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on our young friends, to be drawn from this little history, which is here illustrated more strongly than, perhaps, any of the Scripture Narratives, and that is “ The forgiveness of injuries." It will be seen that all the while he appeared to be sorely trying the patience of his brothers, he was suffering very much himself, but it enabled him also to note how much they repented of their cruel conduct to him. It also shows that in all the relations of after life a good child is sure to be rewarded,
The snowfall of the Alps.
« EVERY DARK CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING.” *
AR, far, away, you must follow me, out of Old
England, through merry France and sunny
happened amidst them, many years ago. Of all the fair villages in all the mountain valleys, Berghèmoletto was once the fairest, and the most visited by travellers. It stood nearly at the summit of one of the highest Alpine points, and above it, the eternal snows that know no melting, and the blue heaven that towereth above all things, were alone. At its foot rolled a mighty sea of clouds that intercepted the sight of the earth, and amidst which rose, like rocks and islands, the tops of many of the lesser mountains. But when those clouds opened, or passed away, and gave a glimpse of the world below, then, what a burst of loveliness it was! The broad vineyards, and the
“ Silver Blossoms to produce Golden Fruit;” by the Author of “Spring Flowers." London: Dean and Son,
flower fields, the sparkling waterfalls, and the coloured glaciers, all mingled, till the gazer was oppressed with their very beauty.
Well, in this village lived an Alpine guide, named Ulric, with his good wife and their little daughter, Annette. A peaceful life they led, with no yearning after gain, no deeprooted love of gold to corrupt their hearts; for, thank God! that yearning and that love clings only in all its strength to great cities, and has not yet found its way to the free mountains and the wild woods of the brave Swiss; but still Ulric had had his sorrows, for death reigns alike every where, and his tears had mingled with the tears of his wife, in falling on the little graves of children who had past away to God; but all this was as a dream, now; and Annette was left to be their comfort, her voice fell in its merriment on their ears, and gladdened their inmost spirits, and they felt no trouble.
It was in a low-built chalet, or mountain cottage, that the guide and his family dwelt. On the ground floor were stables for the mule and goats: while an outside staircase led to the dwelling-rooms above; all was perfect in its simplicity, and the scent of the Alpine strawberry flowers made the clear air sweet.
Little Annette used to tend the goats, and lead them to the green meadow land in the early morning, and at twi. light she returned for them again, when though the sun had set on all around her, she could still watch its beams, gilding and brightening the strange and beautiful summits of Mount Blanc and the Jung-frau mountains. Oh, those were happy walks to her through the wild passes, where the roe-buck and the chamois bounded, and above which the eagle of the Alps hovered! sometimes she could hear the storm gathering under her feet, and the thunder rolling beneath, while free from danger, she looked on the bright blue sky above.
In these walks Annette was often joined by her cousin, Pierre, a poor silly boy, who was harmless and good-natured, and she liked him to be with her; for in Switzerland, those who are thus afflicted meet only with respect and love, and are called in their language, “ Souls of God, without sin ;" how happy if all felt for them like this.
One evening, when Annette and Pierre were returning homewards with their goats, the boy, after keeping his clear meaningless eye fixed for some time on the mountain tops above their village, turned to Annette and said in a low voice, “ The great snow-ball of the mountain will be falling on us all soon; and the goats, and you and I, cousin, will be still in one white grave.
Accustomed as the little girl was to hear the strange incoherent ramblings of the idiot child, these words startled her, and she looked quickly up.
Then her eye following his, fell upon one of the mighty masses of loose snow that overhung the village, and seemed only waiting for a breath to hasten its fall, and though she must have seen it often and often before, yet never till now had she thought it looked so large and terrible; taking Pierre's hand in her's, and bidding him think no more of a foolish fancy, she hurried home, and after leaving the goats in the stable, ran up the winding staircase into the cottage. “ Father,” said she, as she entered, will you come outside for a moment, and look at the great snow flake up the mountain; it seems larger than ever, to-night?"
Ulric smiled kindly on his little girl, and followed her out into the green meadow, at the side of the chalêt. For some time he looked attentively at the mass of snow, with out speaking, then laying his hand on the fair head of his child, he said " The snow from the sides of the mountain have swelled that great mass fearfully, Annette; but I do not think there is any fear for us, and we must pray that God will cause it to fall on the other side of the mountain, where no people dwell.” And fervently did the child so pray, before she slept that night, and she made poor Pierre kneel down too, and say the words after her.
Next morning, when she awoke, all fear had past away, and the songs of the child Annette were as sweet as ever ; but at noon, when she came in from the goat walk, her young face was saddened to hear that her dear father had been sent for, to follow his occupation as guide to an English party, who were going across Mount St. Gothard into Italy, by the Trembling Valley, and he would not return for many days. Neither Annette or her mother feared for Ulric's safety, as they knew he was the best and boldest guide of the Alps, and his constant journeys of the kind had given them a feeling of security; but they sorrowed for his absence, and the hardships he might have to undergo. Annette begged to be allowed to go with him some part of the way, to the village where he was to meet his employers, and return with Pierre in the evening time, and this wish was granted.
It was a lovely morning, and while Pierre ran on in front gathering blue flax flowers in one valley, and making hard ice balls in the next; Annette, by her father's side, was listening to his accounts of some of his adventures.