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and last, is the dedication of the Abbey. These stories are not all true, but they will show you what people used to believe. In the life of almost every good man in past ages, you will find that the love and admiration which he inspired caused people to forget that he was only human, and to attribute to him all kinds of powers which he never really possessed.
Edward the Confessor was the last, save the unfortunate Harold, of the Saxon kings. His was the first royal tomb in the Abbey, and many kings and queens have since been buried there. We shall speak of some of these next time.
Which Shall Go?
legendary ring. It was also accidentally broken into at the coronation of James II., who thrust in his hand and drew out a crucifix and a gold chain. The present tomb is the work of Abbot Feckenham, in the reign of Queen Mary, and is the only memorial in the Abbey of her reign. The wooden screen at the top was only temporary, but has never been replaced by anything more splendid.
If you want to know more of the life of Edward the Confessor, look up at those carvings above the screen, which are all scenes from his life. The first represents the nobles swearing fealty to the queen his mother, the next his birth, and the third his coronation. The fourth is the abolition of the Dane Geld. This tax had been formerly raised to keep off the invasions of the Danes, but it was still unjustly levied after the Danes had ceased to invade England. On going to the treasure-room one day the king and his courtiers are said to have seen a little black demon dancing on one of the money chests, and this so frightened Edward, that he at once did away with the tax. The fifth scene is of the king's bedchamber, and the thief stealing his treasures. In the next we see the king kneeling before the high altar, where a vision of Christ appears to him. The seventh shows the shipwreck and drowning of the King of Denmark, which the Confessor is said to have seen in a vision; the eighth the quarrel between the boys Tosti and Harold, sons of the great Earl Godwin, at the royal table, from which Edward foretold the evils that their future contentions should bring on the kingdom; and the ninth, the visit to the seven sleepers. These sleepers were seven men who, flying from the persecution of the Christians at Rome took refuge in a cave at Ephesus. There they fell asleep, and are supposed to be lying there in the same sleep to this day. One evening, at a banquet, the king suddenly burst into one of his strange fits of laughter, and turning to his courtiers, said he had just seen in a vision the seven sleepers turn from their right sides to their left. This he said was an omen of great misfortune for the next seventy years. Messengers were sent to inquire into the truth of the vision, and they found the sleepers as the king had described, on their left sides. The carving represents the messengers on horseback, at the mouth of the cave. The seventy years of misfortune were fulfilled by the horrors of the civil wars before and after the Conquest. The tenth, twelfth, and thirteenth scenes give the story of St. John and the ring; the eleventh represents the restoring of sight to blind men who have washed in water used by the king; and the fourteenth,
MOTHER sat with her children three,
The Angel of Death drew near: “I come for one of thy babes," quoth he; “Of the little band, say, which it shall be? I will not choose, but leave it for thee
To give me the one least dear.”
And drew them all close to her heart;
“ With this one,” said he, “ canst thou part ?”
A VISIT TO SILK STREET.
A Visit ta Silk Street.
At last I caught sight of lights, and the outline of the hills around was seen.
Presently the slow lumbering train steamed into the station, like a tired horse returning to its stable at night.
The platform was quite empty.
Of course no one would come to meet me in the middle of the night! But stay, who are those people at the end of the platform, kept back by a chain, and waving their hands and handkerchiefs ?
I knew some of their faces, and I remembered that Germany is so careful lest her children should be run over by trains, or throw themselves under the locomotives, that she does not allow them to be on the platform when a train comes in.
At Stuttgart you can buy tickets of admission for d. (fünf pfennig).
The long train was soon empty.
The sleepy, untidy-looking travellers climbed down from their seats, dragging parcels of all shapes and sizes down with them.
I looked after my.luggage, and ran to where I saw my friends standing.
There I was greeted by such a storm of welcome that I had no breath left to answer all the ques tions about my health, and my journey, and my home; but no answer was expected.
They decided that I was too tired to talk, and must be put to bed at once.
So I was marched through the wide, deserted streets, where the sound of our footsteps on the flagstones seemed almost unearthly in the stillness, to the lodging in Silk Street, which was to be my home for a few months.
But you will wonder what these friends of mine were like, who they were, and how old they were.
You could not have seen their faces well in the streets, for the gas had been put out, and there
faces -561. b
the Germans have, and how warmly they tell you
over and over again how glad they are to see you, as they squeeze and shake your hand till it quite aches !
How many ..
friends would be at the station to welcome me
when I arrived ! jardin Tor
Such were the 38
kept coming into my head as I sat in a second-class carriage of the night express from Cologne to Stuttgart.
I was almost too tired to feel any pleasure at the welcome, for I had been travelling for two whole days and nights. I could not go to sleep, as three German gentlemen had stretched themselves full length upon the seats of the carriage, and there was no room left for me. Their snores had kept me awake, and I walked from one window to the other, and looked out into the dark night, impatiently watching for the lights of the big town I was going to, to appear between the leaves of the trees.
Presently the fat old gentleman opposite me awoke, and after politely asking iny permission, lighted a large brown cigar. The windows were both shut, and I felt, if we did not soon arrive, that I should descend upon the platform like a smoked ham. This made me all the more impatient, and my anxiety touched the German's heart, for he asked me compassionately, “ Have you been away from home a long time?” I answered that I had not been to Stuttgart for two years.
was no moon.
It was a clear starlight night; in the east the primrose-coloured sky, which precedes the dawn of day, was beginning to line the horizon and to light up the sky.
We passed under the high white-washed wall which enclosed the “ Katharinenstift” garden, where I had often played with the school-girls of
The good old Queen Katherine had founded and endowed the school, and it had become the biggest and most fashionable in the town.
We lowered our voices as we passed the house of the good “ Prelat” or bishop.
The light was burning at his study window, and we knew that he was busy writing his sermon for next Sunday.
Past the large empty “Stadtgarten” we went, where the gates were shut, and the flowers and the fountains had it all their own way.
I began to think I could walk no further, when we turned into the small avenue of trees which divides Silk Street into two parts; and soon we reached the large iron gate which closed the passage between our house and the next.
The big red-brick house, with its many flats and windows, stood before me.
Gretchen, the maid, who had carried my parcels, came forward with a large key, and opened first the gate and then the door of the house, and we began climbing the stairs. Though it was so early in the morning, people were astir in the house. Gretchen said it was “ Frau Pfarrer's” maid, Rickole, who had a great “wasch” (washing), and must get up early to light the fire. We mounted two, three, four flights of wooden stairs, and then arrived at the glass door which showed the lighted ante-room inside.
The lady of the house, Frau Hofrath Müller, opened the door, and she gave me a hearty kiss of welcome, adding all kinds of good wishes, which were echoed by the other members of the family in different keys.
How pretty it all looked! The little sitting-room was bright with flowers and garlands, supper was laid upon the table, and a huge bouquet lay on the plate opposite the sofa corner, which I was expected, as the guest, to occupy. I looked round the room and recognised old friends—the old piano on which I had so often practised, surmounted by two little white busts of Beethoven and Mozart; there was the old clock on the chest of drawers in which I had kept my clothes; there was the one comfortable chair which had been brought by the Herr Hofrath from America, and in which we had loved to rock ourselves; there was the narrow little book-shelf, with Schiller and Goethe, Walter Scott, the Bible and hymn-book, and a few story books;
there was the Frau Hofrath's work-table and chair on its little raised platform by the window, and last, not least, there was the little iron stove, which could make the room so hot when it liked. I looked round me and felt what kind, simple people lived here; and I must have shown my thoughts, for Lydia, the eldest daughter, came and took my hand, and said, “We are plain folk here, you know, but we will do all we can to make you happy and comfortable, and you will soon get accustomed to our ways again.” I felt sure I should. I could see all their faces now by the light of the lamp which stood on the table, though it had a pretty
pink shade on, and I will try and tell you what they were like.
First, there was the Herr Hofrath Müller, a small stout man, with a black and grey beard, very thick hair, and a kind rosy face; he wore glasses, which made him look rather learned, but his comfortableness and his kindness impressed you more than his learning. He found getting up in the middle of the night and going to the station rather disagreeable work, and he had lighted a cigar to comfort himself. Frau Hofrath had all the energy; she was tall and thin, and had a shrewd face, with rather a drawn look about it; at her side hung a bunch of keys, the sign of the good housewife, and her plain gown and apron showed economy and thrift. Lydia, the eldest daughter, was a pretty girl of about twenty, small and slight, with a gentle, good little face, and a quiet, pleasant voice; she had a great misfortune, which often made her mother very unhappy, though it never seemed to trouble Lydia-her right hand was maimed, and she could not use it to lift or to sew ; this made her useless as a “hausfrau" in the kitchen or laundry, but she made up for it by painting beautifully in oils; she could hold the brush between her two poor fingers. Anna, the second daughter, was also a nice bright girl of seventeen, but neither so pretty nor so clever as her sister. Fritz, the little brother of ten, who went to school every day, with his knapsack on his back, and Gretchen, the chubby, round-faced maid, made up the family. There were also two lodgers, a Swiss and an Englishman, but I did not see them that evening
Now Frau Hofrath brought in the large tin teapot on a tray, with a jug of hot milk, and a tin box with white sugar; but I could not eat the rounds of sausage, red, white, and brown, which they had cut up for me, or even the “Schneckennudel” cakes of which I was so fond, though the whole family did their best by begging and entreating me to taste only a little piece. I went to the window, which was open, and looked out. How beautiful it was! But Frau Hofrath would not let me stay stargazing, she put her hand on my shoulder, and said I must be practical, and go to bed at once. A German bed is very unlike an English one, it is always made of wood, and has two huge pillows edged with embroidery, one blanket, and a warm, light down quilt at the top; but I assure you it is very comfortable, and I thought so more than ever when I lay down that night with a tired head and grateful heart, after Frau Hofrath had tucked me up and told me once more how glad she was to see me.
THE MYSTERIOUS KNIFE-GRINDER.
God is Llove.
VRACING in the shifting sand
With a tiny trembling hand,
Nhe Mysterious Knife-Grinder.
By Mrs. Prosser.
“ Knives to grind! Scissors to grind! Any knives or scissors want grinding to-day, ma'am ? ” said a thin little old man to a housemaid cleaning the door-step.
Can you wait while I fetch my scissors ?" she said, “they are at the top of the house, and I must finish the step first.”
“Oh, yes, I'll wait,” said the old man, and he stopped his wheel and began to prepare for the scissors.
The housemaid, before she could get to her attic, was stopped by her mistress, and sent to fetch something out of the kitchen, and she had scarcely delivered it before her master sent her to look for the newspaper in the dining-room. This, after a long search, she could not find, and had to stand and receive a lecture for being stupid and an order to look again.
She did not like to say, “ Please may I fetch my scissors first ?" so she thought she would just say out of the dining-room window to the old man, “ Don't wait any longer, for I don't krow when I shall come.”
She looked out and saw he was gone.
“He might have waited a little bit longer, at any rate,” she said, and looking for the newspaper, soon forgot all about him and her scissors.
The day passed on, and nothing happened to remind her of it, except that once, when she had to cut off some rings from the curtains for the wash, she was obliged to borrow the cook's scissors, as hers were so blunt.
“Why don't you have them ground ? said the cook, who did not like lending her things.
“ I should have had them done this morning,” said the housemaid, “but I got so hindered, the old man would not wait.”
“ The old man ?" said the cook. " What! Was he a little thin old man?”
“I don't remember,” said the housemaid, “I was in such a hurry to fetch my scissors."
“Ah, it's the same,” said the cook, “ I thought I heard him singing out about nine o'clock."
The housemaid was going off with the scissors when the cook cried, “If ever you see that old man again you notice him, I've heard tell that he's not a real knife-grinder, but goes about for the sake of talking to people and learning about the different houses that he grinds for. I never spoke to him myself, but the housemaid that was here before you
go on, go on,” they
said. Even Kate listened.
“ Well, then, we have work evenings,
and while we all work for the poor, and our cousins come to help us, mamma tells stories-so amusing-our
“Oh, how very pleasant,” cried all, even Kate.
“It is true, isn't it?” said Marion to the little girl whom she had reproved before.
“ Yes,” she said, “and I never thought work stupid when I was at the working-party.
"Tell us one of the stories that your mamma has told you, Marion,” said Kate, who had calmed down into a state of quiet interest.
“Willingly,” said Marion, and began as follows: