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pressing his hand to his brow_" failing as I His hands were clasped upon it, and as the light am failing ; now that this life lies behind me, of the study-lamp fell full upon his upturned the question rises if the parting testimony of countenance, it looked to me like that of some those two votaries of a faith I have rejected and saint or martyr I had seen in old paintings. scorned, was indeed the delusion I deemed it- Such a depth and intensity of devotion, such if there may not really be another life before me; earnest passion of feeling, such an expression of --and reason cannot answer it. Ah ! Léonie, I holy love and peace ! I thought it reflected a have leant on a broken staff, and now I have no beam of the same light that had illumined my support in the dark valley—the valley to me in-dying mother's. One moment I gazed, not deed,” he whispered as to himself, "of darkness more-it seemed profanation even to do that, and the shadow of death."
but surprise and wonder, and a rush of undefined I could not answer. I had no words of hope and tumultuous feelings, held me motionless that or help. And my heart died away within me as brief space. Then I turned and glided swiftly he spoke. Never before, in any way, had he
in any way, had he and noiselessly away. alluded to his approaching death; not even to the Captain von Edelstein is in the library,” I wasting of his mental and bodily powers, so said, as my father looked inquiringly at my empty surely betokening it. I knew the bitter truth hands. “I will listen for his going up to his too well. But this seemed to strike it home room-he must pass this door, so I shall hear to my heart with terrible clearness of realization. him ; then I can get the book.” It could make no real difference—it could not I had not long to wait. A light, firm step bring the dreaded time actually nearer—but I came up the stairs in a few minutes—passed the think the embodiment in words of some secret door and died away down the corridor. Then I long-concealed hope or fear always comes as a shock. heard the closing of his bedroom door, and taking
I sat there pale and silent, while my father lay up my candle, went once more to the library. lost in troubled thought.
As the hours wore The lamp had been extinguished, and by the grew feverish and restless, and tossed un- dim light I carried I found it difficult to select easily on his pillow.
I tried in vain every the volume I required from the dark rows of remedy I could think of. It was rather the mind books in similar bindings. At length I sucthan the body that needed ministering to. I ceeded in doing so. It was a large, heavy book, offered to read to him, thinking he might fall and in drawing it down from the high shelf it asleep as I did so. At first he refused, saying overpowered me, and fell with considerable noise. he was too restless to listen, but afterwards asked As I raised it in my arms and turned towards me to fetch one of the books of a favourite author the door, I found myself face to face with Captain from the library, and read a few passages which von Edelstein. He had returned for something #ere haunting his memory, while he could not he had left in the hall, and had been attracted to accurately recall them, bidding me first listen if the library by the noise of the falling book. all was still.
The book had nearly had a second fall, as I I knew the soldiers had long before gone to started with surprise at the unexpected encounter. their sleeping apartments, but paused a few I had been too much engrossed by my occupation moments at the chamber door to satisfy him. to notice his approaching footsteps. All was still, and taking a candle in my hand, "Pardon, Mademoiselle Léonie ; is anything I quickly descended the stairs. Occupied with the matter—anything wrong ?” he exclaimed, my mournful thoughts, I had reached the library glancing anxiously at my agitated face.“ Your door before I perceived it to be partly open and father ? ” lighted up. I stopped short, glancing fearfully
"No; thanks," I replied. “My father could through it, but saw to my relief it was tenanted not sleep, and I came for a book from which be solely by Captain von Edelstein.
wishes me to read some passages to him. I let He was seated at a table full in view ; a book it fall in reaching it down.” lay open before him, but he was not reading then. “ It is too heavy for you, let me take it;" and
suiting the action to the word, he relieved me He ceased speaking, but his words—not his from what was really a burden to my trembling words, indeed, but his Master's—came like balm
“You look pale and weary, mademoiselle," to my weary, sorrowful spirit; the load of despairhe continued compassionately; "these night-ing helplessness was lifted from my heart. watches are too much for you !”
“Let me take these up for you now," he said, “Oh!” I said, “it is not always so ; but my taking up the candle and book from the table father is restless and uneasy to-night, and I could on which he had placed them, and preceding me not leave him."
up the stairs, saying as he gave them into my “I fear I and my soldiers are to blame for this, hands at my father's door, “Good-night once then,” he replied; “your father seems very ill, more, Mademoiselle Léonie. I trust you will mademoiselle. You have much to bear. It grieves soon be able to seek the rest you look so much me to the heart to add to your burden."
in need of. The Lord Jesus says, • Come unto The look and tone of deep, heartfelt sympathy, Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I the gentle, respectful tenderness of manner with will give you rest.' which these words were spoken, was the one drop Slowly, earnestly, tenderly he repeated these too much in the already overflowing cup. I sank words. I could only answer by a look-I dared into a chair, and the tears that had been gather- not trust my voice—tears were too near, and I ing in my heart through those long quarter-hours might not shed them there. I found my father that had sounded to my fancy like knells of more composed; he had not heard the sounds departing hope and happiness, as they were rung below, so I did not allude to what had passed out by the little clock on my father's mantelpiece, I brought the lamp to his side, and he pointed burst forth. Very much annoyed, and ashamed out the chapters he wished me to read. But of myself and them, I struggled violently but before I had turned many pages I saw he had vainly to restrain them. I had been wrought up dropped asleep, and having placed everything to too high a pitch of endurance, and now nature he might require at hand, I left him, for he had would have her way. Captain von Edelstein not for some weeks past needed night-watching. gently took the candle from my hand, placed it on Once in my own room, I sat down to think the table, and stood by in silence.
over that day's strange and startling incidents. After a few minutes I raised my head, and Still more over the words of hope and comfort tried to excuse the weakness which had caused Captain von Edelstein had spoken to me that me to make such an inopportune display of feel night.. A great pang shot through my heart as ing—before a stranger, too—but my quivering I realized that he too saw death's shadow on my lips refused their office.
father's brow-else why had he spoken of God as Then he spoke, very quietly and soothingly. the “ Father of the fatherless ” ? But in the “Mademoiselle, I can understand it all. Do not depths of my sinking spirit, a ray of hope glimgrieve that you have shown me your sorrow. I mered faintly. Very faintly; thick clouds lowered
I read it before. Forgive me if I intrude my everywhere, above-around—within. All was sympathy, but I read it but to feel with you. I yet dark. But God had heard my cry. Yes; cannot help you—nay, it is my grief to know he must have done so ! In my sore need and I am the most unwilling means of adding to your distress that evening, he had sent me help. trial. But there is One who can. Does made- Would he not be a Helper still ? The calm moiselle know that One ? 'The Father of the words of unshaken confidence, “He is never fatherless—even God in his holy habitation ?'” sought in vain—you will find him," cheered my
I shook my head, bụt my tears ceased. trembling soul like a cordial. And those parting
“Then seek him, mademoiselle,—take your words—the words that he said were spoken by sorrow to him. He is the Helper of the helpless the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Ah ! were they
very present help in trouble.' He is not just for me? Weary and heavy laden I was never sought in vain. You will find him. To indeed. I cast myself on my knees beside my him I commend you !"
little bed, and He who reads “the heart's unspoken
Of Jesus and his love.
language” heard and answered. Feeble, broken the new thoughts and hopes kindled by Conrad prayers--cries for help and mercy and light-a von Edelstein's words. rain of tears and tempest of sobs! I knew not While I was thus engaged, I saw him come what to ask, or how. “Lord, I come to thee- out of the house and walk down the garden path. help me-teach me--give me light !" were all He did not see me; I was concealed bebind a the words I could utter. But I rose calmed and mass of shrubs. As I looked after him I saw comforted, and lay down to sleep with a more him take a book from his pocket, turn over the restful spirit than I had had for long anxious pages, and begin to read, as he paced slowly weeks.
along. My first impulse was to turn and go
back to the house, my second to remain where I CHAPTER X.
He might not see me; but if he did, why
should I shrink from meeting him ? Did I not THE OLD, OLD STORY.
feel sure that he had the treasure I so earnestly "It is the old, old story Of unseen things above,
desired for myself ? And did not his manner Of Jesus and his glory,
last night prove he was anxious that I should
find the light in which he so evidently dwelt ?
So I stayed.
For some time it appeared as though he was
American Hymn. too much occupied with his book even to look up, The glorious sunshine to which I opened my and I began to feel restless and disappointed. eyes next morning, was the precursor of a week But after a few long, slow turns up and down the of golden autumn weather. Looking back upon path, he laid it on the parapet of the low stone wall, that week, I feel how emblematic it was of that and looked over it upon the fair scene around, phase of my life! Earthly hopes—earthly joys glittering in the dewy freshness of the early -fading, indeed, but only more beautiful in their morning. Then he turned towards the house and departing brightness—the sun of earthly happi- garden, and his gaze fell on me.
He came ness shining with a passing radiance—soon, oh, forward at once, with outstretched hand and so soon! to be veiled in thick clouds of wintry frank, pleasant smile. gloom. Ah! how pleasant were those days—an “You are early, mademoiselle, after your late oasis in the wilderness of life !
watching last night ; I trust you are rested. I “ When I took my father his early cup of see this bright morning has brought the roses chocolate, I found him greatly revived. He had into bloom again,” he said, looking at the cheeks slept well
, and appeared brighter and stronger. | which grew still more like the flowers in question There had been wonderfully little to betoken the under the smiling admiration of his frank blue great increase that our quiet family had received eyes. “I am glad of it. They had given place to the previous day. Very early, before daybreak, lilies last night. But your father, mademoiselle, — the distant tramp of heavy footsteps had re- I trust he too is rested and refreshed ?" sounded through the house—but now all was Yes, thank you ; he has slept well, and quiet as usual. It was the hour I gener.lly seems better this morning. But he is sadly gave to my favourite work-gardening; and the weak." morning sunshine lay temptingly on the beds "Yes," he answered, “I see it;" and then still brilliant with late blossoming flowers. I paused. looked out longingly. All was quiet. From the But those simple words, spoken in a tone staircase window I could see almost to the which evidenced such
concerned combottom of the last terrace. I thought I might prehension of what they implied to me, were venture. A look through a back window decided almost too much—they very nearly opened the me. Through it I saw the soldiers busy with flood-gates again. The better to conceal and their horses and accoutrements in the stable yard. conquer my agitation, I turned to my work. I I was soon among my flowers, my mind full of had been trying to tie up the branch of a Cape
honeysuckle that had broken loose from the arch feared too fondly, in the midst of danger and to which it had been trained. It was large and suffering, made her trial doubly bard. strong, and resisted my efforts to bend it to its “But she has her mother to comfort her," I said. place. Captain von Edelstein at once volunteered
His face lighted up as he assented, and then bis assistance, and before I at all knew how it he spoke of that mother. Almost unconsciously, was, he had twisted it into its place, and mounted as we talked, I had complied with his request on some rockwork at the side, while I handed to leave the narrow paths between the flowerhim up list, hammer, and nails to secure it. It beds for the broader garden walks. There was took some time to do so; meanwhile he talked so an inexpressible charm in bis manner, an inpleasantly and naturally that my tears and shy- describable something that irresistibly drew out ness were alike forgotten.
perfect trust and confidence. I never can tell how " Turning gardener makes me feel at home it was, but presently I found myself speaking of again,” he said, with a smile that was not all glad- my own dead mother ; and then-led on step by
And that introduced the subject of his step by his quick sympathy and ready comprehome. He spoke of his mother in terms of such hension, by gentle encouragement of eye and deep reverential affection, that I ceased to wonder voice-of myself, of my own heart-struggles. such a mother should have such a son. But first I told him all my fears for my father-for myself he talked of his home—the old house in Munich ; —my yearnings after the light I knew not how and of the little country-seat, half villa, half farm, to seek. I concluded by saying, -“Captain von with its orchards and large rambling garden, Edelstein, I think you have that light; can you where the merry summers of his boyhood were tell me how I can find it—where I can seek it?" spent, and to which the family still loved to I know I looked up to him with all my soul in resort for many months in the year, and where he
my eyes. and his sister rambled and gardened together. Very soft and beautiful was the light in his as Once he stopped, and half-apologized for troubling he met them, and answered in the same deep quiet me with trifles that could interest me so little, tone that had sent such a thrill of hope through though they were so much to him. But on my me the night before,—“Yes, mademoiselle ; thank begging him to continue, and assuring him of my God, I can. The light you need is Christ-you deep interest, he admitted that it was very sweet must seek it in him, through him, by him. In to have some one to speak to of home, after so him, for he is "the light of the world;" through many long weeks of thinking of it only.
him, for he is the only channel of blessing between Then he told me of his only and much-loved us and God- the " one Mediator between God sister Thekla, and I seemed to see her, with her and men ;' by him, for it is by him alone you can laughing dark eyes and bright piquant face-not even be conscious of your darkness—much less beautiful, yet winning in its arch sweetness ; but desire the light: you do desire it, and “ Christ now, he said sadly, it must bear an expression it will give you light.” Very slowly he spoke, dwellwas hard to think of it wearing, -anxiety and ing with marked emphasis on the words that were trouble, and the sickness of hope deferred—not not his.but God's—pausing before and after them. for his sake only, but for her betrothed, Karl Stranger as I was to those golden words, I Erhardt, who had been missing since one of the felt their power, and half divined their source, first skirmishes before Paris. It was supposed recognizing at once the allusion to the he had been taken prisoner—his body had not Mediator as one of my mother's sentences. been found among the slain—but no tidings of “But how can I—where can I-find him, seek him bad been received for long weary weeks; and bim?" I asked. Thekla's letters, which had at first been, like her- He made no reply for a moment. Then, as self, bright and hopeful, were growing sad and des- we reached the path that led to the spot on the ponding. She was unused to sorrow, her life had wall where he had laid down the book he had been all brightness till that terrible war broke been reading, he took my hand and drew me out; and the absence of the brother she loved, he towards it.
Taking up the book, he placed it in my " Then believe him. Listen to his own words: hands, saying, “ Mademoiselle Léonie-here, and 'If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do here only.” It was a German Bible.
it.' 'Him that cometh unto me, I will in no “But I have no Bible," I said;“oh, that I had!” wise cast out.'” Raising his cap, he left me.
"Would you read it if you had ? You know, I had no time then to examine the treasure he your Church and priests forbid it."
had entrusted to my keeping. I had already re“Ah, yes; but—but-oh! Captain von Edel- mained longer from my father than I had intended; stein, the Church in which I have been brought it wanted little more than an hour till lunch-time, up does not-cannot satisfy the soul's hunger; and I generally read to him for that period. I it gives but chaff in place of the bread of life. My therefore ran to my room, and carefully putting mother forsook the Bible for it, and it broke her away the book, joined my father. But not before heart and blighted her life; she turned to the I had knelt for a few moments and poured out Bible again at the last, and it gave her a light in my heart's need and desire before Him of whom the darkness of death itself. And I-oh! I will I had first heard that morning as a God of trust the Bible, I will take it for my guide—not love." the Church ; and oh, may God indeed make it a Did I believe it all ? I think I did. But my light to me!”
mind was in a whirl of wonder, and surprise, and “Amen,” rejoined my companion solemnly. joy. The sudden blaze of light dazzled me. It Then taking his Bible from my hands, he led was like stepping suddenly out of a cold dark the way to a garden-seat near, and placing me on dungeon into the glorious light of a summer day. it, sat down beside me. There he opened the pages A rapture that was almost pain. I longed of life, and read first one text, then another, while to be able to draw for myself from that pure I listened as one entranced. The old, old story fountain of living waters. But I had to was so new to me then ! Then, in few words indeed, wait. I read till lunch, when Captain von Edelstein bat full of power, “he preached unto me Jesus." joined us. The conversation was lively and
When he ceased I sat motionless, tears of joy pleasant, like the evening before, but no allusion dropping on my clasped hands as they rested on was made to the subject of my thoughts; and iminy knee.
mediately after it our visitor left us, saying he “Now I must go to my men,” said the captain, should not return till late that evening. Then, after the silence had lasted a few minutes ; "do at papa's request, I drew up the study table and you understand German ?”
placed his papers before him; but as I was leaving "A little."
the room he called me back, saying,“Then I will leave my Bible with you"—(he “Léonie, darling, I cannot write; my hand had translated it into French as he read)—"you shakes. I must have your nimble little fingers.” doubtless will be able to read it.”
So I took my seat before his desk, and wrote, at “Oh, thank you; yes, I can read Germán, his dictation, for what appeared to me two very though I cannot speak it much. Will you tell | long hours. Not that I was writing all the me which part to read ?”
time; I noticed, with pain, how very feebly the He took the book again, and turned over the leaves stream of thought flowed into my father's mind. thoughtfully for a few seconds, then returned it, Often he would pause for words, sometimes presssaying, “No, mademoiselle ; the Lord himself ing his hand to his brow, and seeming to lose alknows best your need. He will supply it.
He will supply it. Lay together the thread of the subject he was dictating. it before him, and ask him to teach you where And formerly, when his eyes failed, and I took his and what to read, and to open your heart to re- place, I could scarcely keep pace with the rapid ceive it. He will do it. Do not doubt him. flow of his ideas, in writing. Now I saw too Ask him in the name of Jesus. He is the I, who was so little able to judge—that the style Truth. Do you think he can lie ?”
was weaker, oke and confused. My eyes · Who! God ? Jesus ? No; oh no! What a burned with the effort to keep back the welling terrible thought!”
tears-my fingers trembled. Oh, it was so hard !