, and said, " If you are ever a clergyman it will
be useful for you to have read it, Oliver."
He took the book listlessly, and looked at it widi
a kind of distaste.
"All right," he said.
"You have not given up the idea of being a clergy-
man, have you ? " asked my mother, regarding him
" No," said Oliver. " At least — yes. I don't believe
it will be thB best thing. I believe I'd rather be a
doctor. A clergyman ought to be so tremendously
I knew that my mother was extremely disappointed,
but after a moment's silence she merely said, " You
seem out of spirits, Oliver; Is anything the matter ? "
"No, nothing," said he.
" Do you feel well ? "
After he had left the room, she said anxiously to
me, " I wonder what is the matter with Oliver. He
seems quite different since he came back from Thurl-
I had nothing to say on the subject, but two or
three days afterwards a light came to me.
My father was talking to him one day at dinner
about his recent visit, and said, " By the way, John
Thurlbury bought that picture of Sir Carnaby Fane
that used to be at Afton Grange. Does he keep it at
the Hall or in London, Oliver ? "
THE BEAST'S MARK. 229
Oliver glanced quickly at me and hesitated for a
moment before he replied, with a kind of embarrass-
ment, " It is at the Hall ; in the dining room."
"Why, Oliver, you never told me that," said I.
"You never asked me," said he.
" "Why how should I ask you ? Don't you remem-
ber how we used to hate that picture, and how glad
we were when it was gone ? "
Oliver made no answer, and my father began to
ask him. questions about the other family portraits.
Till this visit to Thurlbury Hall our life had been
happy beyond our share. Now I felt that we sank
down to an average experience. Sometimes, for a
week or two, Oliver was as delightful as ever. Then
he would one day come down to breakfast wearied
and fretful, and seeming drained of all interest in
everything. And these fits lasted two or three days.
He never did anything exactly wrong, but his sparkle
and gaiety were gone.
He never talked now of taking orders, but seemed
to have quite decided to study medicine.
I believe I had ceased to think about the picture,
but it was somehow latent, and one day it was
brought suddenly to my mind again.
Oliver was reading to me out of a new book as 1
sat working, and he came to these words —
'*I had a vision when the night was late,
A youth came riding towards a palace gate,
He rode a horse with \vings that would have flown
But that his heavy rider kept him down,
And from the palace came a Child of Sin,
And took him by the curls and led him in."
230 THE BEAST'S MARK.
As he read, a painful self -consciousness came into
his voice, and he stopped for five long seconds. I
felt that we were both thinking of Sir Carnaby as
the Child of Sin.
Clearing his throat, he finished the poem and closed
the book. We read no more that day.
What I am next going to relate will not, of course,
be received by most readers as an objective fact, and
I do not ask them to accept it as such. I do not
feel quite sure about it myself.
When Oliver and I were nineteen I had a severe
illness, and my convalescence was somewhat pro-
longed. Our senses are apt to play us tricks at such
times, and it may be that I only thought I saw what
I am going to describe.
One afternoon I had fallen asleep on the sofa in
the library, and had dozed on till it was nearly dark,
except for the flickering of the fire. When I awoke
I saw that Oliver had come in, and was sitting on
one side of the hearth, leaning back in an arm chair.
He seemed to be thinking, and had evidently not
noticed my presence in the dim light. A book lay
in his lap, but he was not reading,
I was just going to speak to him, when I felt a
kind of oppression, as if something evil were in the
place, and my eyes travelled from Oliver across the
tiger-skin rug that lay in front of the grate.
Good heavens ! Was Oliver alone, or did my eyes
deceive me ?
While the roots of my hair stirred I perceived the
THE BEAST'S MARK. 231
firelight glitter on something metallic, and nearly-
paralysed with fear I saw those terrible spurred feet.
An almost unbearable weight weighed down my
eyelids, but I made a great effort, and slowly raised
There stood Sir Carnaby Fane, tall and furious, and
he and Oliver were regarding each other. Sir Carnaby
scowled and made a quick threatening gesture. I
could only gasp, but Oliver heard me and sprang up.
And the phantom — if phantom it was — vanished.
"What is it?" I had only strength to whisper
Oliver looked scared and wild. "What do you
mean .^ " he said.
I was turning sick, and only answered " Sir Carnaby
was standing there."
" Sir Carnaby standing there," said he, in a sort of
" Yes, you saw him."
" Before God I swear that I did not," said he, em-
phatically. He paused, and then the words came
slowly, "But I was thinking of him."
I was still weak from my illness, and I fainted.
When I recovered consciousness, he and my mother
were bending over me, but Oliver's eyes could not
meet mine, and all through the evening they were
lowered if I looked at him.
Such a thing could not of course pass without an
explanation, and when I was going up to bed about
nine o'clock, I said " Come into my room, Oliver, do,
I want to speak to you."
232 THE beast's mabk.
" Arn't you too tired ? " he said.
"No," I replied. And he came.
"Oliver, tell me everything," I said, as soon as the
door was shut.
"You must have been dreaming, Cynthia. It is
impossible that you could have seen anything."
" I was not dreaming, Oliver, I saw him as plainly
as I see you now. Please tell me all you know
about it. I feel as if I should die if you don't. You
said you were thinking of him, and I am sure there
is more in it than I know. Did you ever see him
at any other time ? "
" Never," said he steadily.
He remained silent a little, and then said in a
faltering voice, " Cynthia, I will tell you. I don't
understand it. I wish I did. But if you really saw
him you have a right to know. That first time,
years ago, when we looked at the picture, some new
thing came into me. I was ashamed of it, so it must
have been wrong, and yet I was proud of it, for it
made me feel more a man. I went again and again,
to look at the picture, and always it got more power
over me. I used to think about Sir Carnaby, and
admire him, because he looked so proud and strong.
He became the vehicle of all the worst and most
animal part of me. I used to imagine that he was
doing all sorts of wild and evil things. And I al-
most got a wish to do them myself. I often won-
dered if they were my own thoughts that used to
career in my mind, or if some evil spirit was taking
its pastime at my soul's expense.
THE BEAST'S MARK. 233
" It was a long time before I felt sure that it was
wrong. I never guessed what it would come to."
"Oliver, do you remember the dog howling that
day ? " said I.
" Yes I do," said he wearily, " and many times
since. Especially at night, when I have woke and
been the prey of Sir Carnaby's terrible frown or
more terrible laugh. His white teeth were like fangs !
I can't tell you how sick and miserable and exhausted
I have often felt. It spoilt everything. Do you
really mean to say that you saw him, Cynthia,
actually smv him ? "
" Yes, but go on."
''Sometimes I thought I had got rid of it all, and
then I was as happy as I could be, and everything
went well. And then, perhaps, I read a book or
saw a picture which reminded me of him, and I got
under the spell again. He seemed to be waiting for
me. Now that you tell me you saw him I really do
believe it is his evil spirit that besets me. I know
it is my own sinfulness that gives him power, but
there are terrible odds against me. After such re-
pentances I have such falls I ' In the evening he
will return, grin like a dog, and go about the city.'
How often I have felt his scorn of my repentances,
and his cruel smile.
" Oh, how I wish I had never gone to Thurlbury
Hall ! It all came back ten times stronger when I
found myself there. It was such a horrible surprise
to find that awful picture gazing straight at me in
234 THE beast's mark.
the dining-room. I couldn't help looking and look-
ing. I remember even going down one night late
with a candle after everyone was gone to bed. He
seemed to free all the worst parts of me."
" Did you ever pray to be delivered, Oliver ? "
"Yes, and was forgiven a thousand times. That
was my greatest help. Without it I should have
been in hell by this time. There are things in the
Bible which must have been written to describe it
" What things, Oliver ? "
"Words like 'Lest he tear my soul like a lion,
rending it in pieces when there is none to deliver,'
That was just how I felt — as if all the good parts of
me were getting torn to shreds. And then in Jere-
miah, ' Therefore the holy flesh is departed from
thee.' It seemed as if all the heavenly part of me
were getting eaten away. One Sunday the sermon
was about the pure in heart seeing God, and I made
up my mind that I would never allow the thought
of Sir Carnaby to come in again. But it did. I was
never safe from him. Sometimes I was better, some-
times I was worse. I think I am worse now than I
was five years ago. What I dread is that when I
die I may find myself akin to him." ^
" Do you hate him enough to wish him gone for
ever ? "
"I do now^'' said Oliver, "but not always. Often,
when I have been happy, I have prayed that I might
die sooner than be in the mire again. You girls can
THE BEAST'S MARK. 235
never know how hard our battles are. We have ten-
dencies that you, in your innocence, never dream of."
"Were the thoughts ever more than thoughts,
Oliver ? Did they ever become sins .^ "
" No, but the thoughts themselves were sins," said
he. " I believe they have used up my very life. It
was no credit to me that I did not put them into
actions. I had everything to keep me back from
wicked deeds — education, habits, friendship, work,
besides the power of religion. I'll tell you what I'll
do, Cynthia. I'll go and see Mr. Austen and ask
him what he thinks I ought to do. It was bad
enough to have such things in my mind, but if you
saw Sir Carnaby — how I loathe his name ! "
Mr. Austen was an old man for whom we rightly
felt a profound veneration. His life had been full
of vicissitudes, but now he lived alone, and yet
seemed to belong to everybody. He was poor in this
world's goods, but like St. Francis, was apparently
well content with poverty. He had had many sor-
rows, which had only the effect of making him
extraordinarily sweet and tender. One of his charac-
teristics was a kind of insight which enabled him
to justify almost all the men he knew of, or at any
rate to bring them out of the fires of execration into
a heavenly light of pity and of understanding. Some
people reckoned this a fault, but I never knew any
one else whose judgment I so looked up to. How-
ever blameable I had been, I always felt sure of
getting love and sympathy from him as well as
236 THE beast's mark.
wisdom. I remember his once saying ''The difference
between Christ and Satan is that Christ justifies all,
and Satan accuses all. Christ is for ever justifying
man to God and God to man, Satan from the very
first has been accusing God to man and man to God."
It was a great relief to me to think that Oliver
would be guided by Mr. Austen rather than by any
ignorant advice of mine, and I rejoiced at his
" I'll go to-morrow," he said, " and I'll tell you
everything that he says. Good-night, Cynthia."
He kissed me very affectionately, and I spent the
night not unhappily, though wakefully. It was a
great relief to have been told the truth.
When Oliver came back from Mr. Au.sten the next
day he looked clear and happy.
" He has been the greatest help, Cynthia," he said,
" He did not seem so very much surprised or shocked,
but he said that he wished I had told some one
sooner. I told him that you knew almost everything
about it, and he said he hoped you would go and
see him when you were well enough."
Oliver talked on and told me a great deal. He was
full of hope.
In a day or two I went to see Mr. Austen.
" Do you think I can help Oliver ? " I said.
" You can help him a great deal, my child," he
replied. "And you have already helped him a great
deal. You must bear his burden with him, for it is
a heavy one, and victory will be difficult. We will
THE beast's mark. 237
lift up our hands continually for him. ' More things
are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.'
These terrible conflicts have their uses, and cannot
yet be wholly dispensed with."
" Do you think that it is possible that I really saw
Sir Carnaby, Mr. Austen ? "
"I am not prepared to say that it is impossible,
Cynthia," he answered. " It may be that some evil
influence hung about that picture. You say that
your great-grandfather felt it, and you believe that it
had power to hurt him. I am sure that there are
bad airs about certain books and certain newspapers,
and about certain places too. I believe that it is
possible, if we wish it, to open doors to all sorts of
evils, and there may be poor wretched earthbound
souls near us who have neither the will nor the
power to rise above the evil desires that held them
when they were in the body. Sir Carnaby may be
one of these, implacable and unmerciful. Such souls
may be able to torment and worry those who give
place to the devil, and little by little they may even
make their home in a man's heart and possess it.
Possession is as real now as ever it w^as. It is a
great mystery, but it is true that as some men live
controlled entirely by Christ and filled with the
Spirit of God, so others live at the command of evil
and unclean spirits.
" I think it is not impossible that our dear boy
has suffered in this way. Oh, the wiles of the devil !
The wiles of the devil ! It is well if, by God's
238 THE beast's mark.
grace, we are just able to stand in the evil day.
Oliver must be saved — as we are all saved — by love,
by human and Divine love. Hell itself is only a
great madhouse, where none believe in the love of
God or man. But Christ commands even the unclean
spirits, and they obey Him."
" Then you really think it was Sir Carnaby's
ghost, Mr. Austen ? "
" I did not say that, Cynthia. What I said was
that I could not say it was impossible - God only
knows. The creative power of thought is very great,
and it may be that what you thought you saw was
only the product of Oliver's mind. 'Things that are
seen are not made of things which do appear.' Who
can say how far human thought may have power
actually to create form ? ' Soul is form, and doth
the body make.' Who can say how it was that the
Word Himself was made flesh ? The sculptor's
thought forms the marble into a statue.
" My dear child, I hardly like to talk to you about
these matters. But perhaps it may be your work
willingly to go forth as a lamb into the midst of
these wolves. We know that there is a Lamb who
is able to overcome not only wolves, but lions, too,
and all kinds of fierce beasts. And the little child
is the one who can safely put its hand on the hole
of the cockatrice and prevent its egress."
" Do you think it was only a coincidence, Mr.
Austen, that we nearly always heard animals making
a noise when we looked at that picture ? "
THE BEAST'S MARK. 239
" It was strange," said he thoughtfully. " It cer-
tainly seems as if the mark of the Beast must have
been on it. People think me a mystic because I see
in the Bible explanations of so many experiences. I
read there that it is over the Beast and over his
mark, that in all ages Christ's servants win the
victory. You have read the story of it in the Book
of the Revelation. The Beast is evidently our worst
animal nature, which we all have to deny in some
form and to conquer, if we are ever to stand on the
sea of glass. It may be like a lion or a wolf, or
like a fox, or a boar, or a serpent. But its power
comes from the dragon itself. One of its heads may
be wounded to death, yet it revives and is healed.
How often have I hoped that the beast in me was
for ever destroyed, and how often have I been dis-
appointed I "
" I don't understand all that, Mr. Austen," I said.
"And God forbid that you should understand it,
my child," he said kindly. " May you never need to
understand it. But you will find it well to read
those chapters about the wild beast nature. The
world worships it and says, ' Who is able to make
war with him ! ' And the world has reason for say-
ing this, for we are told that it was given to the
Beast to make war with the saints and to overcome
even them. But he does not overcome them finally.
' Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.'
Do you remember how we are told that those who
dwell on the earth make an image of the Beast, and
240 THE BEAST'S MARK.
that the image somehow gets life into it and does
mischief ? That makes me think of this strange
sight of Sir Carnaby that you tell me of.
" The mark of the Beast is easy to see in the faces
of many men and women, besides drunkards and
profligates. I have seen it often — the mark of the
tiger or the fox, or the swine, or of the peacock,
the vulture, or the serpent. This we may be sure
of, that if we encourage the beast nature it soon gets
the upper hand. The power of a dominant bad
habit is dreadful. But if it is bravely fought, there
comes a sweet calm Indian summer into life before
We remained silent for some time and pondered.
" And how can Oliver get the victory, Mr. Austen ? "
" Only by the grace of God, Cynthia," he said
solemnly. " But you can help him to get that grace.
It will help him to have told us about his trouble,
and to know that we are in sympathy with his need.
Daily and hourly we will pray for him. The ex-
perience that he has had of the forgiving love of
God is worth gaining, even at a great price."
I kissed the dear old man and went home.
Then a happy time began. Oliver's old light-
heartedness came back, and all his zest for work and
play. I gave him at that time two pictures, which
afterwards hung in his room always. One was
Durer's St. George and the Dragon, the other was
Van Eyck's "Worship of the Lamb." Thank God
there are not only bad pictures but good ones, which
carry our thoughts heavenwards.
Ttt^ beast's mark:. 24J
I shall always remember his life during the next
years as the most beautiful thing I ever knew. It
was filled with gladness and with enthusiasm for
God, and nature and humanity. The sense of de-
liverance made him not only grateful, but ready for
all kinds of service.
Now it truly seemed as if he rode a horse with
wings, and as if it was no longer kept down by the
heavy rider. To this day I can see the results in
diflPerent lives of that beautiful time.
It was forty years ago.
I feel that my story dwindles in interest as it pro-
gresses, and I will end it here, for I think I have
told you all that I need and almost all that I know.
How far the old deep-seated habit of thought after-
wards re-asserted itself I can not tell you. Nor can
I say whether it ever led Oliver into any act of sin.
If it did not, the victory was won after a long brave
fight. If it did, then his life was so far maimed and
broken. But I do not believe it did.
Once he said to me, " I began my fight almost too
late I am afraid, Cynthia. The eyes with which I
ought to see God are half dimmed. The 'holy flesh
has almost departed' from me. The world, the flesh,
and the devil between them will enfeeble a life,
even when they do not actually kill it God
has been very good to me ; I shall not die, but
live." He spoke sadly, but he always took the
lowliest view of himself.
Afton Grange came into my father's possession
when my great-aunts had died. Oliver ended his
242 THE beast's mark.
days there in his old bedroom, and I expect to live
in the house till I die.
About ten years later Thurlbury Hall changed
owners, and the picture of Sir Carnaby Fane was
again sold at Christy's. I had inherited my great-
aunt's estates, and was able, therefore, to buy it.
As soon as it became my property I had it burnt
My tale is told, and as I sit at my desk I look out
at the dear old garden. It is early spring, and the
afternoon sky is clear. The sun casts long shadows
across the lawn, beyond which I can see the quiet
churchyard, where are the mossy graves of my father
There, too, is Oliver's newly-made grave.
In accordance with his wish a headstone will be
put up, with the words inscribed, "A bruised reed
shall He not break, and smoking flax shall he not
quench, till He send forth judgment to victory."
The mellow note of a blackbird sounds close by
me in a lilac bush, which shows its first delicately
bronzed leaves. The crocus and the scylla are star-
ring the dark beds with the gold and blue of their
little flowers. The orange of the sky is slowly
deepening behind the naked trees.
I am very, very sad, and I pray God that if it be
His will, my life may not be greatly lengthened.
When this story has gone forth, there will not, I
think, be much more left for me to do, and I should
like to lie down to rest with those I have loved
under the green grass in the churchyard.
SAINT PATRICK'S INVOCATION
I BIND to myself to-day, a strong power, an invocation
of The Trinity.
The power of the Incarnation, and Christ's Baptism.
His Crucifixion, and Bm'ial, with His Resurrection
bind to myself to-day, the power of the ranks of
11 the obedience of Angels, in the service of Arch-
n the hope of Resurrection, in the prayers of
n the prediction of Prophets, in the preaching of
n the faith of Confessors, in the purity of Holy
n the acts of righteous men.
bind to myself to-day, the power of Heaven.
The light of sun, the brightness of moon.
The splendour of fire, the speed of lightning.
The swiftness of wind, the depth of the sea.
The stability of earth, the firmness of rocks.
244 SAINT PATRICK'S INVOCATION. '
I bind to myself to-day —
The power of God to guide me.
The might of God to uphold me.
The wisdom of God to teach me.
The eye of God to watch over me.
The ear of God to hear me.
The word of God to speak for me.
The hand of God to protect me.
The way of God to lie before me.
The shield of God to shelter me, the host of God to
Against every man who meditates injury to me.
Whether far or near, alone, or in a multitude.
Christ protect me to-day against all evil.
Christ be with me, Christ before me.
Christ behind me, Christ within me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
Christ at my right, Christ at my left.
Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height.
Christ in tlie heart of every man who thinks of me.
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me.
Christ in the eye of every man that sees me.
Christ in the ear of every man that hears me.
I bind to myself to-day a strong power, an invocation
of The Trinity.
I believe in the Threeness with a confession of the
Oneness in the faith of The Trinity.
Salvation is the Lord's. Salvation is Christ's. Let
Thy salvation, Lord, be ever with us. — Amen.
THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
The following eight short stories (written long ago)
are given as suggestions of possible future experiences.
Do not read them as statements on eschatology. On
such subjects the Church Army does not theorise,
but holds simply to the words of the Bil)le — all of
which we steadfastly believe, even though they may
at first sight seem to say opposite things. We need
nowadays to preach faithfully what the Bible teaches
us of Hell and Hades, as well as of Heaven. Such
passages as the following have been too much
neglected : —
" It is good to enter into life maimed and halt
rather than to be cast into the eternal fire." — Matt.
" Every one shall be salted with lire." — Mark
" Fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and
body in \\Q[\r—Matt. x. 28.
" Holiness, without which no man shall see the
Lord."— £re&. xii. 14.
No. I.— FORGIVEN BUT DISAPPROVED.
A certain king had four sons, whom he destined
to rule four provinces in different parts of his
246 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
The princes were placed for training in a college,
where their education lasted for several years, during
which time their father maintained an intimate know-
ledge of their lives and characters.
The time at last arrived when they reached an
age to enter on their public duties, and they accord-
ingly presented themselves at their father's court.
The king, habited in his royal robes, sat in his
council room. At his right hand were four books
containing the records of his sons' careers. His head
was bowed down as the four princes entered, but
he rose as the eldest son came forward, and he
kissed him with much affection.
Then he fixed his keen eye on the young man,
who had a fine martial appearance, and said :
"Lionel, it cuts me to the heart to tell you that
you cannot rule in my kingdom, because you have
made yourself utterly unfit to do so. My hope in
you is disappointed. You have lived in feasting and
in sin. You have lived a life of self-indulgence, and
you have lost your birthright."
The prince started and turned pale, but his look
fell before the tears which trembled in his father's
" It is true, sir," he said, " but you know well
that I have had great temptations which I could not
resist. I implore you not to cast me out. I will
turn from my sins. Give me my province and I
will prove my sincerity."
" That cannot be, Lionel," said his father sadly.
THE ISSUES OF DEATH. 247
"I never have any choice in these matters, for my
appointments are made in simple righteousness, and
I may not make favourites even of my sons. What
your character proves you fit for, that, and that
alone, I can give you. You shall stay by me, and if
you prove yourself fit, you shall, by-and-by, have
work, meanwhile you must submit yourself to new
" Am I then forgiven, sir ? " said the young man,
who was almost sobbing in the bitterness of his dis-
"Yes, my son, you are freely forgiven, since you
desire it, and I love you unchangeably."
" Then why do I lose my province ? "
"Because your character has become incapable of
governing it rightly. It is weak and loose. Your
strength is eaten away— your rule would be bad.
If you indeed repent, you may recover much, and I
may yet give you service to do for me ; but the
kingdom I had meant for you must be given to
The second prince now came forward and received
his father's kiss. His face was handsome and eager,
but somewhat hard and crafty. He met his father's
gaze with confidence, and the thought in his mind
was, "My brother's province will surely be given to
me as well as my own."
" Bertram," said the king, " I cannot make you a
ruler. You have been diligent and self-denying, but
you have been nearly consumed with ambition and
248 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
hatred and envy. You have served yourself only.
You do not love your people, or care for their
welfare. You only care to be great yourself. You
have continually been jealous of your comrades, and
tried to injure them by word and deed. Great kings
are not made of that material. I study your reports,
and I find the same faults on every page, poisoning
all your work : you, too, must be put back for fresh
training and discipline."
" It is unfair and unjust," said Prince Bertram,
hotly. But all the time he knew well that his
father could not be unfair, and could not be unjust.
Yet he turned away, and refused to look at the love
in his father's face.
Very mournfully the king turned as his third
son approached with a bright smile and an air of
courtly grace. But after the king had greeted him,
he looked once more into the record and sighed
"Rupert," he said, ""your idleness has ruined you,
as you well know. No kingdom can be yours. You
have neglected your education — you have shirked
your work — you have fed mind and body on pleasant,
noxious food — you have frittered away all your
opportunities, and made yourself into a useless man."
" Oh, my son, my son ! why have you thus dis-
appointed the father who loved you so well ; and
who hoped so much from you ? "
The prince burst into tears of shame and sorrow,
and flung himself on his father's breast.
THE ISSUES OF DEATH. 249
" Forgive me, father, he cried, " I will be different,
I have been a fool."
The old king wept with his son, but no thought
of mere indulgence ever entered his mind. Prince
Rupert never received a kingdom.
The youngest son. Prince Ronald, now stood be-
fore his father. His frame was active and well
drilled, his eye was clear and frank, his mouth was
sweet and firm.
" Ronald," said the king, " you alone of my four
sons are fit to rule. You have duly used the train-
ing that has been given you. Your life has been
pure, your heart has been right, your work has ])een
good. Rule in your province."
God, Who through Jesus Christ has made me His
child, and given me forgiveness of sins, and eternal
life, has placed me here to grow into the likeness of
my Lord. May I obey Him faithfully, ever choosing
the good and denying the evil — steadfast in the fight
and joyful in tribulation, that so I may be a vessel
fitted for any service to which He may hereafter
call me. For day by day I am making my own
character and fixing my future.
No. 2.— A MOST DREADFUL SURPRISE.
A religious lady, Mrs. Woi'sfall, was very much
worried with all her good works. She used to
complain to her husband that she had so many dis-
appointments in people.
250 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
He and her friends used to keep saying, " You do
too much. You will kill yourself with overwork.
You give away too liberally. People impose on your
And she really sometimes hoped that their estimate
was true. Her self-denial, however, did not go very
deep, for her means were large, and it was pleasant
to benetit poor people, and to l)e thanked by them.
And it was a change. It quieted her conscience,
and was something to think about.
One day she was dissatisfied with a very good
Mission woman whom she employed.
" I really cannot afford to keep you any longer.
Miss Jonson," she said, " I have so many calls ; and
I must say that I do not think you have worked as
hard as you might have done. I will give you a
guinea as a present, but I shall not require your
services any longer. I am sure I hope you have
done some good, but I seem to find nothing but
failures and ingratitude among the poor."
Poor Miss Jonson burst into tears and said, " Oh,
ma'am, you are so kind and good. What shall I do,
and what will the poor people do ? Think of that
poor old Mrs. Stone, for instance : she has nothing
to live on except the 5/- a week you so kindly allow
her through me. Do reconsider the matter."
" It is impossible, I assure you. Miss Jonson," said
Mrs. Worsfall. " I have been talking the matter over
with Canon Price, and he strongly advises me not
to do so much. The work is killing me."
THE ISSUES OF DEATH. 251
So Miss Jonson had to go off with a heavy heart,
and her late employer settled herself for a nap be-
In her sleep a kind of deathly sickness came over
her, and she thought that she actually died.
She seemed to wake up in the next world with a
The scantiest and dirtiest of garments covered her,
instead of ample silk and costly fur.
The place was a ])arren wilderness, with grey
driving clouds overhead.
She felt an impulse to rise into the air, but a
dead weight kept her down.
A lean, wretched-looking ghost with chattering
teeth approached her, greeting her with a kind of
servile politeness. It was the elegant Canon Price,
who had advised her not to be so self-denying.
" We seem to be paired off together here," he said,
and he repeated this speech three times in a be-
numbed sort of way. Then he added, "And here
An extremely offensive and canting tradesman, who
had once cheated Mrs. Worsfall about some blankets
for the poor, now joined them. His familiarity in
claiming their acquaintance as equals was very dis-
" It seems kind o' singular that we should meet
so," he said cordially. And he evidently recognised
the fact that they had reached a place where virtues
and not social distinctions were recognised.
252 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
It was a most uncomfortable meeting. The trades-
man had never thought well of Mrs. Worsfall, or
Canon Price, or himself either, so it was no shock
to him to find that they were all three classed
But the Canon was a very sensitive man, and
suffered intensely while he wildly tried to measure
the merits of his life and his eloquence, and to com-
pare them with the coarse good nature which was
the tradesman's only virtue. Mrs. Worsfall was
swelling with anger, l^ut realised that anger was per-
fectly impotent, and that a power had measured them
all which was as accurate as the law of gravitation,
and as unassailable.
Suddenly two figures appeared hand-in-hand, and
clad in robes of soft and brilliant light. Both per-
sons were of great beauty, and their presence seemed
to diffuse warmth and hope.
They drew near to Mrs. Worsfall and fixed their
eyes on her with astonishment.
They were Miss Jonson and Mrs. Stone.
It was dreadfully mortifying to see the old pauper
and the humble Mission woman suddenly changed,
as it were, into two queens, while she, their late
benefactor, stood bereft of everything before them.
But they looked so humbly and so wonderingly at
her that tears sprang to her eyes, and in a broken
voice she said, " Pray, pray, help me. Remember
how I helped you."
The two pairs of beautiful eyes beamed lovingly
THE ISSUES OF DEATH. 253
upon her. Miss Jonson said, "We do remember it,"
and at the same time she took Mrs. W.'s hand. But
a movement which she tried to repress showed that
the contact was unexpectedly painful to her.
" May we help her ? " said Mrs. Stone pleadingly ;
and Mrs. Worsfall was aware of an angel's grave
attention being fastened on her.
After a pause he said. " Yes, you will both help
her as much as you can : but it cannot be very
much because she is so earth-bound. Scarcely any
of her work has abode the fire. Self-indulgence and
selfishness have spoiled nearly all. There were a
few grains of kindness and pity. But none without
holiness shall see the Lord."
A timid knock at the door sounded at this moment,
and Mrs. Worsfall awoke.
" I beg your pardon, ma'am, I am truly sorry for
my carelessness, but I left my umbrella l^ehind me,"
said poor Miss Jonson, coming in. She recovered
her very shabby piece of property, and was hastily
" Stop, stop, cried Mrs. Worsfall, and she looked
with rapture on the plain, mild, sad face, disfigured
'" Forgive me. Miss Jonson. I have changed mj'
mind. Do not leave your work. God, I am a
sinner ! "
And she wept.
254 THE ISSUES or death.
No. 3.— A LIKELY STORY.
My first ten years in business were prosperous.
Then my partner, Tom Nevis, died, and I felt his
loss severely. We were both young fellows, and of
the same mind about most things. Tom was a good
fellow, strictly honourable in business, seldom drank
to excess, and never led astray a pure woman. He
enjoyed life, and was universally liked and respected.
He made no profession of religion, indeed, we l:)oth
disliked and distrusted " sanctified " people. We had
both come across hypocrites — by which I mean men
who we believed got money advantages out of theii'
religious profession, and acted meanly or dishonour-
ably towards others on certain occasions. No dou])t
there are sincere religious people in the world, l)ut it
suited us to fight shy of them, and to rest satisfied
with pleasure, prosperity, and straightforward living.
It made a great blank for me when Tom died of
scarlet fever, and m^^ mind turned for the first time
with interest to the consideration of the next life. I
often said that Tom had as good a chance of heaven
as many who made a great profession of religion.
One night I dreamed a dream that seemed so real
that I have never felt sure that it was a dream.
Tom stood by my bedside and called me by my
name, " Jack." I wondered that he should be so
like his old self, but his face looked dull and l)e-
wildered, and his figure was shadowy, though dressed
in his usual clothes.
" Tom, are you in heaven ? " I said, in a sort of
THE ISStJES OF DEATH. 255
" I don't think I am," he answered slowly, " but
there is not much of me left to be anywhere. I feel
as if the least thing would blow me out. It was all
business and pleasure while I lived, and when I left
my body I found there was only a wisp of me left.
Foi- there is no pleasure or business to live on here.
There is no such thing as cash, or food, or drink,
and no pleasure for the body, because there are no
bodies. It is all dark and deadly dull. I don't
know what to be at. As far as I can make out, what
happens when men die is that they get out of their
bodies, and if the soul has lived for pleasure and
ambition, it has nothing to fall back on when it is
away from the body. It is just what I might have
expected, if I had thought about it. If I had lived
for the kingdom of God, and worked for the good
of others instead of my own pleasures and profit,
then I should have plenty of life now. But I let
religion alone, and now it lets me alone, and I am
just a withered soul and nothing mere. I wanted
to tell you this, and that is why I am here."
" Is there any hope for you, Tom .^ " a
" I don't know. I scarcely feel anything. But if
there is hope I think it is because I feel a kind of
ache sometimes w^hen I remember Christ's words, ' So
is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not
rich towards God. For a man's life consisteth not in
the abundance of things which he possesseth.' I tell
you what. Jack, I am reaping exactly what I sowed
— neither more nor less. And so it is with every-
one. I am better off than some. All here find
256 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
themselves exactly what they made themselves, re-
member that. I have nothing else to say, and
nothing else to think about."
Then he slowly faded out, and whether I was
awake or asleep, I don't know.
No. 4.— ALEXANDER BUTTS.
" A melancholy occurrence took place last Tuesday
at Beechton. A wedding party had come down to
spend the day at the seaside, and one of them, Mr.
Herbert Alspice, went after dinner with two friends
to bathe. He was reckoned a good swimmer, and he
swam out towards St. Mary's Island. He had nearly
reached it, when he was taken by the cramp, and
called out that he was drowning. The bride's brother,
Ml-. Alexander Butts, rescued him, and they both
reached the island in safety. But in returning to
the main land Mr. Butts was himself swept away by
the current, and his body was not recovered for
The above notice in a local paper created a strong
feeling in the neighbourhood. The young man,
Alexander Butts, was liked and respected by all who
knew him. He was not much of a talker, but he
was a good workman, and a good son, and he had
often done a good turn to others who were not so
well off as himself.
He was a fine, healthy young fellow, and many
tears were shed over his body.
Hundreds of people attended his funeral, and a
subscription was made for his bereaved mother.
THE ISStTES OF DEATH. 257
Six years after, she gave to a clergyman the follow-
ing paper, which she had found in the pocket of the
coat he had stripped off before he swam out to save
his friend. He appeared to have written it some
time before, and to have kept it in his pocket-book
ever since : —
" I want to put down on paper a trouble that is
in my mind. I don't think I am living my life
rightly. I do my work, and I enjoy myself some-
times, and I get on all right with folks. But some
day I know I shall die, and I believe that my soul
will live after I die, and I don't feel as if my life
was any preparation for what comes after I die.
Sometimes I have even hoped there is no life after
death. But I know the»'e is, and I believe I have
only got this world's life in me — pleasure and sin,
and trouble and work. These things take up all my
time, and they all come to an end when I die.
I believe there is a God, and I want to live God's
life, so that there shall be something left when my
body dies. I know that some men live God's life,
and everything they do is done for God and for His
Kingdom, and that that is how Christ lived. All
He did was good, and it brought forth fruit and lasts
for ever. I feel very down-hearted to think that I
have lived for myself and for this world. For no-
thing but God's Kingdom is worth living for. In
future, before everything else, I mean to belong to
God. And may he now forgive me the past. And
may Christ now come into me and be my life.
258 The issues of bEAtn.
His mother did not know how long before his
death he had written this paper, but she had noticed
for some time that he used to get up very early in
the morning, and she felt sure he did it for prayer
and reading his Bible. And though he said little,
all could see that his life was a godly life. On his
gravestone there is this inscription : —
In Memory of my Son,
ALEXANDER BUTTS, '
Who died on the cSth Aug., 1880.
He prayed to God to save him, and He saved him.
He had begun to spend his life on earth for Christ.
No. 5— THE MIRROR.
In our characters each sin breeds its measure of
death : each good act results in increased divine life.
And I have often wondered if after all people may
not be pretty nearly left alone to find their after
state. I am sure Satan would not choose a place on
the right hand of Christ. Sensual, self-indulgent
men complain at such a fate as hell being theirs,
but would they prefer heaven ? I doubt it. Here
they avoid good places, because they find them in-
tolerable, or dull, or tasteless. Kabelais would not
enjoy the society of Henry Marty n. The Herods of
this world may have something good in them which
for a time makes them seek the company of the
John the Baptists, but they end by making away
with them if they can. Mercy and justice appoint a
The issues oi' Death. 259
hell for such people. Darkness and fire and worms
have their place.
Not long ago, on a Sunday morning, I walked
home after church with young Brown. He hates
going to church, but is obliged to obey the family
rule, and he expressed his views about the sermon
with his usual frankness. He said : —
"What do I care for spiritual rewards? I do not
pretend to take any special interest in religion. I
have no desire to sit in ' heavenly places.' How
could I talk to Apostles and Prophets and Martyrs ?
We should only bore each other. After I die I
should like to have my own set of friends about me,
and of course I should want sufficient food and
clothing, and a certain amount of pleasure. That is
what I should like."
I asked him what sort of pleasure he expected to
enjoy when he was deprived of his body, for the
only certain thing about his after-state was that he
would have no body.
To this question he made no reply.
Surely it stands true that we shall by-and-bye reap
what we sow. We shall all get what we deserve.
The Eternal God is fair to everyone. He will do us
full justice. He will take all things into account, and
we shall receive our reward accordingly.
If we are trying only to get worldly pleasure, men's
praise, or money, we can scarcely expect that we
shall be rich in the kingdom of God, where such
things count for nothing. Every day the character
260 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
is being made unfit for the delights of heaven. If
we are sowing sinful pleasure, dishonesty, impurity,
unkindness, hatred or selfishness, we shall surely reap
death and corruption, for all these things perish with
But sorrow for sin is the seed of comfort.
Hunger for righteousness is the seed of goodness.
Meekness is the seed of power.
To work and suffer for others is the seed of gladness.
Faith is the seed of heavenly possession.
Are we satisfied with our prospect ?
The worst punishment of sin would be extinction
of spiritual life. All the plans by which go(xl and
bad people think to elude the consequences of their
sin and to gain undeserved rewards are futile. What
looks to human eyes like reward is often only a fur-
ther progress towards death. This is as inevitable as
the law of mathematics, for God is not fair from
sentiment, but fair as a pair of scales is fair. If the
lead in one scale is a grain heavier than the gold in
the other, down it goes.
If we could now see ourselves and our actions so
weighed what incredulity and expostulation there
would be I What excuses ! What pleadings for the
merits of a good deed to be taken more fully into
account I How many different circumstances should
be considered before justice could be done us I
It might be a long time, I think, before the abso-
lute inviolability of God's fairness would be recog-
nized. For poor souls, for their supposed advantage,
THE ISSUES OF DEATH. 261
hold such queer doctrince about God and themselves.
But blessed be God, He is not only the Truth, but
He is also Love, and He has Almighty Power. So
we may well praise Him and be glad. No doul^t
there are many kind quiet humble people who will
be astonished at the richness of their heavenly treasure.
"I saw two angels standing at the golden gates,
whose faces were unchangeably full of love. I heard
them sing the 107th Psalm, and I saw how their
hearts praised God for the blessed work of bringing
low and lifting up. Between them they held a
crystal mirror, and each disembodied soul saw its
image in it as it came up to the portals. After look-
ing therein, it understood what place it could occupy
in the kingdom of heaven, which lay beyond the
gates, in sweet and infinite stretches of landscape.
The shock was often very great, but the glass was so
evidently true that no soul could long be in doubt
as to its accuracy. Therefore it was onlj^ a question
of looking long enough. And meanwhile they were
not without comfort, for there was a sense of Divine
tenderness aiid love everywhere.
One man came up confident that a great sphere
would be his in the kingdom of heaven, and pre-
pared to contest the point strongly if it were denied
him. He had been active and pushing and success-
ful. He had done a great work and had a great
name (whether religious, political, or philanthropic
I do not know). His character had never been
262 THE ISStJES OF DEATH.
aspersed. He did not, at first, look at the mirror, for
liis eyes were fixed on the fair country beyond, and
especially on ten glittering cities which lay among
some blue hills in the distance.
' May I be ruler over those ten cities ? ' said he.
'I think I could do it well.'
' Every one may take any reward and any work
that he chooses after he has looked in this mirror,'
said the angel. ' It shows you your real self and
your life, and it gives you any information that you
need about either. You have now got the faculty
of judging yourself truly.'
The man turned his eyes and saw his reflection in
the glass. At first he was motionless and dumb with
astonishment. Then he seemed slowly to shrivel be-
fore the sight.
' Had I no more love in me than that ? ' he said
at last in a whisper. ' I thought I was full of it I
Was it all activity and push that I mistook for it ?
Is my sympathy so blunted as that ? Is my sense of
rectitude so dulled ? Was I always so, or how did it
come about ? '
In answer to these questions new revelations of the
man's life were manifested in the glass. He saw how
in years gone by he had, in the press of life and
work, allowed himself to use words and phrases that
were beyond his experience and his belief, and he
saw how each time he did so the keen edge of truth-
fulness was more and more destroyed. Routine had
been allowed to blunt his best faculties. He saw how
THE ISSUES OF DEATH. 263
the hurry and press of his work left him no time
for self-examination, or for tenderness and thought
about those in his path who should have been lovingly
succoured. The image he saw reflected looked strong
indeed, but it was a wooden strength. There was a
' My life has been wasted ! ' he said at last.
' Not so,' said the angel, whose eyes were turned
kindly on him. ' Not so : but you will not wish to
be ruler over the ten cities, will you ? '
' God forbid ! ' said the man ; ' I am fit for no-
thing in the Kingdom, and will only hide my head
' Trust yourself then, to your Father and your
Saviour,' said the angel, and already an inner light
shone in the man's face. 'Those ten cities will be
given to the man for whom they are prepared —
here he comes ! '
' It is my old clerk ! ' said the other in astonish-
ment : ' the man I rescued from misery. Is he to
rule over those ten cities ? '
'If you look at his image in the glass you will see
how exactly fitted he is to do so,' said the angel.
' He has been faithful over a few things : perfectly
truthful, consistently kind, always humble, denying
himself pleasure for Christ's sake. Look at his life
and you will see that, though it used to look narrow
and monotonous, yet it has had results which reach
far and wide. It was his unconscious influence which
turned your cousin into a great worker for God : it
264 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
was through him that you were induced to begin
your best piece of work. You got the credit, l)ut it
was his thought, and he bore the brunt of it. You
were kind to him and helped him, though you
thought cheaply of him. He will now gratefully re-
pay your kindness tenfold. But in all things 3'ou
must submit yourself to him, for he is far in advance
of you in all ways, except in fixity of purpose : there
you can help him.'
Tlie two men passed through the gates together."
No. 6.— ENTERING MAIMED.
IS IT POSSIBLE ?
It was twilight — a twilight that scarcely ever varied,
though Mirvel thought that the light in the east was
a little stronger than it was when he had first
The wonder and shock had been great when he
had first found himself in mist and loneliness instead
of ecstasy and triumph.
A terrible fear — almost like despair — had gnawed
at his heart. But that had soon been dispelled.
Hope and faith now held their places, and the pre-
sence of God was known and felt.
The great disappointment was at finding himself
so unaltered — so unable still to reach the heavenly
He had formerly lived a busy life, and had boasted
of it somewhat unnecessarily. Here there was leisure
— leisure to think, to regret, to blush.
THE ISSUES OF DEATH. 265
Many eulogiums had been passed on him by his
family, his friends, and his acquaintances. Besides
being active and useful, he had been sincerely re-
ligious, and more unselfish than most men. It is
something to have lived without committing any
heinous sin, and it is better still to have fairly earned
the reputation of being a good man. Even in Hades
he knew that he had much to be thankful for.
He had now got used to his new conditions, and
life, though sad, was not unbearable. Repenting at
leisure is a wholesome and good thing. What a pity
that we so seldom allow ourselves time for it here !
Though generally shut out from companionship,
Mirvel was not entirely alone. At times he could
converse— as the rich man in the parable did — with
spirits who had left their earthly life purer and
holier than himself. When their voices came back
to him they were sweet and friendly, though some-
what preoccupied, as if new conditions claimed their
Often he called to his wife, and often she answered
back through the mist, and he felt a degree of
warmth and strength from her personality. On earth
she had been his willing slave, and had obeyed his
slightest whim. Now she was no longer at his beck
and call. Love, pity and kindness were all apparent,
but the earthly tie was altered, and he had no power
to command her full attention.
He accepted these new conditions with sad resigna-
tion. It never occurred to him to question their
266 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
A boy of his who had died almost in infancy also
spoke back to him. His had been a pure young soul,
innocent and almost unspotted by sin. Both mother
and son spoke quiet words of patience, hope, and
trust in God. Sometimes petitions from the Lord's
Prayer came back to him- with power and blessing.
No reproach was ever uttered. All the reproaches —
and they were many — arose from within. The subtle
self-pleasing of his former life was now as plain as
pebbles at the l^ottom of a clear pool.
Every forbidden thought was remembered, and
lamented over, every deed of kindness that he had
left undone, every harsh word, every resentful thought.
And there was much wondering gratitude in his
heart at God's watchful guarding him fi'om tempta-
tions and dangers into which he now saw he would
easily have fallen.
"What had been grievances were now recognised as
wasted opportunities for growth in God's grace. He
felt no anger against even malignant enemies, for it
had become plain that all their injuries ought to have
been received with thankfulness, as the very best
and most advantageous things that could happen to
Sickness, loss of money, bodily pain, and wounded
reputation, ought to have all helped him forward in
his journey to the place of heavenly riches.
Would St. Paul have a grudge against Nero who
got him his martyr's crown ? Or David against
Absalom who brought him to the depth of humilia-
tion which his soul needed ?
THE ISSUES OF DEATH. 267
Other voices reached Mirvel besides the happy ones
in front. From behind him there often sounded sad
grating accents that he recognised only too well.
His partner in business had been a man of powerful
imperious character, selfish, unprincipled, and un-
scrupulous. He had been a tyrant and a curse to
Mirvel in a hundred ways, and had ruthlessly dam-
aged and wounded him. Now his voice was feeble
and dreadful, pleading passionately for help out of
darkness and pain. The old contempt which had so
often galled Mirvel was gone, and so also was the
cheap, transparent flattery which had sometimes been
employed. Apparently he knew no one else to whom
he could appeal for succour in Hades. His friends,
except Mirvel, had been low and bad. He had
affected to despise goodness, but his abject misery
was now slowly teaching him lessons that he had
A most malicious woman, who had caused Mirvel
much anguish by her false and abominable accusa-
tions, also cried out to him for help. •
Mirvel had the will to help them both, for pity
instead of bitterness was in his heart. He answered
back to them in a half frightened voice, saying the
best that he knew how to say, but deprecating his
power to help. He had forgiven their trespasses as
truly as God had forgiven, his, and doubtless what
he said was blessed and useful to these poor wretches.
But he had not the comfort of knowing it.
How welcome, after their selfish despairing cries,
268 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
was the placid voice of his old Nurse, who often
talked with him. She was a faithful, dear old woman
whom he had pensioned and been kind to. She had
formerly been rather a tiresome bore to him, and her
death had not caused him much regret. But now it
was she who comforted and benefited Mm with her
simple, firm faith in God, and her tone of affection-
ate loyalty to himself.
Altogether this new life was strangely unlike what
he had expected.
Hope and faith and love were all present. There
was a little spring of peace that flowed steadily. He
was learning patience and humility, and he was
absolutely convinced of both the fairness and the love
of God. No doubt of salvation through Jesus Christ
ever clouded his mind.
But the gradual work of sanctification in his soul
was slow, and for the present his predominant feel-
ings were sorrow, shame, and regret.
He had entered into life maimed, and he knew
that it was entirely by his own fault. He was but
reaping what he had sown, and his heart ached, even
while he thanked God. He willingly accepted the
experiences which lay in his upward path. But they
were sometimes very painful.
After he had been in Hades for some considerable
time, he came one day to a large gloomy-looking
mansion. On entering he was astonished to find that
it was tenanted by a number of his former acquaint-
ances. They were sitting there apparently idle and
THE ISSUES OP DEATH. 269
objectless. As he entered they looked fixedly at him,
and it was noticeable that the expression of their
faces was either cold, angry, or reproachful. When
he greeted them, they with one accord repelled him,
some of them gently, because they were gentle people ;
some of them rudely. His cousin, Herbert Briarley,
at once rose and approached him, looking steadily at
him, and with a most hostile expression. Mirvel's
first instinct, strange to say, was almost to cringe, for
the united disapproval of all these people was almost
more than he could bear. But he rallied.
" Why do you look at me like this ? What have
you got against me ? " he said.
" I do not know by what law of this place you
come here," said his cousin, "for you have somehow
contrived to get that which you see that all of us
are destitute of. If you came to taunt us you can
scarcely expect us to be glad to see you. Formerly,
we all made you welcome to our houses. If you
knew how to benefit yourself^ you might have told
us^ I think. But we have done with each other now,
and I see no object in your being here to exult over
your old friends."
" I am not here to exult over you," replied Mirvel
humbly, ^' I am continually suffering the pangs of
self-reproach. But what do you blame me for ? You
had the same opportunity that I had of receiving the
divine gift, and of living the divine life. Was it my
part to believe that you were godless and lifeless ?
I always hoped that you had more religion in you
than you chose to let appear."
270 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
"Then you were wrong, and if you had had the
kindness and friendliness to tell us straight what you
had and we had not, we should probably have listened
and obtained it."
"Whenever I approached the subject with you, I
met with a rebuff, as you very well know," said
" I think you were very selfish to let a rebuff stop
you in such a matter," said Briarley. "However, we
speak the truth here and I thank you for anything
you did, or tried to do. It certainly was unavailing.
We do not dispute the justice of our being here, but
we helped you to many pleasures of society, and we
think you might have done a little more for us."
" Why do you talk like that, Herbert ? " said his
brother, who stood listening by his side. " Can we
not learn that only we ourselves are to blame ? It is
all fair. How could we expect anything different ?
Did any of us ever really think that we were laying
up treasure in heaven ? Certainly not. We did what
was pleasant, and what we liked doing. We neglected
religion, and we did not really believe in our excuses
for neglecting it. We lived for ends that were ex-
clusively earthly. If we did not consider the matter
more carefully, it was because we did not care to do
so. Nobody is to blame but ourselves. We took our
chance for the future, always hoping that, somehow
or other, we should pull through. But we have not
pulled through. Mirvel may have been wrong, and
is suffering for it, for he might have been kinder
THE ISSUES OF DEATH. 271
and more unselfish. But as for us it is our own
fault that we are here."
This straightforward speech, slowly and deliberately
spoken, sent new reproaches into Mirvel's heart.
Herbert's wife, a poor mean-spirited woman, stood
by, and wept plentifully. She regarded Mirvel with
aversion and anger, while she peevishly and miser-
ably reproached him. He would have despised her
if pity and self-reproach had not made it impossible
for him to do so.
He regarded them all three, and stammered, " Is
there no hope for you through Christ ? " All fixed
their eyes eagerly on him, but they were tongue-tied
and answered nothing. But out of his sore humilia-
tion and poignant self-reproach, a prayer arose in his
heart for the poor dark souls he was leaving behind.
He pondered over the words, " a ransom for all to
be testified in due time."
No. 7.— THE EVENING PRIMROSE. -
In the Pall Mall Gazette of the 7th of August,
1806, an ardent lover of flowers described the beauty
of a large white evening primrose, which grew in
his garden. As the twilight advanced, the flower
always opened its shining petals to their widest ex-
tent and seemed to stretch itself to its tallest on its
There was a reason for its making itself as con-
spicuous as possible, for its only hope of propagation
lay in attracting to it a moth, which, when it came
272 THE ISStJES OF DEATH.
to seek for honey, fertilized the flower, and thus
secured to it the seed which meant life next spring.
In proportion to this laying itself out for the fer-
tilizing moth lay the flower's chance of resurrection.
If its blossoms were hidden under leaves and half
folded up, it would escape notice in the dimness and
darkness of the night. So it did its very best.
Surely this is a figure of the natural and the spiritual
life. To all the gift of salvation is ofi'ered, but there
are conditions. And are there not, alas ! many who
do not fulfil these conditions ?
We may well believe that God is not indifferent to
all the energy, and cleverness, and steadfastness that
is spent on making the world progress on its present
dispensational lines. But there is more for us to care
for than food, raiment, and pleasure. These things
perish with the using.
If the evening primrose is to have a resurrection,
it must have a seed that shall remain when its
lovely petals have fallen.
And so too with us. We must seek the invisible,
if we are to enter into the Kingdom of God.
No. 8.— BAD TASTE.
A very disagreeable thing had happened. A large
party was staying at a country house. Some friends
from a little distance had come to lunch, and among
them was a gentleman who had taken occasion, from
something that had been said, to speak in a marked
and pointed manner of religion. Everybody got red ;
THE ISStJES OF DEATH. 273
several people felt his remarks to be exceedingly
unpleasant and in very bad taste. There was a dead
pause after he had spoken ; then the hostess did the
best she could, trying to speak with reverence of
sacred things while she warded off the ill-chosen
subject, and the party separated with altogether a
very uncomfortable feeling.
Among them was a lady, Mrs. Fane, who, some-
how, felt stung by what had happened. She walked
up and down the terrace alone, and the following
dialogue took place between herself and her con-
science : —
" How impertinent it was of Major Day to speak
as he did ! What bad taste ! Can he not learn that
there is a time for everything ? "
Her conscience : "You know you ought to talk
the same way more often than you do."
" I know nothing of the kind. I don't believe in
all this talk. You can't talk people into religion ; a
life lived rightly is more effective than sermonizing."
Her conscience : " Is your life more effective
than Major Day's ? "
"Perhaps not. Of course, I am not as good as I
ought to be, but I am sure I should do no good by
talking religion to my friends ! "
Her conscience : " The reason that you do not
talk religion to them is not because you don't think
it will do them any good, but because you know
they will like you less if you do it, or that very
likely they won't like you at all."
274 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
" I can't sermonize them."
Her conscience : " You can let them know that
Christ is yom- Saviour, and that He desires to be
"They know that abeady."
Her conscience : " No, they do not ; and they
will certainly never learn it from anything that your
life teaches them. They have only a vague idea that
you are rather more religious than they are — that
is all. You get your own salvation and a certain
amount of comfort from your religion, you give away
a small proportion of your means to religious objects,
you abstain from gross worldliness, for which you
have lost your taste, you praise certain clergymen
and other good people— that is all. For the rest, you
enjoy yourself as much as you can."
" Christ did not force religious conversation."
Her CONSCIENCE: "That is not true; He did so
continually. You talk of your life as a power. What
effect has it on your husband ? Does he see that in
you which draws him to Christ ? What effect has it
on your servants and on your children ? Do they
believe in your religion ? No."
Mrs. Fane would perhaps have gone on talking
with her conscience some time longer, but she was
called away at that moment for a promised drive.
Everyone was anxious for her company, for she was
attractive, good, and pleasant. People said, " Surely
hers must be the right sort of religion ! It is never
offensive to anyone."
THE ISSUES OF DEATH. 275
She had, however, been much discomposed by
the morning's occurrence, and that night she had a
She dreamed that she was in heaven. The Day of
Judgment was passed, and she found herself saved.
Yet, somehow, all was not right. Her heart ached.
She walked alone in the golden streets. Though she
met groups of happy rejoicing people, she could not,
somehow, join herself to them. She began to feel
dreadfully home-sick. If only she could have seen
one face that she knew I Could this place be heaven,
and she feel so wretched in it ?
She saw an angel near, and went and asked him,
" Is this heaven ? "
" I feel very wretched : I want to see someone I
know. I seem to belong to no one here. I would
give anything to see some of my old friends — my
husband or my children, or Frances King, or Anthony
Cole, or Lady Maine, or any of them."
"You will have to go a very long way to see
them," said the angel, looking gravely at her, "but
I may take you if you wish."
"I do wish."
" Close your eyes then."
She did as she was bidden, and immediately felt
herself being transported through some inmiense
space. The sense of the brightness and glory of
heaven died away, and she came to an atmosphere
that seemed to wither her and chill her to the very
276 THE ISSUES OF DEATH.
marrow. At last her feet rested somewhere. A voice
that she knew said, " Catherine ! " and she opened
her eyes and met those of her old friend, Frances
" Catherine, may I kiss you ? Will you let me
pnt my arms round you ? Do not refuse me."
" Refuse you, Frances ! " said Catherine, her heart
going out to her dear old friend as she opened her
arms wide and embraced her. "Why should I re-
fuse you ? "
" Because I am shut out ; because I am lost ! Oh,
Catherine, it is my own fault, perhaps, but why
didn't you tell me that I might be saved ? Indeed,
I should not have laughed at you. We were friends
so many years, and you loved me, yet you never
told me of my danger, and I never realised it. I
knew that you were better than I was, but I never
thought there was all this difference between us. Did
you know it and not tell me all those times that we
were together ? You were almost my only religious
friend. But it is something to see you and kiss you
once more. Alas ! if I had only had a friend who
would have risked something for me !
While these words were still ringing in her ears
she heard a man's voice behind cursing her, a man
whom she had always regarded as a decidedly mean
" Curse you ! " he said. " A thousand curses light
on you, bad woman and false Christian. You shame-
fully deceived me, else I should never have been
THE ISSUES OP DEATH. 277
" It is untrue ! " cried Catherine, her indignation
getting the better of her horror for a moment. " I
never injured you ; you have no right to speak to
me like that ! "
" I have. Do you not remember that day at
Hetherley, when Major Day spoke to us at lunch ?
I was hard hit by what he said. And don't you re-
member how I came to you afterwards, as you were
the most religious person there, and don't you re-
member what you said ? You said, ' Oh, he's a very
good man, but very ill-judging. We can't all be
alike. Everybody can't be equally religious in these
outward things. It's a pity good people are so dis-
agreeable. It would be much better if they would
attract people to religion by their goodness, instead
of talking in such bad taste. It is not necessary for
people to take such tremendous steps and make such
great sacrifices.' Then you talked 'goody' to me a
little, but you made me feel that, any way, you
didn't believe in that violent sort of way of looking
at religion, and that it would be all right if I went
on pretty much as I was. And I took your cursed
advice because I liked it, and here I am."
Catherine shuddered ; but the next moment, such
fearful agony pierced her soul that she woke up
screaming, for two voices in that dismal abode cried
out together in her ears, " Mother ! "
WHY NOT CONFESS?
Why should we be so unwilling to confess our faults
to one another ?
A good woman almost never admits that she has
done wrong, and a good man very seldom admits it.
Yet surely it would be all gain and no loss to
For instance : " I am told," says an angry friend,
" that you have laughed at me and told ridiculous
stories of me behind my l)ack." Why should I not
say in reply, if the truth of the accusation convicts
me, " It is all true, alas ! All true. It was hateful
of me : how could I do such a thing ? I have never
said spiteful things about you, but I admit with
shame that I did repeat some ridiculous things about
you. But are you so much surprised ? Did you
expect me to be a friend without a fault ? "
After such a confession, could anything happen
but forgiveness ?
" I want to tell you something, Eliza," said John
to his wife. " I have been very mean about money.
I have no excuse, but I beat down, from the force
of habit, that poor woman who was selling mats.
She was poor, and I am well off. Why did I grudge
her a fair profit ? I despise myself, and I shall go
WHY NOT CONFESS ? 279
and pay her the difference." How cleansing such a
confession would be !
" Marian," said Mrs. Martin to her friend, " I have
been a snob this year, and you have been very good.
I know that I have neglected and snubbed you, my
oldest friend. I did not come to your party or ask
you to mine. It was all because I was getting into
a new set. I detest myself for it. Will you forgive
me ? I mean never to do it again, and I value you
a thousand times more than I value these new
acquaintances. Henceforth I will try and behave
A flood of spiritual joy one day took possession of
John Marple. One result of it was that he called on
a tiresome, poor, good, old second cousin of his, who
was continually leading up to receiving help and
presents from him. "James," he said, "I have
brought you £50 to make you a little more comfort-
able. Forgive me that I have been so unresponsive.
I know that you are better than I am, and if we
both died to-day, you would be the rich man and I
should be the poor one. Buy some better tobacco,
and ask a friend to dinner sometimes, and go to
Brighton for a change."
" Vicar," said a Curate, " I believe I ought to leave
you, and in disgrace. I have tampered with a wrong
affection for someone in the congregation. It was
partly her fault, but of course it was worse in me.
Nobody else knows of it, but I will tell you all, and
go^ if you say 'go.' I wish I had told you six
280 WHY NOT CONFESS ?
weeks ago. I have sinned against you, and her, and
the people, and most of all against God, "Whose pro-
vidence alone has kept me from a black fall. Forgive
me — even if you punish me."
" Rawlings," said the Vicar, " I blame myself. I
have kept you at a distance and been unfriendly
l)ecause I was jealous of you. Your youth and
pleasantness, and your popular preaching have made
me grind my teeth. Stay with us. We will go to-
gether to the lady if you will tell me her name, and
we will be perfectly frank about the matter."
They went, and the confession answered well on
both sides, and the evil ended.
A sermon convicted Mrs. Robinson of a fault, and
as she left the church she said to her husband, " If
I do not confess it now, this moment, I feel I shall
never confess it. I have nagged you. You were to
blame, but still I ought not to have done it so much.
That is as far as I will go." Here she burst into
tears, and then went on : " Robert, I will admit that
it was almost entirely my fault, but it is very teasing
to me when you keep your temper so provokingly."
(Here she sobbed.) " No, I will unsay that. I
believe it was really and truly my fault. Oh, if
you did but know how impossible it is to say what
I have said ! "
" Selina," said Charles, " I know I have been a
beast about the dinner. I think I am naturally
greedy, and too fond of my food. I wish I had not
grumbled yesterday at the fried plaice coming so
WHY NOT CONFESS? 281
often, and at the weak coffee and the cold stewed
cranberries. I will try and do better. And so I am
sure will you."
" Sarah," said her mother-in-law," in future I will
try and not be a nuisance, but will let you manage
your house and husband and children in your own
way, unless it is in matters in which I feel sure I
am right. I know I often have interfered when I
ought not, and I want now to ask your forgiveness."
'' Stainforth," wrote a politician, " I wish to apolo-
gise to you and say that I won't do it again. I
wilfully damaged you unjustly on the two following
points : — I have repeatedly called you a humbug, and
I believe I was entirely wrong. I have also called
you a fool, and there again I was mistaken."
Thieves, murderers, loose livers, evil speakers,
cheats, ill-tempered people, proud people, stingy
people, disagreeable people, why not confess your
faults and get cleansed and delivered from them ?
: o :-
" But let autumn bold
With universal tinge of sober gold
Be all around me, when I make an end." — Keats.
Shortening days — the first blossom of the Michael-
mas daisy, the first yellowing leaf, the light garments
of summer discarded, the first inevitable fire in the
sitting-room — who greets willingly these signs that
the year is waning ?
Who does not say " Summer is yet with us. The
days are still long enough. Those two or three
yellow leaves are but a freak of nature. The warmer
garment and the bright fire only mean that one day
is apt to be cooler than another. As to the Michaelmas
daisies, tiresome gardeners push forward to summer
the flowers that belong to autumn. No, it is surely
So we say, and our words pass indulgently with-
out contradiction. But for all that, autumn is coming,
and soon there will be no doubt about it — a little
later or a little sooner, what does it matter — either in
nature or in our life ? Expostulations cannot stop
tJNWBLCOME AUTUMN. 283
it. We may as well face our autumn, and welcome
it with a smile.
For, indeed, autumn deserves a welcome as truly
as spring and summer. It brings us fair gifts. Let
us not turn away our faces from it or shut our eyes.
Let our life's year run its normal course, even if it
means decay and dying for some things that were
good and beautiful in their time. God's way is best.
" In everything give thanks."
For my part, I think that the melancholy of autumn
is as good as the prime of summer. The trees glow
with red and russet and gold, and the branches are
loaded with fruit. The hills take their grandest
purple, and the sunsets are splendid beyond words.
What beauty there is in the gathering and circling
of the birds for flight ! Are not the late roses and
the late lilies as fair as the early ones ? Some of
you will like to read Keats' matchless Ode (the last
he wrote) to Autumn.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfnlness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun ;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch -eaves run ;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage -trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core :
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel ; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease.
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
284 UNWELCOME AUTUMK.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store':'
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind ;
Or on a half- reap' d furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swathe and all its twined flowers.
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook :
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, —
While barred clouds crown the softly dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue.
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river shallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies.
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn ;
Hedge-crickets sing ; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden croft ;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
And as to our own individual autumn (for out-
ward things are all parables), can we not rejoice in
it as truly as in our summer 1 Is there no beauty
to be looked for in restful dignity and silvering hair,
in well-earned leisure, in gathered power, in mellowed
hearts, and in kinder and humbler judgments ? What
though the spring of youth with its delightful sur-
prises and its quick emotions has gone .^ It is gone,
tJNWELCOME AUTUMN. 285
and it cannot worthily be retained. We all know
how sad it is to see the characteristics of youth
vainly imitated in the autumn of life.
Who loves "falsely brown hair," or cheeks that
are pink and white when they ought to be tenderly
chastened ? Age has a beauty that sometimes exceeds
the beauty of youth. An old olive tree gets exquisite
almost in proportion to its antiquity, and indeed all
trees are more beautiful when they are old than
when they are young— God orders both youth and
To everything there is a time, and we can retain
nothing longer than its day.
So when autumn is come, and when winter is
coming, let us be prepared with our welcome for
both of them. Let us not quarrel with the lines in
our foreheads, with our slower movements, and our
more careful expenditure of vital force. It is true
that eyes and ears and voice all give signs of wear
and tear and are a little past their prime. Some-
thing of energy and creative force is gone, and
doubtless there is humiliation in all this. But our
souls need it and are better for it.
A certain melancholy comes. But in this world
the most beautiful things are touched with sadness,
and I have already said that, for my part, I think
the tender, wise melancholy of autumn is even a
lovelier thing than the hope of spring, and the joy
286 * UNWELCOME AUTUMN.
" Though much is taken much abides, and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are we are."
Do you like these following lines ?
* ' Spring came to me in childhood long ago ....
And said, ' Pick violets, they're at thy feet ' ;
And I fill'd all my pinafore, and oh,
They smelt most sweet !
' * Summer came next, in girlhood long ago,
And said, ' Pick roses, they are everywhere ' ;
And I made garlands out of them, and oh,
They were most fair !
" Then Autumn came, in womanhood, you know,
And said, * Garner the apples, it is late ' ;
And I fill'd baskets with their load, and oh,
My store was great !
*' Last, Winter comes, for Eld has brought its snow.
And said, * Sit quiet, shelter'd from the storm ' ; ,
And I sit in my easy chair, and oh,
The hearth, how warm !
Spring creates, summer perfects, autumn governs,
winter rests. And when Death comes, shall we not
welcome him as God's angel, and therefore our angel
too ? Would we rather that he delayed his coming
till every faculty was gone ?
Hear the jubilant words of America's great singer.
'* Come, lovely and soothing Death,
Undulate round the earth, serenely arriving, arriving,
In the day, in the night, to all, to each,
Sooner or later, delicate Death.
UNWELCOME AUTUMN. 287
•* Prais'd be the fathomless universe,
For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious,
And for love, sweet love — but praise I praise ! praise !
For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding Death.
"Dark mother, always gliding near with soft feet,
Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome?
Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all,
I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come
''Approach, strong deliveress,
When it is so, when thou hast taken them I joyously sing
Lost in the loving floating ocean of thee,
Laved in the flood of thy bliss, Death."
And then, after death come resurrection and a
new Divine dispensation.
Meanwhile is it nothing to have happily lost so
much of intoxication with earthly things, to have
won a deeper trust in God, to have a growing con-
sciousness that the heavenly treasure is more real to
us ? Fever, fret, hopes and fears have become less
harassing, as age makes earth look fainter and heaven
clearer. Those in the autumn of life are perhaps the
greatest benefactors to the world. It ought to be
the time of victory, and of gracious and effective
ministering to others.
In Van Eyck's picture of the "Worship of the Lamb"
— the great consummation — we do not find the green
fields of heaven peopled chiefly by boys and girls,
but by companies of mature men and women, who
have lived and suffered, and fought and won — men
288 UNWELCOME AUTUMN.
and women who look able to rule, and able to obey,
able also to train others for God's service. They
have used their office well, and have purchased to
themselves a good degree.
As age advances a delightful unselfish enjoyment
of youth comes. We are not young ourselves, but
other people are young, and we can enjoy them
perhaps better than we ever enjoyed ourselves. Glad-
ness, sympathy and help are all in our power to give
almost every day, and we may live again with calm
brightness in the young lives around us— giving to
them some knowledge of how happily a Christian
life may draw towards its farewell to earth.
Let us ponder the following beautiful lines by
George Macdonald : —
'* And weep not, tho' the beautiful decay
Within thy heart as daily in thine eyes.
Thy heart must have its autumn, its pale skies
Leading, mayhap, to winter's dim dismay.
Yet doubt not; beauty doth not pass away.
Her soul departs not, tho' her body dies,
Waiting the spring's young resurrection day —
Through the kind nurture of the winter cold;
Nor seek thou by vain effort to revive
The summer time when roses were alive.
Do thou thy work — be willing to be old,
Thy sorrow is the husk that doth enfold
A gorgeous June for which thou need'st not strive."
SIR OWEN AND MR. ORME,
A TALE RE-TOLD.
■: o :-
" Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just
man and holy, and observed him. And when he
heard him he did many things and heard him gladly.
But John said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee
to have thy brother's wife And the king was
exceeding sorry, and he sent an executioner and he
Manton Court stood on a wooded hill in Berkshire.
It was the show place of the neighbourhood, and was
celebrated for its gallery of pictures, its lake, and its
The owner. Sir Owen Trevor, was a bachelor. He
was not unpopular in the county, though it was
known that his morals were not as pure as they
might have been. In London society he held a good
position, but in the country there were to be found
various old-fashioned people who would not visit him
because it was notorious that his relations with a
certain Mrs. Fitzjames were wrong. She was a charm-
ing person, and as her husband chose to take no
public notice of her conduct, she was received in
society by persons who, either because their own
characters would not bear inspection, or for some
other reason, were not scrupulous about such matters.
290 SIR OWEN AND MR. ORME.
There were people in society who even did that
wickedest of wicked things, invite the two to meet
at their country houses with the full knowledge of
the facts. . It is wonderful what horrible things the
desire to be reckoned fashionable is responsible for.
Dr. Heron, the Vicar of Manton, had known Sir
Owen from a boy, and was sincerely attached to him,
and valued his many good qualities, — frankness,
generosity, and grace of manner being among them.
But the intimacy had been shaken by the fact of the
scandal, and the Squire was now seldom seen at the
Vicarage or at Church. But the Vicar still followed
him with prayers and affection. He was now old,
and was obliged to engage a Curate to take the
brunt of the work off his shoulders. This Curate,
Mr. Orme, was a remarkable young man. He was of
the evangelical school, but his habits were ascetic
and his appearance worn. He had high spirits, and
though he was troubled with a painful stutter, his
speech was often racy. The poorer people loved him
exceedingly, and so also did good old ladies, but the
rich, dull, county people voted him a failure. He
was felt to be practically unmarriageable, and though
he made it a point of duty to attend any social
festivities to which he was invited, yet he usually
stayed a very short time, and in spite of keeping
up a cheerful grin while he remained, it was evident
that he took no real pleasure in fripperies. He
accepted the boredom of parties as part of his work,
and though everybody knew he was dull, he main-
SIR OWEN AND MR. ORME. 291
tained an aspect of hilarity, while he was always on
the watch for an opportunity of religious or parochial
Sir Owen was not often present at such festivities,
but Mr. Orme, a few weeks after his arrival, was in-
troduced to the Squire by the lady of the house at
whose garden party he was present. Her attention
was immediately called away to a fresh arrival, and
the two men were therefore left alone.
"I hope you do not dislike Manton, Mr. Orme. It
is rather a dull place," said Sir Owen courteously.
"Th— thank you," said Mr. Orme with a gulp, "I
d — do like it, but w — will you allow me to say to
you as one of your Clergy, that you are both offend-
ing God and injuring man deeply by your intimacy
with Mrs. Fitzjames. It is a great sin."
Sir Owen was not only a well-bred man, he was
also, in many respects, an excellent man, and he had
his temper completely under his control. No one
would have discerned from his manner that he had
just received a straight hit between the eyes, as it
were. He paused, and then said :
" Mr. Orme, I do not allow strangers to discuss
such private matters with me. Excuse me, but I
think you are forgetting yourself."
«N — no, indeed," stammered Mr. Orme, "for some
weeks I have wished to speak to you on this point.
It is no hasty impulse. I am not forgetting myself,
for I am paid to be here for the very p — purpose of
telling people of their sins and how to g— get rid of
292 SIR OWEN AND MR. ORME.
them. Would you have me speak to the p — poor
and not to the r — rich ? "
Orme's manner was quite simple, and he looked
Sir Owen in the face. There was nothing priggish
about him, and he was too earnest to be counted
It happened that Sir Owen was not angry. He
paused, and then said :
" If you want to talk to me we will sit for a few
minutes in that seat under the oak."
" T — thank you," said Ornie, and when they had
sat down he said, " I have said what I had to say.
It is a great sin, and God calls you to put an end
" I like your courage, Mr. Orme," said Sir Owen.
*' On second thoughts I admit that from your point
of view you are not wrong to make this attack on
me. I will meet you frankly and tell you what I
have never told anyone else — that I know I am doing
wrong, and that I often think, and have been specially
thinking lately, of altering my conduct. Perhaps I
shall do so, but you have now done your duty and
need say no more. I bear you no ill will."
" Sir, I pray you not to put the matter off," said
Orme. " Every day is an offence to God and does
infinite harm to innocent men and women, making it
easier and more justifiable for them also to do wrong.
Break it off for her sake and for your own too, and
for God's sake."
" I must go, Mr. Orme," said Sir Owen, rising and
SIR OWEN AND MR. ORME. 293
holding out his hand. " Will you come and lunch
with me to-morrow ? "
"Certainly," said Orme, "but do not wait till to-
morrow to break it off."
On the morrow the two men were alone, and Orme
spoke long and freely to his host, who listened and
was evidently moved. And, though he said nothing,
he wrung his visitor's hand at parting, and said :
" Come and see me again. You ask me to do
what is almost impossible, Orme, but I will think it
over. Come and dine here on Friday, you will meet
my brother and his wife."
" Th— thank you," said Orme, " but I th— think I
w — will not come, for if you are not alone we should
talk commonplace, and that would be bad for my
p — purpose."
" Then come on Saturday, I shall be alone."
" I will come," said Orme. " Good-bye."
From this time the two men were friends, but
Orme always talked persistently on the one subject
whenever he was alone with Sir Owen.
" I know it is painful, and a bore, he said, " but I
will not talk about anything else till you have done
" I think I shall do it, Orme," said Sir Owen.
And he went to town and saw the lady, and told
her that there must be an end of their relations.
What she said to him nobody knows, but the intimacy
did not end. Mrs. Fitzjames was a fascinating, clever,
beautiful woman, and she held Sir Owen faster than
294 SIR OWEN AND MR. ORME.
he thought. Whether she used anger or pathos is not
known, and does not matter. But she kept him on,
a more or less unwilling captive.
When Sir Owen returned, Orme saw him again,
and it both surprised and pained him to find that
nothing had been done. He earnestly returned to
the old attack, and again Sir Owen, Herod-like,
" heard him gladly," wavered, and almost promised.
" I wish I could break it off. I am tired of it all,
and it wears my life out, but I cannot, I cannot.
Do not give me up, Orme. Pray for me. I want to
do this thing if I possibly can."
" There is one thing a man can always do, Sir
Owen," said Orme, " and that is Ins duty J''
A year passed in this state of vacillation. And
then an awful trial came to Orme. He was innocently
incautious in his parochial work, and as a conse-
quence of his visiting an evil woman in the village,
calumny was raised against him. No responsible
person believed it, and it would have come to nothing
if Mrs. Fitzjames had not heard of it. But she did
hear of it, and it was an opportunity both for revenge
and self-defence which, Herodias-like, she was not
disposed to lose.
She appeared on the scene, and indirectly influenced
and magnified the scandal, which again became active
and virulent. Orme knew now, for the first time in
his life, what it was to have a bitter enemy. He
called on Sir Owen, but was refused, for Mrs. Fitz-
james was staying at the Hall.
SIR OWEN AND MR. ORME. 295
" 3hall this impudent, meddling young scoundrel
dare to come here, Owen ? " said she. " Are you a
man ? After his impertinence will you back him up
in his wickedness ? I am certain that this story
about him is true. I insist in the name of common
decency on your writing to the Bishop and getting
him dismissed. I say I insist on it."
" Julia, he is as innocent of it as I am," said Sir
" I won't hear a word," replied the lady. " He
shall leave this place in disgrace if I write to the
Bishop myself. Have you no regard for me, I who
have given up everything for you ? I insist on your
writing to the Bishop,"
The end of the story is soon told. Guilty and
pestered out of his life. Sir Owen was persuaded to
write to the Bishop, and Orme was inhibited and
went abroad, dead, like John the Baptist, to his
native country henceforth.
The relations between Sir Owen Trevor and Mrs.
Fitzjames did not cease. They lived on in sin, but
all noticed that he looked wretched and grew thinner
and thinner. He sickened and died of shame in
twelve months, despised by all who knew or guessed
the truth. If Mrs. Fitzjames felt any compunction
she certainly never showed it. She flourished, and is
MY BROTHER'S FAREWELL.
A TALE RE-TOLD.
-: O :
Before he started for Canada my brother John gave
a supper to his father's tenants, in the village school-
room, and when he bid them farewell he addressed
to them the following words : —
" I leave you to-morrow, my friends. As you
know, I am going to the estates in Canada which my
father has given me. I am full of hope for you,
as well as for myself, and I am looking forward to
many of you coming out to me in Canada. You can-
not all stay where you are, and many of you have
already spoken to me of your desire to emigrate. I
am going out, as you know, purposely to see how
the land lies, and to prepare the place for you. Often
we have talked about it, and some of you have given
me your names as candidates who wish to join me.
" It is a big country that I am going to, and there
will be room for all who are fit to go. Fit, for I
want no useless, incompetent people, none who are
idle, none who are bad.
" While I am away you must work steadily to fit
yourselves for your future posts, learning to be
farmers, mechanics, workmen, labourers. Often I
have said this to you. I say it once more, for
everything depends on your exertions while I am
" Let me hear from you from time to time, and
all your letters shall be fully answered.
" To-morrow I depart, but before long I shall re-
turn, to take back with me all who have fitted
themselves for the new life in Canada."
And this is very much like what Christ has said
EASTON AND GRANT.
: O :
Do we like godless old men ?
I sometimes like godless young men, if they have
good spirits, and are generous and pleasant. But I
only like them as long as they are young. Life
spoils them. A worldly, irreligious old man is an
object of pity or dislike, but seldom of respect or
If an old man drinks or swears, there is nothing
hne about it. It only disgusts. If he is proud, or
fond of money, people give him a wide berth. And
his outlook for the next life is a blank — or w^orse.
He has had his fling, and there is nothing for him
in the future. Friends who remember his youth
and his life's work, may try to make his declining
days easy. But his life is sad, and his death is
We do not like godless old people.
How diff'erent is the feeling towards a godly old
man who has held faithfully to Christ all his life.
Even the careless and irreligious respect and admire
him, and his death is felt to be only the entrance
into a better life.
I have been pondering about two men I know.
Each is about thirty years old, unmarried, successful
in his calling, and well educated.
EASTON AND GRANT. 299
Easton is a religious man. Grant is avowedly not
It is a question which is really the best man.
Which would you rather be ?
Certainly Grant is the easiest man to like. He
talked to me quite freely about himself one day.
" I don't make any profession of religion, as Easton
does. He is a kind of sanctified fellow that I can't
stand — always turning up his eyes.
" If I am anything, I am a Protestant — at least I
am not a Roman Catholic. I respect genuine religion.
And as far as I have seen, I should say that the
best specimens of all Christian religions are pretty
much alike in their lives and characters ; so it seems
a pity that they disagree so much.
''I am outside it all. What Easton calls religion,
doesn't seem to suit men, and I don't want to be
like him, or like most of the religious men I have
" I am not against women being religious. It is
natural to them. They ought to be gentle, and soft,
and good. But in a man I like grit. Let him look
out for his interests and fight his way. Let him be
liberal and free with his money. Let him swear and
drink in moderation, if he wants to. Let him be no
slouch at his business. Let his mind be free and
his temper high. Let him enjoy life."
Grant lives up to his standard, and is liked and
loved. He talks well, reads a good deal, and is not
the slave of his passions. A pleasanter young fellow
300 EASTON AND GBANT.
I do not know. Even when he is gloomy he is good
company, and his laugh clears the air. Nearly every-
one thinks of him with pleasure and affection.
How would religion act on him ?
On the contrary, there is a great flatness about the
good and religious Easton. When he is cheerful, he
has none of Grant's spontaneousness. When he is
depressed, he is apt to be uninteresting. He will
talk with eagerness about religious work and about
doctrines, but his views have not much freshness or
originality. He is capable of doing a slightly mean
thing, which Grant would abhor the thought of
But you can rely on his sympathy and help in any
good work, which Grant would not touch with his
little finger. He always wishes to be better and
more useful than he is. He prays, he reads his
Bible. The conflict is hard and constant with him.
He is respected, but not popular.
What does God feel about these two men ? Cer-
tainly He loves them both, for He loves all whom
He has made. He knows the vigour and sincerity
and generosity of Grant's character. And He knows
the humility, the teachableness, and the self-denial
of Easton's. He knows, too, the earthliness, and god-
lessness of the first, and self-interestedness and want
of nobility in the second.
Let us look forward thirty or forty years, and see
what each man will be, if his life continue on the
EASTON AND GRANT. 301
The charms of youth will have long left them
both, and the dark river of death will not be far off.
For one it will be bridged by faith, for the other it
will look like a dark abyss.
They will be elderly men. Easton will have had
a long discipline, and it will have left him the best,
the happiest, and the most useful of the two. Men
will have learnt that they can trust his Christian rule
of life, that where he has erred he has repented and
amended. The Divine part of him will be the plainest
and the strongest when he is old. He was born unto
the Kingdom of God, and has grown up in it. His
treasure is in heaven, and he will be nearing it.
As to Grant, I cannot bear to think of the steadily-
losing ground that is before him. I fear lest in
thirty years all that we love in him may have
flowered and withered, and turned out to be only of
The faults in him, to which we are indulgent now,
will then be hateful. His powers will be going. He
never hungered after God, or desired the Spiritual
Kingdom. He loved life, and enjoyed life. And at
last it will be slipping away, leaving him old, sad,
bitter and destitute.
Which of these two men would you rather be ?
A SNUBBED ONE,
: o :
Mr. Bevington always speaks with great thankful-
ness of the Criston Conference.
He is counted as only a second-class Christian
worker, for though he is about fifty years old, he
has never done anything more remarkable than work
in a London slum, where he has built a little Mission
Hall in connection with St. Andrew's Church.
He has a small competence and a cheerful manner,
but his cheerfulness is (or was) not always quite
thorough. It is apt to look a little like the cheer-
fulness of the man who has just found a shilling and
lost eighteen pence. His Vicar says of him " If the
good little man has a fault, it is that he is rather a
bore. He is so assiduous in getting up minute
occasions in his Hall, and in wanting me to be pre-
sent, and it generally is impossible for me to go. I
quite dread that eager smile of his, and the sound of
his creaking shoes."
Mr. Bevington has a wonderful power for getting
people to address meetings in his district. I suspect
that he is used to snubs, and probably it would be
better all round if he did not try so hard to get
notable people to take the chair, for the resources of
the Hall are very limited. Even when it is crowded
it only holds a hundred persons.
A SNUBBED ONE. 303
Most people have their weaknesses, however, and
he is not the only one who exposes himself to mor-
tifications from the desire to be in touch with eminent
people. And it must be admitted that though this
desire leads through thorny ways, it is not without
its rewards. The best thing is for a man to be in
touch with his superiors as well as his inferiors and
equals. And this rule holds good in religious matters,
as well as in the cases of rank, wealth, and talent.
It must be understood at the outset of my story
that the verdict of the poor in St. Andrew's parish is
that there is nobody like Mr. Bevington. For steady
and industrious kindness, systematic visiting, and per-
severance in temperance and gospel work, there are
not many who can surpass him. And Mrs. Beving-
ton is in all ways a fit helpmeet for him — a tall,
gentle woman, ugly to the eye, but beautifully good.
He had long talked of the Criston Conference, and
planned to go to Wales for it, and you may be sure
that when he got there he went in for it thoroughly,
and conscientiously followed the advice of the leaders.
There was scarcely any fault that he did not will-
ingly suspect himself of at the bidding of any of
the speakers. After Mr. D 's beautiful address,
he owned himself a perfect Jonah for self-willed
disobedience, and, again and again, during the times
of silent prayer, he confessed that his work was "all
self." He perfectly ransacked himself in search of
secret sins, and accused himself of envy, dishonesty,
unforgivingness, lukewarmness, coldness, and even of
304 A SNUBBED ONE.
pride, ill-temper, and overbearingness. He considered
that he was guilty of them all, and that he was a
Zibah, a Micah, a Mephibosheth, an Ananias, an
Aehan, and a Lot (more).
He felt that the Conference was truly delightful
(though it was rather depressing to be convicted of
so many evil things). He heartily admired every one
of the speakers, and shuddered obediently as each
one directed his powerful telescope at the guilty
hearts and lives of the audience. " Oh, for a clean
heart like Mr. G. and the others ! " he thought.
He had always believed that they were wonderfully
good, and now he came to believe even more than
this : that they were as good as they said they were.
It really seemed as if there were no virtues which
could not be gained at Criston — or almost none.
Good temper and purity and consecration were
specially to the fore, and in some instances there
was even humility.
One thing that depressed him was the fear that the
giants of Criston did not quite take to him. He had
not expected much, but he had hoped that he might
pick up one or two recruits for his beloved Mission
Hall, which needed fresh speakers to keep the work
going. In this he almost entirely failed. Occasionally
he got the ear of someone, and began to recount the
needs and the joys of the work, but it was a some-
what abstracted attention which he usually gained,
and it generally ended in the listener's abrupt de-
A SNUBBED ONE. 305
He knew that the humble little pink reports which
he gave away so lavishly were often not even glanced
at. He picked up several that had evidently not
A hearty shake of the hand from Mr. Moody glad-
dened him for a whole day, and it always gave him
a lift to catch a sight of him on the platform, half
hidden behind the other speakers, but listening earn-
estly and happily, and sometimes with moistened eyes.
Another cheery friend who lightened his heart was
Mr. Denny, who had more than once given him help
in his need (as he has given to scores of others).
Thank God for such men, whose human sympathy
and friendliness make a warm place wherever they
go ! He looked long at some of the valiant young
men who made such a good show everywhere, and
he rejoiced greatly in their beautiful consecration,
but from them he did not succeed in getting any
friendly glances. They were in their own set, and,
as they did not want middle-aged recruits, they
behaved somewhat distantly to such outsiders as he.
When he tried to testify, someone generally testified
more loudly at the same moment, and extinguished
him. And he was unable to tell in the final praise
meeting whether the tears which wetted his cheeks
on that occasion were of joy or disappointment. He
never felt quite sure.
However, he considered that he had obediently
received the blessing "without feeling," and he was
exceedingly glad to have been at the Criston Con-
306 A SNUBBED ONE.
Moreover, the Rev. Alexander Collins, a Missionary
from Africa, had promised to come and take the
chair at his Anniversary on the 3rd of August, when
there was to be a Tea, and a great effort in Midgham
Court to " reach the masses." To get an address
from such a man was indeed a splendid point to
have gained, and he thanked God, and took courage.
As he travelled back to town he felt that it had
indeed been a grand time, and he prayed again and
again in the train that he and Mrs. Bevington might
have increased power to win souls.
The railway carriage was crowded, as it was Bank
Holiday, but that was all the better, as it gave him
an opportunity of offering his seat to a hot-looking
matron with a large, coarse bunch of flowers, who
was, in consequence of his kindness, disposed to
listen favourably when he spoke to her about spiritual
things. Besides the flowers she had with her an unat-
tractive restless little child, of about five years old, who
besides being peevish was dirty and altogether trying.
Mr. Bevington smiled kindly at the child, who re-
fused rather crossly all his advances except a ginger-
bread, and he almost regretted having pressed the
gingerbread on her as she most ingeniously used it
to increase her general unsightliness, by making a
dreadful mess of herself with it. But there was no
unkind criticism apparent when he asked the mother
very pleasantly what the little one's name was, and
the mother was evidently gratified, and replied with
pardonable pride that it was Venus Amelia. Later
A SNUBBED ONE. 307
on in the journey poor little Venus made friends
with him, and eventually went to sleep on his knee
very heavily, this was at least a comfort to the rest
of his fellow-travellers, who had found her niggling
pettishness almost more than they could endure.
Besides Venus and her mother he also talked to two
dirty young men, who, alas I proved themselves un-
satisfactory cases by saying, when they parted from
him, that they would " like to drink his health."
Getting up a Tea is rather an anxious business.
It is difficult to know how many bills should be
distributed to non-tea drinkers, so as to avoid an
empty room on the one hand, or hopeless over-crowd-
ing on the other. Mr. Bevington had also to con-
sider whether it would be well to give tickets to
such people as poor drunken Ben Stokes, who had
so often disturbed his meetings, and how the gossipy,
officious hall-keeper, Mrs. Riggins, could best be kept
in check. Sour milk had once been a difficulty, and
must be carefully guarded against if the weather
However, all went well. The room was crowded
even to standing ground, and the atmosphere told of
moist sweet cake, and unlimited greyish tea. Many
a pocket-handkerchief fanned its portly owner, and
often were heard the gently-spoken words, "Will you
sit a little closer, please." But more and more anxious
did Mr. Bevington become at Mr. Collins's non-
appearance. There were no other speakers besides
himself, his wife, and a Chm*ch Army Cadet, who
308 A SNUBBED ONE.
was a capital young fellow for helping all round,
but scarcely equal to the post of principal speaker
on such a great occasion. However, as Mr. Collins
had said that he might be a few minutes late, Mr.
Bevington would not let himself be seriously alarmed,
and when the tea was cleared away and all were in
their places, he gave out No. 281 in the Church Army
Hymn Book, and Mrs. Bevington began to drum
through the tune on the little wheezy, useful, old
At this moment a dire sight met his anxious eyes
— a boy in uniform bearing a letter whose envelope
was of that lurid orange hue, which we all know so
well. Almost breathlessly he opened it, and read the
following words : " Extremely sorry, but detained at
Manchester for Consecration Meeting. Remembering
you in prayer."
A mist came over his eyes, and his head swam.
He had all along expected a disappointment, but now
that it came it seemed impossible to endure it. He
bowed his head with an almost dazed feeling, but as
the harmonium ceased, and the people rose to sing
the opening hymn, he, too, rose mechanically.
Then came the burst of voices —
"Head of the Church triumphant,
We joyfully adore Thee ;
Till Thou appear,
Thy members here,
Shall sing like those in glory.
We lift our hearts and voices,
A SNUBBED ONE. 309
With blest anticipation,
And cry aloud,
And give to God,
The praise of our Salvation."
With eyes that were misty with teiii'S he looked
towards the empty chair which stood behind the
little table with the Bible and the tumbler of water.
And, lo ! it was not empty.
He never told anyone except his wife, but he told
her that he saw there a glorious Person clad in
shining white raiment, with deep pathetic eyes, and
a brow of spotless purity. Was it only a vision ? To
his surprise, the expression of the face was not sad
or reproachful, but joyful. Slowly the heavenly Visit-
ant's gaze passed over the whole audience, not one
missed the look of love, even poor drunken Ben and
tiresome Mrs. Riggins had their share of it. And all
the time the wounded hands were raised in blessing.
But the people knew it not.
Last of all He looked at Mr. Bevington, and in the
midst of the singing there was surely heard a voice
like the sound of many waters, which said to him,
" Blessed art thou Michael Bevington, thou hast been
faithful over a few things. Be thou partaker of the
joy of Thy Lord. Behold I am with thee always."
Then came the last words of the hymn —
"And if Thou count us worthy,
We each with dying Stephen
Shall see Thee stand
At God's right hand
To call us up to Heaven."
310 A SNUBBED ONE.
With these words the Vision faded from mortal
sight, though surely Christ remained in the little hall.
The audience only knew that a flood of blessing
tilled the place that evening, that many souls hungered
after Christ, and that some received Him.
Mr. Bevington actually forgot even to allude to Mr.
Collins's absence, and nobody asked a question about
it. He himself gave the principal address. It was
partly about Criston and its teachings, but chiefly
about his dearest Master and Saviour.
And I think the man who knows that the Lord
stands beside him as Guest and Friend, will never
mind being " a snubbed one."
ROSE AND HARRIS, PRINTERS, BRISTOL.
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