Page images
PDF
EPUB

PETS, AND HOW TO TREAT THEM.

107

broken into this strange tomb, and stolen the sea king's arms and other valuables. Some of his bones, however, still remained in the ship, there were also some bones of a peacock, which he had no doubt brought home to Norway as a curiosity. Round about the ship were bones of horses and dogs, which are supposed to have been sacrificed when the sea king was buried. The ship is now in a wooden shed in Christiania, near the University. The arrangements were not quite complete, when I saw it, as it had only just arrived, and it was being fixed in its place; but as my party was English, we were very politely allowed to see it before the general public were admitted. The ship is 77 feet ui inches long, it was rowed by 32 oars, 16 on each side, and some of these were found, and were about twenty feet in length. I think you must be impatient, however, to leave the city, and to set off to see something of the great forests, and the mountains, and the islands, and the waterfalls; so I shall try in the next chapter to satisfy your curiosity.

Rets, and How to Wreat Xhem.

BY THE Editor.

It was very timid, and rolled itself into a ball whenever it was approached, refusing even to look at the milk, raw meat, and other delicacies of which it was invited to partake.

It was fondly hoped that in the solitude of night it carried on a war of extermination with the insect inhabitants of the kitchen. Once, some relics of a blackbeetle were said to have been found in its neighbourhood, but the evidence on which this story rested was not very reliable, and the only thing poor Piggy was ever seen to eat was a green gooseberry.

One morning it was found dead, and everybody was rather relieved: it had seemed to live such a solitary, melancholy life.

The next hedgehog I knew intimately was quite a different animal. It was very young when it was caught, and though it went through the pretence of rolling itself up when touched, it quickly unrolled itself again, and seemed pleased with any attentions, such as rubbing its soft furry face. It ate beef and blackbeetles with equal relish, and did not despise bread and milk. It was always friendly, and even playful, and it was a real grief to its little masters and mistresses when it was announced that Hedgey had disappeared.

They hoped for months that it might one day emerge from some dark corner where it had been sleeping, but in vain. The only solution of the mystery that seemed possible was that Hedgey had made its way into the hole of some rat, and its spines had made it impossible for it to return.

It is not necessary to say that tortoises are slow in their movements. You knew the fable of the Tortoise and Hare before you could read, and have, no doubt, had it very often applied to yourself since.

It is a very good thing to be steady, but I must own a tortoise is the most tiresome pet to feed that can well be imagined.

You are holding the creature in one hand, and the lettuce or cabbage leaf intended for its dinner in the other. The tortoise opens its mouth and shuts it again on the leaf, the sharp, horny sides of its mouth cutting it like a bird's beak, or should it prove tough, lifting first one fore-foot and then the other, and pressing them against the food, it tears away

the morsel it holds in its mouth and swallows it. This process is repeated again and again, then suddenly it stops with the leaf in its mouth, and apparently meditates for a time, perhaps yawning once or twice. A touch or a gentle shake only makes it withdraw into its shell, so you can do nothing but wait till your pet is pleased to go on

V.-HEDGEHOGS AND TORTOISES.

WO strange pets! And yet, while

very different in appearance, they have some points in common. Both have a coat of armour within which they shelter themselves on the approach of danger. Both fall into a long sleep that lasts during the cold of winter, and awake at the warm breath of spring. Both are very shy,

and it is not easy to win their confidence. But here the likeness ends, for one is a mammal and the other a reptile; one lives mostly on animal food, the other on vegetable.

Let us begin with hedgehogs. Very likely you have heard wonderful stories of eggs and fruit being carried away on their prickly spines, and of injuries done to cattle by them, but you may be quite sure that they are not true. The hedgehog is a harmless little creature, deserving a far better name than it has from the farmer, for it lives principally on insects, slugs, and snails.

The first pet hedgehog I ever knew was fullgrown when it was introduced into a kitchen, with the hope that it might lessen the number of cockroaches that lived there.

[graphic]

108

A DAMSEL WITH A DULCIMER.

[ocr errors]

with its meal. As these pauses are not infrequent, you can easily understand that much patience is required to give your tortoise its dinner.

Two little Algerian tortoises I once had would only feed when held in the hand. They both died from the cold of our English winter, but I learnt, when too late, that their lives might have been saved by a series of warm baths.

Tortoises like lettuce, cabbage, apple-parings, green gooseberries, and other vegetables and fruits, only everything must be quite fresh, as they will not touch what is faded or withered. They will drink water very eagerly, and, like other reptiles, love heat.

You will not easily find a quieter pet, or one that will give you less trouble, than a tortoise.

A Damsel with a Dulcimer.

[ocr errors]

By MRS. A. Harper.

V.
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw,
Singing of Mount Abara.
Could I recall within me

Her symphony and song,
To such deep delight 'twould win me

That with

“Quite sure. I am long-sighted, you know, and I saw her face; it was not that of a thief. Do hunt her up, Theodora,” continued the young man," she cannot have gone far.”

“I should have thought that the prospect of reviving 'such deep delight' might have led your own lazy footsteps into the garden,” answered his sister. “I will go, though."

The young lady passed through the open window. Old Thomas was on the lawn.

Yes, he certainly had seen a girl, going, as he believed, to steal grapes; she ran out, when he threatened her, by the shrubbery gate.”

Theodora went to the gate, and looked down the road, but no figure was visible, and she returned to the house.

Meanwhile, Tessa, for she it was, had fled in terror to the wood, near which she had left Rubino.

“ What is the matter?” he asked, as she approached.“

You look frightened, my little Tessa." “I am,” she sobbed. “They thought I was a thief come to steal grapes—just when I was so happy, too, because the sight of them made me think of our vintage song, and I found that I could sing it. Yes, Rubino, I have sung once more, but the joy of it is gone—the man said he would take me up.”

Not a very great deal of English had been learned by the children beyond the common expressions of daily life, but this terrible threat of being “taken up” had become familiar to their ears in London, and its vague horror was unspeakable.

“He called you a thief, did he?” said her brother. “ I should like to crack his head!”

“Oh, don't say that. I oughtn't to have stood there without leave. He meant it, Rubino. Oh, dear! where shall we go?”

“We can't go anywhere now—you couldn't walk."

“No, I couldn't,” answered the trembling girl. “He'll send to look for me,” she added, with another sob.

Well, Tessa, cheer up; I'm here, you know ; and look what I've found—the loveliest little nook, with an old seat there all ready for you to lie on. I'll put some leaves on it, and cover you with my jacket. You won't mind sleeping out of doors?”

“No, indeed, it will be delightful this hot night.”

And look, Tessa, here is a whole jug of milk. A woman gave it me because I told her my little sister had been ill, only she said I must take the jug back to her. And I've bought a loaf, so you can have a grand supper.”

They ate thankfully; then the boy covered up

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

RTHUR! what is the matter? To hear you, one would imagine that you were still in your'vision,' and the damsel with a dulcimer' before your very eyes !”

“And so she was, sister mine, until five minutes ago, when she made rapid and inconvenient flight, prompted thereto, as I believe, by the menaces of old

Thomas, whose gruff voice I heard faintly in the distance. Such a symphony, truly! such a song! I have not heard the like since we were in Italy."

“Pity she had not the dulcimer, to make the vision complete."

“She had one! At least, she had something which did duty for it. I am not joking, Theodora ; the girl sang as if she were inspired."

Theodora crossed the room, and stood by her brother at the open casement.

“You quite make me want to hear her," she said. “Which way did the vision vanish? You are sure she was not one of the ragged fraternity who stole our grapes last week?” she added.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

A DAMSEL WITH A DULCIMER.

109

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66

ور

66

his sister on the rude bed he had made for her, and Tessa soon slept peacefully. In a little while her brother was asleep also, though even in slumber his face still bore a look of anxious vigilance.

The Sa ath bells awakened them next morning. “ We must not stir out of the wood to-day,” said they as they breakfasted. But the little nook, despite its beauty, grew tiresome, and they were glad to discover a place where, without being observed, they could see the path from the village church.

How pleasant it was to watch the villagers returning, and pleasanter still, Tessa thought, in the afternoon, when groups of children went along to the Sunday-school. At last the longing to see what they were all about in the grey old schoolhouse became irresistible.

Don't you remember, Bino,” she said, “that in England no one can have any harm done to them on a Sunday ? Mr. Crispi said so.'

“ So he did.”

Yes, and I mean to go where all those little girls have gone.”

Peeping got you into trouble yesterday, Tessa.” “ You come with me, dear.” “Well, I do not mind, my legs ache with sitting still," he said, getting up and taking her hand.

They gathered courage as they met no one, but they feared to look in at the school-house door, though it stood wide open. After a while they found a heap of stones underneath a window. Rubino lifted Tessa on to it and then got up himself. They peeped in cautiously. Speaking to the children was a lady of dignified appearance, with gracious, beautiful face, that surely they had seen before.

“Oh, Tessa,” whispered Rubino, “ do you not know her? It is our beautiful signora.”

Tessa uttered a cry of surprise, which startled the whole school. The signora arose quietly and walked to the door.

“Forgive her, signora,” cried Rubino, coming forward. “She has been very ill, and the sight of you after such a long time was too much."

The sight of me?said the lady, as she looked at them both. “I think you are mistaken. I do not know you.”

“ If you please, signora, we were with you on the ship, and you gave my sister a little book, and

“ Is it possible? ” said the astonished lady. “ And is this, then, the little girl who used to sing?A sudden light seemed to break upon her. “ Did she come and sing in my garden yesterday?"

“ Yes, signora," answered Tessa, with a burst of tears, as she pushed aside her old straw hat, “but

I did not come to steal your grapes; the gate was open, and when I saw the grapes—_” She could say no more, but clasped her hands.

When she saw the grapes it made her think of our vintage song, and she sang. It is truth,” pleaded Rubino.

“Do not cry, Tessa,” said Miss Wilton, kindly. “I am sure you did not come to steal. After school you shall

go

home with me. Would you like to stay now till school is over?”

“Oh, please, signora.”

Miss Wilton led them both into the school, and took Rubino into an inner room used by the boys. Tessa she placed by herself.

The lesson for the day was the Parable of the Good Shepherd. Very sweetly did Miss Wilton

. speak to her class of the love of God in sending Jesus Christ our Saviour, and the little weary pilgrim at her side listened to her words joyfully. She had long sought the Saviour. Dimly as it were, and afar off, she had already seen Him, but now, as the teacher spoke, He was revealed to her as He had never been before. The Good Shepherd had indeed been leading this lamb of His flock by a way that she knew not.

Great was the surprise of old Thomas when he beheld the girl whom he had called a thief walking with his mistress into the hothouse, and even eating a bunch of his cherished grapes; yet greater the interest of Arthur and Theodora when they learnt who the little singer really was.

After tea the children related what had befallen them since they came to England; and the signora invited them both to stay a few days at Rose Bank, to help, as she told Rubino, in making Tessa well.

Miss Wilton wrote the next day to the man Vago, inquiring the nature of his claim to their services, and offering to reimburse him for

any

loss he might sustain if he would give both children into her care.

Vago had his own reasons for not wishing his claims to be investigated, and the very next post brought a letter from him accepting the English lady's proposal.

Miss Wilton then made inquiries at the hospital of Lorino concerning Albert Leonardi, and learned that he had returned to his home, his cure being hopeless, although he had derived considerable benefit from the course of treatment.

The children's neglected appearance shocked her, and as she had ample means as well as a most generous heart, she resolved to send both of them back to their native land.

The brother and sister were not informed of the happiness in store for them until preparations for

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

IIO

A DAMSEL WITH A DULCIMER.

their journey had been made. One grief, however, still oppressed Tessa notwithstanding, and this was the thought of leaving poor Carlo. She told the signora of his sad accident, and the change wrought in him through suffering, and Miss Wilton, after listening to the story, made her happiness perfect by promising that if Carlo really desired to go back and work for his mother, he should do so.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

*

“ No,

near us.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Nearly three weeks passed away. The sun had set, and the little cottage on the mountain lay in the soft shadow of evening. A woman came out in the deepening twilight, and stood leaning over the little gate. She looked long and wistfully down the path which led to the valley, and then, with a sigh, went in.

“I will light the lamp, dear Albert,” she said, in a soft voice. “I have stayed too long. It is strange how all to-day I have felt as if the children were

Ah! I cannot grieve that we let them go since you are better; but my heart is sore.”

“And mine also,” said her husband. “Something tells me-

He was interrupted by an unwonted sound of footsteps outside the cottage. His wife turned a little pale. She opened the casement.

“ Who comes here at this time?” she asked.

There was a soft sound of childish laughter, and then a voice said, “Mother Rosa!”—but before the sentence could be finished Mother Rosa cried, I knew that they were near us, Albert!" and ran, laughing and crying, to undo the door. My readers can picture to themselves the scene that followed.

After this, life at the cottage went on cheerfully, though not quite in the old channels. Mother Rosa, pained at first because Julia had not returned, found comfort in the altered conduct of her son. Carlo was industrious, and so gentle when at home, that Albert himself began to put faith in him. Rubino went for the present to work with Carlo, and Tessa was Rosa's help and her father's dear companion.

Albert was never tired of the story of her life in England, of hearing her sing, of listening to the holy words of the Book which Tessa told him had been her guide and her joy in the foreign land. But it was strange to her that, while accepting the simple tidings of salvation, her father never seemed to derive that comfort from believing them which she herself had done.

“I believe it all, my child,” he would say, " but it does not warm my heart as it ought to do. I still want peace, Tessa ; my heart is not at rest."

One day she was reading to him the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price. “Do you remember,

child, how you promised to bring me a pearl from England ?” he asked, smiling.

Yes, padre mio, I know I did; and I have not done it. But yet,” she added, tearfully, "peace

” , would be as good as a pearl.”

“Ah, child! I should think so!

“Father,” said Tessa, suddenly, “when you ask God to forgive you, do you forgive your enemies? do

you love them? The signora said we must if we hoped to be forgiven. Jesus Himself taught it."

“Love my enemies !” answered Albert. Tessa, I could never do that! What!” he continued, with flashing eye, “love the man who was a traitor to me though we had been like brothers; the man who robbed me—who took your little fortune, Tessa! No; I forgive all others—I should be a liar if I said I forgave him!

Albert was an Italian, and the Italian feeling of revenge is very strong. Tessa was distressed.

“ Yet you want peace. You said just now peace would be to you a 'pearl of great price!""

“Yes, my child."

“ Dear father,” she said softly, “the merchantman was obliged to sell all that he had before he could buy the goodly pearl."

Albert bent his head. The hand of his tle daughter, guided by God's Holy Spirit, had laid bare to himself his own heart. For a long while he was silent. Then he said

“ Leave me by myself, Tessa.” Tessa went to her own chamber.

It was time for the evening meal before her father called her, and when she went to him she saw that he had been weeping.

“ It has been a hard fight, Tessa,” he said, kissing her fondly, "but the victory is won. me,” he added, humbly, “but by His grace Who has forgiven me, proud sinner though I was. Oh, child ! how could I ever hope for forgiveness when I did not myself forgive ?"

And you do forgive now, dear father?”

“ Yes, Tessa; you hear me say it. From my whole heart I forgive Roberto Dolfi.”

“And Roberto Dolfi was longing for your forgiveness that he might die at peace,” she replied. “ Father, Roberto Dolfi was my dear friend in London !”

[ocr errors]

Not by

*

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

a white, frightened face, “something is amiss with your father; he does not speak.”

Tessa ran swiftly to her father's chamber.

The good fight had indeed been fought, but the soldier was not to be crowned here. struggle and emotion of the day before had snapped the worn thread of Albert's life.

When Miss Wilton paid her promised visit, she found only three in the mountain home, for Rubino had gone, by his own wish, to work with a woodcarver at Lorino. Tessa had become very dear to her stepmother, yet Rosa urged her to accept the offer Miss Wilton made, and Tessa consented to return with the signora to England.

Years have passed away since then, and Tessa is very happy in her English home. She is Theodora's best help in the village choir, and is always pleased to sing to her mistress; but she has resolutely, though gratefully, declined to have her voice cultivated, or to be educated as a singer. Her taste of public life with Mr. Crispi had been enough for her. She finds more happiness in serving the mistress whom she loves than she could do in winning the applause of a brilliant audience; and it is only when, in singing the vintage song, she is sometimes carried away by her old enthusiasm, that she recalls to those around her the “Damsel WITH A DULCIMER.”

The total Number of Marks given for Bible Questions for June was 30, of which L. Macdonald obtained 30, C. Bligh 30, M. Beardsley 30, R. Wealthy 29, E. M. Bergman 28, G. Barter 28, Jane Burch 27, J. Peachell 27, S. Caukwell 27, J. H. S. Costello 25, L. Pidcock 26, C. P. FitzGerald 26, A. Stephens 26, M. E. Bell 26, E. Carlisle 26, A. L. Rasey 26, M. P. FitzGerald 25, E. L. Collins 24, A. McArthur 24, M. Irby 23, W. Irby 23, A. E. Milliner 22, K. M. Hatton 22, E. M. Dickers 21, E. H. Robinson 21, W. Hobby 20, G. É. Robinson 20, Mousey 16, C. Potts 10, G. Humphreys ro.

A FIRST PRIZE of SEVEN SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE and a SECOND of FIVE SHILLINGS will be given to the boys or girls who obtain the greatest number of marks during the six months from July to December. The answers should be in the writer's own words, and proved from Scripture. When the Scripture reference only is put, a less number of marks will be given. The Competition is open to boys and girls of 14 and under. They must not be helped by older persons, and should not use a Concordance.

We have much pleasure in awarding the First Prize for the last six months to JOSEPH PEACHELL, who, out of a possible total of 170 marks, has obtained 158, The Second Prize is given to ELLEN M. BERGMAN (155 marks). The following deserve Honourable Mention :-CONSTANCE BLIGH (152), RICHARD WEALTHY (149), C. P. FITZGERALD (146), M. P. FITZGERALD (145), L. MACDONALD (144), A. STEPHENS (144).

An additional Prize of Six Shillings has been offered by a friend to the boy or girl who has answered Bible Questions with steadiness and perseverance for the greatest length of time without receiving a Prize. This is awarded to JANE BURCH.

Will our friends acknowledge their Prizes? NINE Prizes were sent out a few months ago, and only THREE were acknowledged. Is it possible the other six were lost in the post ?

Bible Questions.

1. What was the vow of a Nazarite ?

а. 2. Give an example from the Old Testament and one from

the New of men who were under this vow. 3. Why was Eli so severely punished ? 4. In what part of the night did God first reveal Himself

to Samuel ? 5. By what other name was a prophet called in Israel ? 6. What was the sin of the Israelites in wanting a king? 7. Give instances in which Samuel's description of what

the king would do was fulfilled.

[ocr errors]

CRYPTOGRAPH.

(Two Bible Verses.) “Uif Mpse jt nz Tifqifse, J tibmm opu xbou.

“If nblfui nf up mjf epxo jo hsffo qbtuvsft, If mfbefui nf cftjef uif tujmm xbufst."- tbmn xxiii.

SUNDAY SCHOOL HOSPITAL BED. The following Contributions have been received up to June 11th :

Knossington Sunday School £1 185.3.d., Maggie Birtt (coll.) 85., Harry Bridgeman (coll.) is. Tod., Albert Smithson (coll.) 45. Id., Louisa Mottley (coll.) 8s. 3d., Fred Smithson (coll.) 3s. 6d., Robert Valler (coll.) 35.7d., Louisa Richardson (coll.) 6s., Walter Rogers (coll.) 25. cd., George Dines (coll.) is. 4d., Alfred Pannell (coll.) 45. 5d., Florence Gwynne (coll.) 3s. 6d., Ada Coningsby (coll.) 25. 6d., Alice Byrne (coll.) is. 6d., Alice Tregear (coll.) 6s., Caroline Cross (coll.) 25.7d., Shortwood Sunday School, by Miss S. Mason 5s., Miss Palmer 25. 6d., Miss Mason 2s. 68. St. Matthew, Red Hill, Sunday Schools, (add.) 25. ofd., Limehouse Children's Service, per Rev. W. Donne, 159., Norah Evens 5s., Fanny Randall is. 6d., Kate Barry 25. 6d., Evelyn Mather (coll.) £6 58., Caroline Mather (coll.) £6 58., St. Alphege Sunday School, Greenwich, Bible Class 45., Alice Bowring (coll.) is. 9d., St. Alphege and St. Mary Sunday Schools, Greenwich, ios. 6d., Willie Ashford 55., Miss Ainslie 5s., Julia Ashford Is., Miss Allen 25. 6d., H. A. W. 25. 6d., Charlie is., Miss Needham's School 175., Sir George Prestage 2s. uid., Clondalkin Sunday School ss., per Miss Dudley ros., a Gift, per Miss Bompas, 39. 64d., Hoxton Mission Children 145. 4d., a Child, per Miss Farnall, is, bd., Orphanage, Tradespeople, 13s., St. Mary, Islington, Boys' Sunday School £15s. 6d., St. Mary, Islington, Young Men's Bible Class, 155. 2d., St. Mary, Islington, Girls' Sunday School, 14s. 6d., St. Thomas, West Ham, Mission Church Sunday School 11S., E. F. A. Forbes (coll.) is. 98., Jessie Kellas (coll.) 28. 8d., Isabella Barrow (coll.) 25. 8d., Sloane Place Sunday School, per Mr. Buchanan, £1 1os. 3d., Nelly Hodgkin (coll.) 155., “The Twins 5s., St. Alphege Sunday School, Greenwich (H. G. Vescoe 3s., Fred Welling 8s.) us., Reginald, Hettie, and Baby Bullock 8s. 6d., Mary Fielden 18. 21d., Sunday School Collection, per Miss Edgell, 62 55. St. Barnabas Sunday School, Kensington, £t ss., Lillie 2s. 6d., Church of the Ascension Sunday School, Balham, by F. Portway 8s. id., St. James', Islington, Sunday School 16s. 6d., Ethel Gedd (coll.) 35. ed., Holy Trinity, Chelsea, Sunday School fi gs. 20.

ANSWERS TO BIBLE QUESTIONS.

36. Josh. xiv. 7.
37. Deut. xyii. 16.
38. 1 Kings iv, 26, x, 26, 28.
39. Ps. xx. 7.
40. Deut. vii. 6-8.
41. Deut. xxxi. 10–13.
42. 2 Kings xxiii. 2; Neh. viii.
43. Josh. xxii.

« PreviousContinue »