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CHAPTER III.

happened, as I most likely should; for I T was a great comfort to the little declare to you, Margaret, I thought at one

nurse, as well as to Harry Dun- time the poor little fellow was lost.”
lop, to see their patient safely Saying this, Harry, much against his in-

laid in bed at the fisherman's clination, became the subject of a burst of cottage, and though half smothered in

tears, such as he scorned and hated, and blankets, sleeping soundly, with the glow tried to dash away, but which still kept of returning health stealing softly over his falling, and the more stupidly, as it seenied cheeks.

to him, that the lad was doing well—"sloepIt was of no use watching beside him, ing like a top," he said ; "and his pulse," and therefore Margaret and Harry stole which at one time they had some trouble in quietly down into a lower room to hold finding, now "regular as a clock." their consultation about what was to be " Then what are you crying for, you great done next. Before any definite conclu- baby?” said George ; and Harry's tears sion had been come to, however, George were checked on the instant, but he said Dunlop appeared in the doorway, and as he nothing. It is easy to stop the flow of tears was decidedly the best messenger to send if we set about it in the right way, and on such an errand, he was immediately re- George Dunlop had a sure way of stopping quested to hasten home, and convey the tears, as well as other emotional expressions. intelligence of the morning's disaster to He did not intend to do anything unkind : bis parents, and then to provide for the he liked emotion well enough, if it was of whole party some means of reaching home; the right sort-at least, he thought he did ; for, besides Archy's helpless condition, they and on this occasion no one could have felt were none of them in circumstances to make

more genuine grief for a brother than he the journey on foot. Margaret had no out- would have done had little Archy been lost. side covering but the mantle which she had | But why did he get into that situation ? given up; and Harry's clothes were torn How was it altogether? with the sharp rocks over which he had had These were the questions George kept to clamber as he could.

asking, as some people do when they expeNobody could break the subject to Mr. rience the symptoms of even so uninteresting and Mrs. Dunlop so well as George: “He a malady as a common cold, never resting is always so cool and self-possessed,” said until they have settled in their own minds Harry; " nothing moves him; and as Archy the moment of time when, and the inch of is all right now, there could be no good space where, it was caught. Such persons in making a frightful story out of what has are not satisfied when there has been an

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accident, to bind up and soothe and heal, but

and soothe and heal, but | portance that people generally appear to make it their business first to obtain all the find a welcome relief in repeating them circumstantial evidence as to how the acci- again and again, with all such varieties as dent occurred ; and, above all, their crowning the nature of the case permits. point of satisfaction appears to be that of In the present instance, it was the chaawarding to all concerned, but especially racter, conduct, appearance-everything, in to the poor sufferer, his exact share of the short, belonging especially to little Archyblame. “I told you how it would be. You which formed the theme of conversation ; for should never have done so-you might have the boy was a favourite with all, though none foreseen the consequences." Preserve us could perhaps have described exactly why from the pitiless judgment of these witnesses he was so. A lad of fourteen, without any of our calamity!

extraordinary recommendations of face or George Dunlop meant no harm. He was

person, there was still something about not wanting in kindness; but he must be Archy, whether in his open, guileless counallowed to express

his mind

upon the blind- tenance, or his frank confiding manner, no ness and folly of any one wandering on the one could tell ; but there was that about seashore without calculating upon the tide. him which won the goodwill of all, and And then, why had his brothers left him? the tenderest affection of those who knew —and so on. At length, when his many him best, so that they would often suffer inquiries had been to some extent replied to, themselves rather than allow any kind of he set out on his mission, to which he was suffering to come to him. urged the more earnestly that the day was Perhaps little Archy felt suffering more now declining, and if he did not go quickly than most; for there are natures with whom it would be impossible for the party to reach it is so. Indeed, there is a vast difference home before midnight.

in constitutional capability in this respect, "The lad is all right,” repeated Harry, only we may generally accept it as a law of going with his brother a few steps beyond our being that those who suffer most in. the door. “Tell my mother it has only tensely are those who also enjoy most inbeen a little ducking in the sea. But they tensely. Archy did both in the extreme, must send some kind of close carriage up and hence his great liability to temptation here for us; and they must lose no time, or from sources of pleasure and pain- from we shall be here all night; and however the love

the love of enjoying on the one hand, and efficient James Halliday may be, I can't the dread of suffering on the other. say that the atmosphere of his cottage is A sensuous nature this is usually called; the most agreeable-rather ancient and but the word has no pleasant associations in fishy,' tell mother--anything to make her our language, and scarcely conveys its own smile. It's all right now, and I don't doubt real meaning-certainly not the meaning but the lad will be himself again to-morrow; which would have been understood by the but oh, George, it has been a terrible day! lifting up of those large clear blue eyes of I should not like to live through the last Archy's, which few persons of any sensibility few hours again. And as for the poor little could resist in their tender and earnest fellow, he could not have struggled on for appeal. another half-hour-not to save his life : of Little Archy the boy was always called at that I'm confident."

home; and he must have obtained this When George Dunlop was gone, Margaret designation more from the tender love which and Harry sat quietly down to unburden his nature inspired, than from his actual their full hearts by talking the whole matter size; for though somewhat short in comover. They could think of nothing else; parison with his brothers, his figure was, as and after excitement such as they had just Margaret had described him to the fisherman, passed through, every detail connected with rather broad and sturdy. His face was fair, the one great event becomes of such im- his eyes, as already said, were blue, with heavy lids, and the smile of his handsome that of being contented for a moment withmouth was peculiarly sweet and winning. out a sense of Christ Jesus being his Re

So it was, altogether, that nobody could deemer, Saviour, and Friend. He could form bear the idea of little Archy being subjected no conception of such a thing as being safe to any kind of ill-treatment. What would under any circumstances, or happy, without have been simply unjust, or wrong, towards this sure foundation of security and peace. others, was absolutely cruel, they thought, “And, oh mother!” he would often say, towards him. “He feels things so,” his after the terrible ordeal of this disastrous mother used to say of him; and if she loved day, “what should I have done on those him a touch more tenderly, though not more bare rocks, with those terrible waves dashing truly, than her other children-if she rejoiced up, foaming, and raging, and ready to deat times that he at least was exempt from vour me, if I had not prayed with all my that turbulence of spirit which so troubled soul, and with all my strength ?-_yes, and her life, there were other times when she if I had not been used to pray, so that it almost wished that her sweet Archy had a seemed quite natural to cry to the Lord in little more of the boldness and resolution of

my distress, and to ask Him to help me? And his brothers, for how was he ever to fight you see, mother, He did help me.” “Yes, his way through the world when he felt my child," the mother would reply," and things so?

He will always help you, if you cry to Him Archy himself had at this stage of his in sincerity of heart." experience very little concern about his own And thus the two would talk together, way in the world. Hitherto he had lived without hesitation and without reserve, for in the bosom of a secluded family, whose this subject, above all others, was familiar home was their world, and he at least knew to both; and good, simple Mrs. Dunlop, little of any other. Hitherto his brothers though far from being the best manager had always taken such kind care of him, that of her household, was yet a true-hearted he had had little either to fear or to suffer Christian woman, and so far a true friend from external causes; and his own heart, to her children that she cared supremely with all its intimate and peculiar feelings, for their spiritual interests; at the same was habitually laid bare before his mother, time, it must be confessed that she cared who dealt with it so tenderly that her cor- less than many women, and certainly less rections were scarcely more painful than the than she ought, for their manners and their cherishing and encouragement with which clothes. she endeavoured to bring forward all that Mrs. Dunlop was indeed far from being was good. Beyond this, he believed that a perfect woman. Mrs. Anderson, who herhe had in sincerity given up all—both heart

, self was all neatness and order in her and life-to that Saviour on whom he loved domestic regulations, thought her very far to lean. To him it was no painful surrender. indeed from being perfect, and could, in So far as it went, it had been willingly-nay, fact, scarcely believe in her Christianity since joyfully made, and he felt neither shame nor it did not make her a good household hesitation in speaking of the relation in manager; so apt are we to judge of others which he believed himself to stand as a child by our own rule, overlooking the fact someof God, redeemed by the sacrifice once offered times that whilo a neighbour may not be upon the cross for all.

exact, and set on buttons when and where This experience, which is so difficult for she ought, we ourselves may possibly be insome to describe, or even to speak of to exact on some point of truth ; or that, while others, had been gone through by the happy a neighbour may be letting some provision boy as simply as if it had come in the usual for the table run to waste, we ourselves may course of events. It did in truth appear be neglecting some golden opportunity for very simple to him; the more so, because he doing good. could form no conception of such a state as But Mrs. Dunlop's husband knew that she was a good-hearted woman, and a devout | conduct, or mode of living, Mrs. Anderson and humble Christian, and her boys knew found it extremely difficult to speak of them it, or felt it rather in the depth of their young as good Christians, and could sometimes go so hearts. It was much to be regretted, both far as to doubt whether they were Christians for them and for her, that their mother was at all. not a better disciplinarian ; but her own Hence it may readily be supposed that bringing up had been desultory, and much between these two ladies there existed no neglected; and where is the good woman very strong points of sympathy or attracunder any circumstances who has not one tion, and that to the precise lady the Dunlop fault? Nowhere, except in books; and the boys were especially objectionable. It is wonder is that anyone should place them true that she had not in so many words forthere, seeing that just so far as they are bidden her niece Margaret to associate with perfect, they fail to excite interest, simply them. She could not very well do that because they are untrue. There can be no without a direct insult to her husband's sympathy excited by such perfect beings. relatives and friends; but on the day of We know exactly how they will act under all Archy's disaster, had she entertained the circumstances, and consequently fail to fol- least idea that Margaret was likely to go low out their course with either fear or with the boys on a long rambling expedition, wonder as to how they may conduct them- the severest protest would have been entered selves. Neither are they good, as some against such a proceeding. It is not diffiworthy people seem to think, in the way cult, therefore, to imagine what was the of example, because we feel within ourselves amount of her astonishment and indignation that their condition is unattainable to us. on first learning that there had been some In the same way, those biographies in which kind of dangerous enterprise undertaken by all the faults and even sins of a lifetime are the boys, in which Margaret was deoply suppressed, afford little either of help or implicated. encouragement to the reader, who knows What this enterprise had really been, it that human life-even Christian life, is for was for some time very difficult to underthe most part a conflict with evil from be- stand, because of the many vague and exginning to end; and that by no means the aggerated reports which spread quickly least instructive portion of human experience through the little fishing town-as usual, is that in which error is corrected, and sin growing as they spread; and as Mr. Dunlop repented of and forgiven.

had set out instantly in the carriage which Mrs. Anderson also was a good woman, was to bring the little party home, there but in quite a different way from Mrs. Dunlop was no hope of learning the exact particulars —as different at least as the essential elements except from George, who remained in close of Christian life permit two individuals to attendance upon his mother, doing everybe whose faith and hope are the same. thing in his power to allay her fears, and Strict in discipline, somewhat narrow in keep up a feeling of cheerfulness. Beyond observation, and very limited in experience, this, it is quite possible that George might this lady was prone to lean rather too much not be very desirous of encountering Mrs. upon a kind of external respectability, Anderson on such an occasion, although, as rather too little upon vital principle. If the regarded his share in the matter, there was outside aspect of human conduct was orderly little of an adventurous or eccentric nature and right, and in strict accordance with the to condemn. rules of propriety as by society established, At length little Archy was brought home Mrs. Anderson was disposed to be contented. in safety to his anxious mother, very happy, But if any of these rules were violated, very thankful, but it must be confessed at especially if the censure of good people was the same time very sleepy; and not until in any way incurred—if there was anything the following day was he able to give any even questionable in a person's appearance, clear account of how he came in that position of danger. Even then, he knew per- | worthy people understand the more imhaps less than those who had seen him from portant facts of the case; knowing as she a distance. It was to him altogether more did, that if they could only have seen for like a frightful dream than a reality, such themselves the situation of little Archy, as he could not speak of for a long time nobody could have felt more deeply, or been without shuddering. Two or three facts kinder than they would have been. But however dwelt upon his mind with clearness, they could not see, they would not hear; and brought no horror with them on recol- and at last Margaret, unable to bear the lection. Amongst these was a feeling of unreasonable conflict, and thoroughly exbeing clasped in his brother's arms just hausted both in mind and body, burst into when his strength was entirely failing; and a fit of ungovernable weeping. then the gentle soothing of Margaret, her Even this subdued condition failed to afsmile when she looked into his opening eyes, ford satisfaction, though it might be some reand the soft sweet words of encouragement | lief to the weeper herself; but Mr. and Mrs. which she kept whispering to him—the Anderson were of that old-fashioned school general sense, if not the exact meaning of of moral discipline, according to which such which he was just able to understand. weeping used to be attributed to passion

As to Margaret's part in the matter, the angry passion-something which ought to be boys seemed as if they never could say overcome and put down on the instant. So enough in her praise, and the parents listened Margaret was hurried off to bed, in order to their story, told over and over again, and

that in the stillness of her own room she blessed her name, and thanked her in their might subdue her temper, and bring herself hearts before they had an opportunity of into a better state of mind. doing so in words. It seemed, in fact, as if Poor Margaret! she had perhaps never been the transactions of a single day had bound in a better state of mind in all her life than them to this orphan girl, and her to them, by on that eventful day. She had never been so ties which no after-circumstance in life would entirely divested of selfishness-never so have the power to break, so strong is that earnest and devoted in helping othersunion which is cemented by the sharing of never 80 reverent in spirit with regard to any deep feeling together, even for a short the great things of life and death-never space of time.

so grateful in recognizing the hand of God, But while these pleasant reminiscences or so devout in prayer. She was even unof Margaret's conduct were filling all hearts conscious of having done anything absolutely with gratitude in the Dunlop family, she, wrong. She might have failed in doing poor girl, was experiencing in her own per- what was best, but could not recall any sonal circumstances a very different kind of deliberate or intentional wrong with which ordeal. She was enduring blame, instead to charge herself. What could these of receiving praise. At present, and with worthy people mean, or how could it only her own account of the affair, it was be that she was sent off like a criminal to impossible for either Mr. or Mrs. Anderson repent of her sins, when she neither knew to see that she had done right-in fact, that nor felt that on this occasion she had been she had not done absolutely wrong. She particularly guilty ? had run off, they said, with a parcel of rude All this was a strangely painful perplexity boys in their absence, and here she was, to Margaret. Life, duty, many things had after being absent all the day, with torn looked plain to her that day; and clear frock, and lost gloves, and hat which her above all, to her young eyes, had risen the aunt did really believe had been sat upon- power and the goodness of God.

. But what "How strange! how unsuitable for a young

was this?

Blame, anger, guilt, punishlady!” and so on.

ment! And for what? She knew that she In vain Margaret endeavoured, not so was but a weak and foolish child, and that much to defend herself, as to make these she was often actuated by wrong motives.

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