« PredošláPokračovať »
sealed. Not in the sweetness of home joys, not his light! And from Victoire: her François has in the pleasures of social intercourse, not in the escaped the dangers of the war, and they are ties of human love and earthly friendship, must I about to be married. The cottage in which they seek my portion now. But with the sick, the are to live is, I know, a large one, so I have sorrowful, and the suffering; by the bedside of written to ask her to take in poor Pierre; and, the dying, in the homes of the bereaved and the for Barbe's sake, she will be glad to do so. stricken. And then she would sigh, and press
Karl tells me I shall have from the remnants her sweet lips to mine, and look tenderly at me of my father's property what will remunerate her through the gathering tears in her large dove- and provide for my own needs. They will like eyes; but cease to urge me. And now she few while I am with him and Thekla, and when contents herself with lavishing even tenderer I leave them to tread the path marked out for thought and care than usual, if that be possible,
such as me. upon me at such times.
At least I think it is such-though I know So almost daily, as my strength permits, I go not how it is—that there seems less of power to the work that awaits me by the narrow beds and blessing in my work of late to me and to of the crowded hospital wards, or in lowly homes those whom I seek to help. Not that I am of suffering and sorrow; and perhaps when I am weary of it, except as I am weary of everything quite strong again I may be able to devote myself at times. Well, I must wait; one step at a time wholly to it. Karl and Thekla will not hear of is all we need to see. that, so I am waiting, and the Lord knows best. And now my story is told. I clasp once more I have only to follow where he leads.
the book opened in bitterness, closed in thankOne great pleasure my visits to the hospital fulness, if still in weariness and pain. Should gave me.
In the convalescent ward I met a other eyes than mine read these pages, they may familiar face—that of poor, awkward, true-hearted turn coldly from their perusal, deerning them Blaise. He had been taken prisoner and wounded, narrow and egotistical. If they do, I have failed but was then recovering fast. His pleasure at in the purpose for which I traced them. If I seeing me was only equalled by his grief at hear- have dwelt too exclusively on my personal history, ing of the desolation of the old chateau, and of it is that, and that only, I purposed to record, poor Barbe's death. He even wished to stay in that alone I could; therefore I have naturally Munich for my sake; but one brother had fallen, been egotistical, and my eyes liave been too much another was crippled, thus he would be the sole blinded with tears to see beyond the little space support of liis widowed mother, and I, of course, that formed my world. That makes the narroirneeded no servant. So, soon after, he left for his home, near the ruins of what had been mine. But to myself, at least, the writing all this has
To his charge I confided all that remained to been a comfort and a blessing; if it has made me in Drécy-my graves. He will tend them the aching wounds bleed afresh, it has taught well, for the sleepers' sakes and mine. And some me to value more the tender touch of the hand day, when time shall have brought a measure of that binds them up, the love that falls on their strength and healing to my heart, I may bear to throbbing like healing balm. Oh! that it might visit them once more. Perhaps. Why should I? lead some other sore wounded heart and fainting Yet the spot from whence that precious clay shall spirit to trust their case to the great Physician, rise at last must ever be a sacred one to me. To the only Physician that can minister to the the rest Karl will attend.
wounds and sicknesses of these throbbing, fevered Soon after the return home of Blaise, I heard hearts of ours ! from Father Fontaine. Poor old man, he writes What I have sought and wished to show has with fatherly kindness, sadly bewailing the been only this—how out of darkness, and through changes and bereavements this year of strife has darkness, light has come into my soul; how in brought to the simple and happy home-hearths sorrow, darker and keener than the bitterness of of Drécy. God comfort him and lead him into death, that light is enough. And it is enough.
With it I am content. There are dark hours , lingers still. One winter by the bed on which our still — like the one on the triumph-day, when I darling Thekla lay. For long weeks we watched began these records of "the way the Lord hath her in the border land, but God gave her back to led me”—when the waves of memory and pain ours; and in these still solemn vigils I learned rush in like a flood. But the light shines soon new lessons. upon the dark waters, and illuminates their One was that it was my own path I was gloon. I would not change the steep lonely choosing, not the one the Lord had appointed path of sorrow with that light overhead for the me, when I spoke of leaving the home and friends fairest pathway lighted only by earthly sunshine. he had given me. I saw that because I could Truly the flesh is weak, and will cast lingering not have the earthly blessings I wanted, I refused looks of longing and regret after the lost presence those he had poured into my cup. Since then I that, to its short-sighted gaze, seems so unmingled have taken them from his loving hands. a blessing, so needed a help. But the Spirit It may be he will have my service for him to knows there was a "need be;" and leaning in be the lowly unmarked ministry of household humble trust on the heart that was broken for love. If so, I am willing to watch by the my sake, clasping the pierced hand that leads me common wayside of daily life, and take, hour by on to the rest above, I press on to the land where hour, from his eye and hand the work he will death and parting are no more, where the tears have me do; to work or to wait; ready to go are wiped away for ever. There already my and tell of him without to the sick and suffering sweet mother's broken heart is healed in the full when he sends me, or to sit quiet at his feet. sunshine of that love that knows no change, there Thekla has indeed been a sister and Karl a nor here; there my beloved father's tried spirit brother to me, and the baby hands of their little is at rest in the clear shining of the light that Conrad are twined very closely round my heart. has no cloud ; there my Conrad lives still, in the It was Thekla's wish he should bear that name. presence and likeness of Him whom not having To me at first it was a pang to hear it spoken seen he loved—whom he indeed adored and fol- lightly, for to me there could be but one Conrad; lowed below as “ the chief among ten thousand, but Thekla ivished it: and he has his new name and altogether lovely;" there too is Barbe with the Good Shepherd now, her every want sup- Their love is very sweet to me, and I write plied.
myself desolate no more. Health has come back For them it is well!-oh, how well! And for to my frame, and I can smile again. People me-led by the same hand, watched by the same speak of an earthly future yet in store for me. love, cheered by the same presence-well too. I am so young, they say, and time is a strong The little while of time is passing; Jesus is healer. I know they think of another love and coming; and, listening for his coming feet, I can a new home, but they are wrong. My heart is wait, I am content.
as fully, entirely, unchangeably Conrad's now as it was before I knew it on the terrace-walks anıl
on the mountain-side at Drécy; as it was when CHAPTER XXV.
I watched by his dying bed, and stood alone and CLEAR SHINING AFTER RAIN.
desolate by his new-made grave. “Soon, and for ever, the breaking of day
And so it will ever be-ever, always. When Shall chase all the night clouds of sorrow away ; Soon, and for ever, we'll see as we're seen,
the door of my heart opened to admit Conrad, it And learn the deep meaning of things that have been.
closed upon him, and he fills its inner sanctuary Where fightings without, and conflicts within, Shall weary no more in the warfare with sin ;
still. No touch but his will ever find the secret Where tears, and where fears, and where death shall be never, Christians with Christ shall be soon, and for ever."
of the spring, for to me he is not dead but gone
before. A YEAR or more has passed since I wrote the last And I am happy even here, with a calm restof these pages. Two summers spent in the scenes ful peace born of sorrow. Happy in the abiding in which, to us who loved him, Conrad's presence presence and unfailing love of my Lord, in the
blessed knowledge of the perfect rest and peace one tone from his silenced voice. Moments when in which my beloved ones are dwelling, and in nothing seems worth having without the quenched the bright hope of meeting them where death, and light of his eye and smile. But Jesus comforts pain, and tears, and sorrow are unspoken words. me even then. I remember the tears that flowed Happy, too, in the love and kindness of the friends from those holy eyes at the grave of Lazarus, and dear ones with whom my life below is cast, and my heart turns to him with ever the same and in the sure trust that the seed sown in tears plea, “Lord, thou knowest.” And waiting for will be reaped in joy, when the sheaves are gar- our meeting above, I sorrow not without hope. nered in the glory of the morning without clouds. When I last wrote in this book I finished with,
Still there are times when my heart grows “I am content.” Now I conclude, “I am faint with longings for one sound of my Conrad's happy.” Sorrowing, and yet rejoicing. Yes; I parted footstep, one clasp of his vanished hand, am happy!
MY FIRST SIGHT OF DEATH.
were clad in all the glory of full foliage, we were told that she was very ill, and that we must be and the fields were green and dewy and full of life. To noiseless all through the house. We heard the moans me the whole world seemed glad and happy, and in per- of her distress as mother bent over her in her little bed. fect sympathy with the boyish gladness and happiness Those moans are even now in my ears, for they were the of my own heart. The deep blue of the sky, the living first I ever heard from human lips. Pearl was ill infreshness of the earth on that morning, still stand out deed; but all that a mother's love and a father's anxious in my memory. They are to me, by reason of a startling care could do would be done. Skill and love were at contrast, a part of the everlasting past.
hand. We children did not so much as think of death. Death was often named among us children, but as Next morning we were called early to the sick-chansomething with which we had nothing to do. It was a ber. Poor Pearl was struggling with death. Poor thing of fear, happily far off. Others might die, but child ! my sister! I see thee even now-thy little hands surely the King of Terrors would not come to break beseeching help, thy large eyes dazzlingly bright, thy little our little circle. Least of all would we fear his coming bosom heaving with sore distress. The scene was as in these bright summer days, when exuberant life tri- strange to her as to any of us all; and I am sure that umphed everywhere. Death was like a shadow of un- she felt in her heart something of the wild questionings known horror-cold, awful, but at an unspeakable dis- | that trouble us when we are old, for her face appeared tance; and it would have to travel long years before to me older by many years, and having far other meanit should come to smite any one of us. So we thought. ings in it than it seemed one day before. Did she ask Our catechism taught us to say, “I may die the next why all this pain--this agony? Why should she have moment;" but these were words, mere words, to us. to fight the last fight so soon? Was there no ear to Were not father and mother loving and strong and wise ? | hear, no eye to pity, no hand to help? Such seemed Could they not keep death at bay ? Surely they could the meaning of her look of imploring anguish. do so, as they themselves had lived in spite of death! Father knelt in silent prayer. We could see the So we argued whenever the grim shadow crossed our trickling tears; we could hear the sobbing of the storm little, innocent minds. We did not hate death, for it of grief with which he struggled. Mother was busy, was too far away to excite any other feeling than mys- with pale cheek and tearful eye, in attempts to lighten terious awe.
the suffering of our poor little Pearl. She had not time But in one of those calm, sunny summer days, our to weep; or her heart was too sorely tried to find relief little Pearl, the youngest of us all, got weary of her play. in tears. Her ruddy cheeks grew pale, her breathing became quick We stood by the bed-side, and suddenly there was a and short, and she asked us to help her home to mother's | pause in our little Pearl's sufferings. She looked at us
We did so, and then felt sure that all was safe with a smile of ineffable sweetness. I was close to her, and right; that in an hour or two, or, at furthest, on the and she laid hold on my hand. I still remember that next morning, our little Pearl would be among us again, grasp. She called our names; and we all spoke to her, with her pleasant, baby ways, her large, dark eyes, and from the depths of our childish hearts, pleading with her radiant smile. So we continued happy, happy in her to be “ well.” She fastened her luminous eyes on the sunshine, enjoying life in its sweetest season, and I us, and formed her pale lips to the word “Good-bye;"
and then a strange change came all at once over her. us how our little Pearl was perfectly happy in heavenHer face became white as snow. Her lips smiled with how she would not be sick any more, or die any more. a quiet, unchanging smile, and her eyes were almost as. But how could she be in heaven and in the dark ground if she were asleep. She was free from pain now, as she, in the churchyard ? This, by-and-by, we came to underlay with white face on the white pillow. She was very stand as children could. We were told the difference quiet; and we children were very glad, for we were sure between soul and body before this time, but the words she would soon be quite well again, and able to join us had little meaning for us. Now the thought was as a in our play. But mother weeps as if her heart should bright light amid gloom and darkness. The soul of our break; and father is speaking tenderly to her with Pearl was in heaven with the angels, enjoying their love broken words, while his own tears are falling. Then we and the love of God; it was only the body that was in saw that our Pearl was indeed dead !
the grave. Mother showed us her little dresses, and Dead! Can it be that death is stronger than the said that Pearl's dresses were not Pearl, and in like minister and the doctor, than our father and mother ? manner her body was not herself; it was only her clothIt must be so, for our little Pearl is dead. We laid our ing, to be worn till death should come and call the soul hands on her face, and we found that it was cold. We away. So we saw that death was the parting of soul took her little hands in ours; they were stiff and icy and body. It was a reality to us now, but we did not chill. Death was never among iis before, and so we dread it as we did before it brought that peace and that tried to think of it as very awful. But it was not awful. deep rest to our poor suffering Pearl. That smile on her white face was lovely. That perfect Sorrow sits lightly on youth. We soon ceased to weep stillness of little hands and feet showed that she was at for our Pearl, but we never forgot her. And to us all rest. Every feature and every limb told of deep repose, she was ever young and beautiful; a treasure in the and seemed to us a sleep marred by no pain, darkened treasure-house of memory, losing nothing through the by no trouble. So we could not continue to think that lapse of years. She has come to me thus young and death was awful. It seemed kinder than the cruel sick- fair and sorrowless every sunny day of all the summers ness that made our poor Pearl moan so sadly a few hours I have seen. The fragrance of the dewy fields, the before. We could not then tell why father and nother waving of the grass under the gentle pressure of the grieved as they did over the calm, long, silent slumber breeze, the fulness of life and loveliness in earth and of our little sister. All that bright summer day we tried sky, all carry me back to that memorable day when I to see the meaning of death, and we could not. For saw death for the first time and tried to know the meanthat matter, it is but little that the oldest knows more ing of it. All remind me of our Pearl in her distress than the youngest; yet that little has to be learned and her subsequent everlasting rest. There is sorrow amid sighs and tears.
in the recollection, but not so much as there is in it of On the next day we had our last look of our darling wonder, and trust, and love. Death was lovely, was Pearl. We kissed her, and her face was as cold as a stone. beautiful, in this its first revelation to my thoughts ; it There was the same smile on her lovely lips, and the became associated with happy childhood relieved from dimples were still in her white cheeks. Fresh flowers, great suffering, with the glory of summer, with endless rose-buds, lilies-of-the-valley, daisies, and forget-me-nots, rest, with angelic existence, and with a rising again were on her bosom and in her folded hands. She was from the dead.
Ever since that summer day I have not thought of fit to go and be with God's good angels for ever. death as the King of Terrors to childhood or to those
They told us, indeed, that she was already an angel who, through Jesus Christ, have become like little chilin heaven. We could not tell how that could be while dren, "for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” It is well, she was with us, still smiling, still sleeping. More than I think, that the youthful imagination should not be led ever were we troubled to know their meaning when they to paint death as the most terrible of foes, but should closed the coffin on her sweet face, and shut her eyes be trained to associate with it the thought of eternal from the sunlight and her ears from the song she was life, eternal rest, escape from all peril, deliverance from wont to love so well. We were then told she would not all evil. It is sin that lends all its terrors to death; waken any more till the last day, when Jesus Christ and if we transfer to sin the title of King of Terrors, we would call us all from our graves. We were told that do well. Saints and apostles have died; the best, the our Pearl must be hidden in the dark ground, where we loveliest die ; infants die. All must become acquainted should see her no more. And men came and took her with death. Is it not worth while to make friends with little coffin away, and father went with them, and we it? I do not mean that we should try to meet death besought him to bring her home again after the men with Roman courage or with Stoic indifference. There should put her into the grave. But he wept, and said, is a better way open to men ever since Jesus died. We “My children, I cannot-I cannot."
may now, like little children, throw ourselves on the They took her away, and we lost sight of her ever- boson of the infinite Father, saying, “ Father, into thy more. Then our sorrow began, and we thought we hands I commit my spirit.” For God receives all who knew why father and mother wept at first. They told come to him like little children, trustful, humble, will
lovelier than ever; and we felt sure that she was quite 5
ing to go as he leads the way. "Jesus teaches us how time that I were not afraid to die; and if fear dues to overcome the fear of death and death itself.
come, it is chiefly physical, “natural;" and I try to Since my first sight of death's work I have seen many overcome it, and attain to the trustful simplicity of sore battles with this last enemy; some very sad in their early years. end, and some triumphant beyond the power of pen to Our Pearl was younger than I wben she was taken tell. Some again were mild and meek through the up from us. She was taken to the high school: I have whole struggle, feeling that the battle was not theirs, had to work my way in this lower, barsher school. I am but that the Captain of their salvation was fighting for growing old; she is clothed with immortal youth. Ah, them and was sure to win. They knew that, left to how much wiser is she now than the wisest of us all! their own resources, there would not be a gleam of hope Death was the means of her sudden promotion; may it for them in the wide universe, but now they knew in not prove to me also a messenger from God to summon “whom they believed." The cases of horror that I have me to that highest school for his rational creatures ? seen were few and exceptional. On the whole, the im- And if the messenger come suddenly, so much greater pression I received on that summer day, when our Pearl should be my joy. was taken from us, has been confirmed by the observa- Nova Scotia tion and experience of every succeeding year. It is high
Preached at London (Stockwell), March 2nd, 1873. "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it." -Lyke xix. 41 N submitting this discourse to our readers, | WHOEVER has seen the city of Edinburgh, either by
we have two distinct objects in view. In day or night, if he be a lover of the picturesque, will be the first place, we desire to exhibit and able to appreciate almost any terms of admiration which
place on record an eloqnent, fervid, dis- may be expressed upon the spectacle. It is questioncriminating, and suggestive-eulogy on Dr. Guthrie. Over able if the world contains another city more " beautiful and above the merit of the discourse, and the character for situation.” The passenger along the chief thoroughof its subject, the circumstance that an Englishman fare of modern Edinburgh has upon one side of him a spontaneously comes forth to honour the name and long vista of a mile of stately buildings, where sumptuapplaud the work of one who was a Scotchman of the ous bijouterie and tasteful wares are temptingly dispread Scotch, attracts and cheers our hearts. The frank, in rich profusion; and upon the other a green garden geverous enthusiasm of Mr. Mursell constitutes a monu- glade, carpeting the base of the huge rock from which ment to himself, as well as to the object of his admira- | the castle frowns defiantly, and seems to flash a Brucetion. It brings out, in full relief, the meaning of the like glance fronı its battlements, and shake the plume word, “One is your master, and all ye are brethren." of Wallace from its walls. Each step along the way is
Our next ohject is to call attention to the series in a gradus of the national history, and the children seen which the discourse appears. A course of original ser- to grow tender and romantic as they romp where Wilson mons of the highest class, issuing monthly in fine typo- beams in bronze and rest where Scott sits in stone. graphy, at the price of a penny each, is a new thing Passing the National Museum, which recalls the Par: even in this age. Judging from the four numbers thenon of Greece, the pillars of the monuments of the already published, we should say the annual subscribers mighty, on the Calton Hill
, stand out against the sky. will have a very great shilling's worth. Partly on ac- light and close in the vista. There, round the Nelson count of the subjects chosen-mainly recent, stirring, Tower, cluster memorials of Burns, of Playfair, and of historic events—and partly from the vigour with which Dugald Stewart, and of other names of which their they are treated, the “Catholic Sermons” are eminently countrymen and the world are proud. While, to the readable literature. Here are no stagnant pools, but right, the crags and the prouder peak of Arthur Seat running, leaping streams. The philosophers, whom we couch, lion-like, over the city roofs. It is a stiff and love and respect as fellow-labourers, had better look to breezy climb to the summit of that historic hill. But their laurels; for the pulpit, in this style, is certainly Scotia's sons are hardy, and many a doughty wight has not a thing to be despised. The “pulpit” (we mean scaled it ere the town has been awake, and watched the the moral, not the material article) has not gone down sunrise from its brow. It needs no guide to show how yet: we rather think it is looking up.- Editor. like a drowsy lion the great hill is in outline, with its
half-closed cyes blinking at the castle across the city to * " Catholic Sermons." No. III. London : Edward Curtice,
the west. Among these early climbers there was wont 12 Catherine Street; F. Pitman, 20 Paternoster Row.
to sally, years ago, one stalwart pilgrim, who went there