Imágenes de páginas

do so.

[ocr errors]


himself about the matter," rejoined Beatrice but a green parrot, with a yellow crest, and quietly. She almost added, " It is for your blue wings, and scarlet tail. Bird of paradise sake, much more than his, that I have urged indeed! I've seen a stuffed one, and I know you to show him a little kindness," but she what they are like.” Whereupon Miss Vivian restrained the remark, knowing that it would had desired him, if he could not remember to destroy even the little hope she entertained of behave like a gentleman, to leave the house, effecting any change in Miss Vivian's inveterate and not come again until she requested him to and unfounded dislike of Leonard.

The ottoman had been worked by Miss. Sometimes Beatrice positively shuddered, as Vivian's grandmother, and was in her eyes a words and deeds revealed more plainly the perfect model. cold hard selfishness of Miss Vivian's cha. To return to the conversation between Miss racter. Would anything ever touch her? could Vivian and Beatrice. It was interrupted by anything ever thaw the thick crust of ice within Mr. Wentworth rising to leave. At this juncwhich her heart seemed to be frozen up? The ture, Bentley reappeared in the doorway with only creatures in the world towards whom she the suggestion, showed the slightest affection were herself “Please, ma'am, it's such a lovely day that and the faithful Bentley; and rarely indeed I think you would like to go out.” did the expression of that affection soften to “Just the very thing," said Mr. Wentworth, anything that in the remotest degree ap- approvingly. “I am afraid I cannot spare any proached to tenderness.

more time, or I would go with you; but Beatrice Naturally a somewhat close and grasping will stay and accompany you." character, Miss Vivian had degenerated into “John Sanders hasn't nothing particular to her present condition of mind and body during do to-day, ma'am, and he's come to know years of solitude, of lonely musing upon her own whether you wouldn't go out in the chair, and rights and wrongs, of utter coldness towards I told him it was likely you would,” said the wants and claims of her fellow-creatures, Bentley, with a rather determined air. and of constant yielding to her avaricious he's downstairs, and he'll get out the chair, tendencies, which grew stronger and stronger and he'll only charge you ninepence for the by indulgence. It was only during the last hour, he says.” two years that she had cared so much for Threepence less than his usual charge,” Beatrice-the liking being evidenced by her murmured Miss Vivian meditatively. “ He frequent requests for visits, and still more by would not do it for that unless he were short her submitting to what at least approached of work. I wonder if he would take six. contradiction from her. From no one else in the world, except Bentley, would she allow “I don't think you would like to ask him to this for a moment.

do that, Miss Vivian," pleasantly interposed Her pertinacious dislike of Leonard would Beatrice. “I daresay the poor man is in real seem to have originated in some measure from need of the money, and you could not wish to a contradiction she received from him when a give him less than his due. But now I am boy. On one solitary occasion, she had ad. going to fetch your bonnet and cloak, while mitted him into her drawing-room for a visit, they are getting out the chair. I know where and his free, frank bearing, easy boyish re- they are kept." marks, and blunt answers, had so offended her Miss Vivian had not yet made up her mind that she had ordered him out of the house. whether to go or stay, but both Beatrice and Never since then had there been an interview Bentley left the room without waiting for obbetween them. Captain Vivian sometimes jections, the former returning almost immecaused much amusement by relating the par- diately with the necessary articles. A grim ticulars of that memorable visit. The climax smile came to Miss Vivian's face as Beatrice, arose from a flat contradiction respecting the with her quiet air of decision, folded the shawl gorgeous bird that was depicted in flaming and wrapped it round her shoulders, then colours-sadly faded even then-upon the brought the faded bonnet to her side. worked ottoman. Miss Vivian had made some “ You seem determined not to allow me a remark, intended to be gracious, upon the voice in the matter, Beatrice. I don't know " bird of paradise.” “Bird of dise!” re- that I shall go after all. It is ruinous work." torted the fourteen-years-old schoolboy, burst- “But the chair is coming to the door," ing into a fit of laughter. “Why, it's nothing smilingly returned Beatrice.

" And now you


are nearly dressed, and I have had the trouble fingers, to prevent it from rebounding in Miss of fetching your things, you must not disap- Vivian's face. point me. Here comes Bentley to say that At last they gained the road, went a short the chair is waiting.”

distance in the opposite direction to Rookdale, “Yes, ma'am, it's all ready, and John Sanders and then turned down a narrow lane which is a wondering how he'll ever pull it through formed the boundary of one side and the back the brambles ; but I tell him it's got to be of The Rookery garden. Beatrice was mentally done, and I suppose it aint worse than last contrasting that fair, well-arranged parterre time. He says the garden aint like being in a with Miss Vivian's "jungle,” as Constance civilized country.”

sometimes called it, when she became conscious “Very impertinent of John Sanders," said of distant shouts and cries in the road they Miss Vivian, bridling. “As if it concerned had left. Miss Vivian looked round nervously. him in the least! What has he to do with What is the matter, Beatrice?” it?”

"I cannot see anything here. John, will "Nothing, ma'am, except to draw you you go to the end of the lane, and see what it through it,” said Bentley, laughing, and is ? Perhaps some one is needing help.” giving Beatrice a confidential glance, meant They were in more need of help themselves. to express a great deal. “I tell him that can't John Sanders set off at a running pace with be

very hard work, for you aint so desperate alacrity, and gained the beginning of the lane; stout and heavy. Now, ma'am, you're ready, then Beatrice saw him spring up the mossy and you'll take my arm to the door."

bank at the side, with a loud shout of warning. Miss Vivian submitted, and was soon seated At the same instant, a cart and horse appeared in the rather rickety wheel-chair, and being round the corner, coming down the lane at a drawn between the masses of shrubs, brambles, fearful rate. Like a flash of lightning, the and nettles that surrounded the house. No thought glanced through Beatrice's mind that wonder John Sanders had expressed some she had no time to assist Miss Vivian's feeble doubts as to its being safely accomplished. steps to a place of safety. She might escape Very narrow indeed was the path, and the herself, for there was a little gate into Mr. branches that swept completely across it Mansfield's garden, hardly twelve yards disgreatly impeded the course of the chair. More tant. Yet how could she leave Miss Vivianthan one Beatrice broke off and threw away, poor helpless old lady-without an attempt to regardless of the thorns that pricked her save her:


HE shrine where all our love is laid,

Where all our joys abide,
Alike through sunshine and through

Our own Fireside!

A safe retreat from every care,

Where we our grief may hide;
The casket of our treasures rare-

Our own Fireside!

The spot of all the earth most dear,

Whatever woes betide,
With nought to cloud, and all to cheer-

Our own Fireside!

A shelter when by winds we're driven

Across life's raging tide;
The shadow of our Home in Heaven

Our own Fireside!



[ocr errors]

EIGHO! how pleasant it is to be out It was certainly very strange, but just as

in the woods all day," sighed little Ida spoke these words, the little daisies began Ida, as she threw herself upon a nodding to her in the drollest manner imagin.

grassy bank by the brook-side. “I able, and then she saw that the flowers were don't see the use of being mewed up in the lovely little faces; the stems and leaves ashouse these warm bright days, when the woods sumed human forms, and soon they were a are so shady and cool. Heigho!”

little troop of fairies, who joined hands and Ida was a little girl who dearly loved the danced about her, singing, in soft musical flowers and glad sunshine. She was only toneshappy when roaming about at will, chasing

“Sisters bright, make room, make room, the gaily-painted butterflies, or making, with A new flower comes to bud and bloom; her own merry voice, an echo to the song of To weep with the rain-drops, to smile with the sun, the uncaged birds.

And wither and fade when her task is done." Very pleasant it would have been to pass As they circled round, repeating these words, whole days in this manner, but Ida had duties Ida felt herself descending into the ground, to perform-as who has not ? What is there the song, died away upon her ear, and she rein the whole earth so insignificant as to say mained in utter darkness. The little girl did with truth, “I am of no use"? Every dew- not feel at all frightened, but wondered very drop has its peculiar mission to fulfil; and much what would happen next. She waited a each tiny snow-flake falls to the ground to while in expectation, and then cried out, “I assist in accomplishing some great purpose. am tired of staying here in the dark. I want

But Ida never thought of all this. Her to see the light.” mother, she knew, talked to her of duties, “Be quiet,” said a tiny voice close at her and often kept her indoors, performing un. side, “and wait until the snow melts a little, welcome tasks which seemed to the little and the earth is thawed. You could not get girl of trifling importance, when she would out now if you were to try.” fain have been out in the fresh green fields. Ida turned round in astonishment at this She knew not that her first duty was obedience, speech, but she could see nothing in the dark, and therefore was frequently ill-tempered and so she asked, perverse.

“Who are you, and how came you here? I It was a lovely summer afternoon, and Ida, am a little girl, and my name is Ida." having finished her tasks, was permitted to go “What a droll conceit!” replied the voice, out into the fields. The day had been intensely with a merry little laugh. “You are nothing warm, but now a soft gentle breeze sprang up, more nor less than a flower-seed, like myself. and the flowers began to lift their drooping By-and-by we will come up out of the ground, heads that had shrunk from the bright gaze of and bloom in the sunshine." the sun. Little Ida ran about delighted with “But how long will it be before we leave the sense of freedom from restraint; but at this gloomy place ?" asked the little girl, who length, becoming weary, she threw herself now began to realize that she had gained her upon the grass, and sighed, “Heigho!” wish, and was actually to be a flower. “I

Oh, dear,” murmured the little girl, after a can't say that I like being a seed at all." long revery,“ how I wish there was no such Why, you cannot be a flower without first thing as work in the world—at any rate, for a being a seed,” returned the other. “There are little girl like me! I don't see that I am of plenty of us here, waiting for the Spring to set any use, and yet mamma will keep me in all us free; don't be impatient, she will come in day. I wish I could live out of doors always.

good time.” Pretty daisies,” she continued, addressing a Ida remained quiet for some time, and then tuft of flowers that grew at her feet, “ do you again asked, “How can you lie so contentedly know I envy you? For you have no duties to in this dark place ?” perform, and nothing in the world to do but “ It is our duty,” answered the tiny voice, to live in the sunshine and look charming. shortly; for the little girl's talking annoyed Yes; I wish I could be like you."



[ocr errors]

sure ?"

“Why !. do you use that hateful word too p" | asleep; but the next morning, when she awoke, she replied. “I thought the flowers had no she found herself covered with dewdrops that duties. But I am so tired of staying here. How sparkled like diamonds in the sun. do you know the Spring will come? Are you “How beautiful I am to-day!” she exclaimed

in delight. “See how lovely my leaves appear, “ We trust,” returned the other. And to shining through these diamonds that adorn all her complaints Ida received no other them! Every one must behold me with admi. reply.

ration now." At length she heard a strange musical sound, As she spoke, a farmer's boy came whistling and found that the seeds were slowly forcing along; but although she thrust herself so far their way through the earth. She gladly moved forward that his foot brushed off some of the upward too; and so impatient was she that diamond dewdrops, he did not notice her in the she was the first to burst from the ground, and least, but strolled carelessly on. look about her.

By-and-by the sun climbed high up in the "I am so glad to get out of that ugly prison,” sky, and looked down upon the flowers so Boliloquized the little girl. “How pleasant steadily with his flaming eye, that they quailed and warm the sunshine feels, though the snow and shrunk beneath his scorching beams. Poor bas not quite melted yet. It is so droll; I see little Ida felt unable to support herself. Her that I am surrounded by tiny green leaves, head dropped languidly, and she could scarcely and yet I know that I am Ida still. Well, I breathe. There was not the slightest air wonder what will happen next.”

stirring in that sultry noon, and still the Presently a cold wind blew over her, and in great sun sent down his burning rays upon the night came frost and pinched her leaves, so the earth. that poor Ida looked quite drooping for several “ I shall die,” murmured the little girl. “ If days, but she gradually revived; and then, I had known how the flowers suffer with heat, when she found herself really expanding into a I never would have wished to be one of them. flower, her delight knew no bounds.

How pleasant and cool it is now in mamma's " What a lovely pink colour I am!” she said shaded room, if I only could be there again; to herself. “Everyone will admire me, I am but now I shall die." sure. I think I am even prettier than my A flower growing at her side overheard her neighbours. How delightful it is to be a flower! murmuring, and spoke, though faintly, for she No lessons to learn, and nothing at all to do too was drooping in the sun: but bloom and be admired.” And she lifted “ Yes, we often wither thus with heat; but her head proudly, and swayed gracefully upon then, you know, we must do our duty; we shall the breeze.

revive at night; and though we suffer, yet we “Take care," said one of her neighbours, as trust." he bent over towards her, "if you thrust your- The last words were scarcely heard by poor self so far out upon the road, some one will | Ida, who sank exhausted to the earth. trample upon you."

Presently heavy black clouds rushed across Ida withdrew her head in alarm. “How do the sky, and shut out the beams of the sun; you know. we will not be crushed even here?” and then plash, plash came the large raindrops she asked anxiously.

upon the leaves and the parched earth; and “We trust!” replied the other, and then was then the flowers lifted their languid heads and still.

felt revived. But the rain poured down still "It is so very cold,” murmured the little girl, faster, until they were forced to bend beneath as she folded her leaves tightly over her breast its rushing weight, and little Ida was now in one frosty night. “Why do you not wait till great fear of being drowned. The wind tossed warmer weather before you bloom ?”

the flowers about most rudely, and they bruised “We come when Spring calls us to give sign themselves against each other; some of them of her approach,” said the other.

were torn from their stems by the force of the “But although it is dark in the ground, it shower, and poor Ida trembled in affright. is at least warm,” she rejoined. “Why should “Oh, this is more dreadful than all!" she you obey the Spring P”

cried. “I shall certainly be broken to pieces “Because it is our duty," said the little in this tempest. Why should flowers be 80 flower, as he closed his eyes.

exposed, and suffer so much ?" “ Duty! duty!” murmured Ida, as she fell “We do our duty," was the murmured reply that reached her, borne on the blast, "and for And as the humming, rustling noise increased, the rest we trust."

a strange thrill passed through little Ida: her At last the rain ceased, the clouds began to bright leaves fell to the ground, and lo and separate, and the sun again smiled down upon behold, she was lying upon the grass at the the earth. The birds left their nests, and sang brookside, with the tuft of daisies blooming at joyously, and all things revived. Little Ida, her side ! though bruised and shorn of some green leaves, Her first impulse was to bend over the water, yet felt very much refreshed. But there re- and there she beheld the reflection of her mained one raindrop in her heart; the wind own astonished face. There could be no doubt had blown a long branch, thick with clustering she had been a flower, but was now little Ida leaves, just before her, and the setting sun again. could not reach her behind the leafy screen. “You have taught me a fine lesson," she So, while the other flowers were gaily lifting cried, turning to the daisies, “and one that I their heads, and basking in his beam, poor Ida shall not soon forget. I am quite contented to trembled beneath the weight of the raindrop. remain just the little girl that I am, and shall

"How unfortunate I am!” she sighed re- never wish to be a flower again. Don't you piningly. “The sun has dried all the rain from

approve my decision p» the other flowers; while I must sink beneath But the little daisies looked perfectly unconthis weight through all the long night.” scious, and stared steadily up at the sky, never

Then she folded ber leaves and slept; but vouchsafing so much as a nod in reply. when the morning sun gleamed down once “Oh, it is all very well for you to make more, the raindrop shone like a diamond upon believe you don't understand me," persisted her breast.

little Ida ; " but I shall not forget your advice. When the scorching noonday beam again We do our duty, and trust,” she whispered, shone down, the flowers paled and withered as with a triumphant air. “Do you remember the before; but the drop which rested in Ida's words?breast strengthened and refreshed her, so that But the perverse little daisies did not seem she did not shrink from the sun's ray, but lifted to hear, and never even moved a leaf. her head firmly. The moisture dried up from Well, well,” laughed Ida, as she ran home; her heart, but little Ida had learned a new “ if you don't remember them, I do, and mean truth.

to live after them besides." "Ah! I understand now,” she exclaimed, And so she did; and though she loved the " that what seems to be very disagreeable at woods and flowers as well as ever, she never first, is all for our good after all. Had it not murmured at her tasks; and so grew to be a been for that drop of rain, I might have good and happy girl. But though she often withered in the sun. After this, so long as I stopped to talk to the daisies, not one of them live, I will remember to do my duty, and ever deigned a reply; they had evidently cut trust."

her acquaintance.—Woodleigh House ; or, The All the flowers applauded loudly at this. Happy Holidays. London: T. Nelson and Sons.



HE Capreoline Deer, of which group

this species forms a very charac-
teristic type, are distinguished by

their predilection for mountainous localities,

as the Fallow Deer delights in wooded plains, and the Stag in the most extensive forests. The Roebuck exhibits a degree of boldness and agility in its leaps which fit it for its favourite haunts, and almost claim for it the analogical appellation of the Chamois of

the Ceroine family. It differs remarkably in many respects from the Red and Fallow Deer. It is much smaller in size, and exceedingly light in figure and limb, and its horns are short and simple.

The Roebuck is said to have his chosen companion for life, being strictly monogamous, and evincing the most lively regard and affection for his mate. The female, according to the statement of many authorities, brings two

« AnteriorContinuar »