Page images
[blocks in formation]

that of Cecil, Earl of Exeter (1622), who is buried with his two wives. His effigy lies at the top, with his first wife on his right hand side. There is a

s naturally expect to see the figure of his second

to the deposed king, Richard II. Shakespeare, in his play of “Richard II.,” states that the Abbot was executed for the conspiracy, but this cannot be, for his death did not take place till forty years later. His stone effigy is much defaced, but was once richly coloured.

He wears

a mitre and jewelled gloves.

Besides Carey and Lord Hunsdon, a third victim to grief is buried in this chapel, Thomas Ruthell, Bishop of Durham (1522), who died from mortification at having sent to Henry VIII. an inventory of his private riches in mistake for a paper on state affairs. Knowing well the cupidity of the king, Ruthell feared that his wealth might be forfeited to him, and the anxiety put an end to his life.

One more tomb we must notice in the centre,

wife. It is said, however, that she indignantly refused to be placed in an inferior position to his first wife, and so is not represented at all.

Next in order comes the chapel of Abbot Islip, built by him in 1552. Islip himself is buried within, though his monument has been destroyed. His name appears on the frieze above in the form of an eye and a hand holding a slip or branch. This curious pun is several times repeated. In some cases the name is shown by a man slipping from a tree-I slip.


Mhe biost Sheep.

LL we like sheep have gone asa tray,” says Isaiah.

One in one direction, another in another, we have all of us left the fold, and wandered away into the paths of sin. That is what the prophet means. Now, I suppose the shepherd might say, “Well, let them go; the fault is theirs, not mine, and they must take

the consequences of straying. I shall not trouble myself about them.” But if he did say so he would not be the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd—that is, as you know, the Lord Jesus Christ, our dear Saviour-is full of concern and anxiety even about one lost sheep, and He cannot rest until He has made an attempt to find it, and bring it back,

See what He does!

He leaves the rest of the flock in the fold-of course He leaves them in safety, well cared-for and protected-and having made all arrangements for them, He starts in search of the poor unhappy wanderer. He is obliged to travel rough mountain paths, and to enter into dark and dismal caverns, and to walk along precipices, and to cross rivers. His work is not easy, as you may see, for His feet are cut with the jagged Aints of the road, and His hands are torn with briers; but still He perseveres. Do you understand, my dear children, what that means? I think you do. Our Good Shepherd led a very suffering life. His search after us was a painful one. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and at last His hands and His feet were pierced and nailed to the Cross, and He "laid down His life for the sheep.”. What a road Jesus had to travel when He was hunting after us, and trying to find us and bring us back!

By-and-by the Good Shepherd finds the sheep. Ah! how miserable it is! Poor wretched creature 88



How Jack Kept His Ward.


[ocr errors]

it is torn and footsore and weary; its wilfulness has cost it dear; misery and despair look out of its eyes. How unlike it is to the sheep that are remaining at home, happy in their fold! It has found out that “the way of transgressors is hard"; and it is in danger too of being torn to pieces and destroyed altogether by some ravenous beast of prey. And yet when it sees the Shepherd it shrinks from Him, and wishes to hide itself out of His sight. Partly it is ashamed to look on Him; partly it fears that He will punish it severely for running away. But does He punish it? Does He flog it well for its folly and sin ? No, indeed; He is only too glad to recover it, and instead of driving it back before Him with hard words and blows, as might have been expected, He lifts it up tenderly in His arms, and placing the poor wounded, trembling creature on His shoulders, carries it gently and safely back to the fold, rejoicing over the finding of the sheep He had lost.

What a beautiful picture this is of the love of the Lord Jesus for us who are sinners!

He might have remained in heaven amongst the holy and happy angels, hearing their songs and receiving their praises ; but His love would not let Him do so. He came down to earth and was made man, our brother-man, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. And then He lived amongst men, teaching them and suffering at their hands; and at last, as I have reminded you, He died upon the Cross. All this was "going after the lost sheep.” Yes; and He goes after the lost sheep now by His Holy Spirit, who speaks to us through the Word of God, and calls upon us when we are wandering to turn from the error of our ways.

My dear children, when we feel that we have done wrong and sinned against God, our first inclination is to run away from Him, or to hide ourselves sulkily out of His sight, like the poor sheep I have just been describing to you. But the

I Good Shepherd is too loving to leave us to ourselves, and to the bad humours and self-will of our own hearts; and He comes after us—condescends to come after us, fur remember that He is the great and eternal God-and persuades us to return to Him, and to love Him and trust Him still, in spite of our sin. He freely forgives us, and takes us back again, and removes the soreness of heart, the sulkiness, the fear, the shrinking from Him, which sin has produced. He brings us back tenderly in His arms, rejoicing in the recovery of His wandering sheep.

What a Saviour He is! what a Friend to us! Who would not be thankful for Him ?



IND you take care of Freddy, Jack. Don't let him stand about and catch cold, and be sure you don't let him get into mischief.”

- Yes, Mother, I will take great care," said Jack.

I wonder you are not

afraid letting those two children go out by themselves,” said Aunt Lucy, as the little boys passed the window hand in hand.

“I assure you Jack considers himself quite a man now he goes to school,” said, his mother, laughing, "and I could trust Freddy anywhere with him if he said he would take care. Jack never breaks his word.”

Meanwhile the two boys ran down the road till they came to a pond, where a party of Jack's school-fellows were sliding.

“Come on, Jack,” they shouted; "here's a splendid slide!"

It was a splendid slide right across the middle of the pond, and Jack looked longingly at it.

“Don't go," said Freddy; "stop and play with


[ocr errors]


"I can't come,” said Jack, firmly," I promised Mother to take care of Freddy."

“Oh, the baby!” cried the boys. “He's afraid of breaking his dear little head !” “He should have a rattle, little darling!” “But perhaps

" “ his mamma would think it dangerous for her


Poor Jack got very red, for he was exceedingly anxious to be thought manly; but he only said, “Come on, Fred, we will play at horses if you have got the reins."

They were soon out of hearing, and when they gct home late in the afternoon they were met in the hal by both mother and aunt.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

A Visit to Silk Street.




[ocr errors]


WISH you could

fly away with me to Stuttgart, and see Lydia in her white dress on this her wedding day, but I must try and describe it to you instead.

The is shining brightly, and there has been no sign of

rain. Frau Hofrath shakes her head : a few rain-drops on the bridal wreath bring luck, she says, but this does not make her unhappy, for she is too wise to believe in luck.

The last weeks have been spent in receiving visits and in showing the furniture and the presents which are to make the home comfortable.

In Germany the bride has to provide everything.

Lydia's friends had been very kind and thoughtful; she had had presents of saucepans and dusters beside antimacassars and ornaments.

Very early in the morning of this happy day the hair-dresser had been to arrange the bride's hair. And now Lydia came into the room, with a beaming face half hidden behind a huge bouquet of white flowers, which she held up in triumph for us to see. Her “brautigam(fiancé) the Capitaine, had sent it with a beautiful book, bound in red morocco, as his wedding gift.

A smaller bouquet with coloured flowers was then brought in for the bridesmaids from their respective groomsmen. Every one was very busy making up little parcels in white paper and writing names upon them; for it is the custom in Germany to send presents, or "hochzeits sträusse,” to every one at the wedding.

Each of the bridesmaids had a brooch from the bridegroom, but as they were not presented till the breakfast, they could not wear them.

We assembled in the vestry of the royal chapel, and thought the bride would never come!

The chapel was full of people, for Lydia had many friends, and the choral society she belonged to was waiting to welcome her with a grand German chorale when she appeared.

The verger, in his light blue livery with yellow points and black wig, came bustling in to say the bride and bridegroom were in the court.

The door opened and they walked in.

The Capitaine was in full-dress uniform, tall and erect; Lydia, all in white, walked by his side and clung to his arm, her bouquet almost hiding her face. The Prelat (or Bishop of the German Church), Lydia's uncle, walked first, his long white hair falling on his shoulders and his face beaming with kindness and benevolence. Very slowly he walked into chapel; the bride and bridegroom followed him; then came the bridesmaids, each with a groomsman, the visitors and relations ending the procession.

The Communion Table stood in the middle of the chapel, and the Prelat took his stand in front of it.

The ladies stood on one side, and the gentlemen on the other, while the bride and bridegroom stood alone before the Prelat.

In England, the gentleman gives his wife a ring at their wedding, but Lydia had worn her ring for months before this day, and all that was left to be done was, to promise before God and the assembled congregation, to love, honour, and obey her husband, just as people do in England. The Prelat then gave them a Bible as their guide in all trouble and joy, and we all waited whilst he spoke of the virtues of their good parents, and advised the young couple to live to d's glory and to remember their heavenly Father and His love all their lives.

We knelt down and prayed for a blessing, and then every one dropped a piece of

up in white paper, into a plate put upon a little table on purpose, and we left the chapel.

Crowds of people greeted us outside, and flowers came whizzing through the air about our heads as we stepped into the carriages.

German houses are too small to have wedding breakfasts in, and so we had to go to a room in the Liederhalle close to Silk Street, where we found the dinner, or “essen,” as they call it, spread out.

There were not many people, only Lydia's nearest relations and the Capitaine's mother and sister, who could talk very little German, yet you would have been astonished at the noise we



money, folded

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

made! It seemed as though every one had found out for the first time the use of the tongue.

The table was ornamented with large round dishes like open tarts, called “kuchen.”

The good things-soup, fish, venison, chicken, and sweets-were very much like an English breakfast, only that it took longer to eat them, because there was so much talking and laughing to be done.

I have told you that the Germans like beer, but they do not despise champagne either, and soon the speeches and the toasts began. The venerable old Prelat stood up first, cleared his throat, looked around with his blue eyes moist with coming tears, took


his glass in his shaky hand, and began“My dear friends

The Prelat was a poet, and had written many books, and the whole table was silent whilst he spoke of the bride's many charms, and of the happy bridegroom who had won her.

But drinking a toast is a far more serious thing in Germany than in England. Every one walked round the table with his glass to chink it with every one else's, until many a white dress had an ugly stain upon it.

In the midst of this general post the door opened, and a number of maids with baskets on their arms came in, and began distributing interesting little white parcels among the guests.

To my surprise I heard my name called out several times, and soon found my plate piled with paper.

My neighbour burst into a merry laugh; he had just unpacked a fat pig made of wax with a carrot in its mouth. This was a sign of luck.

A gentleman opposite produced a towel-horse hung with handkerchiefs of different colours.

It was late in the afternoon when the bride and bridegroom got up to go away. No one said good-bye, for fear of making them sad, but every one threw flowers after them as they left the room together.

A carriage was waiting to take them home, where they changed their dress and drove to the railway station. The honeymoon was to be spent at the Italian Lakes. There was a large garden round the Leiderhalle, with a lovely view of the Boppser forest on the hill opposite, and the town nestling in the valley between.

Though the garden was a public one, there were very few people in it, and the wedding guests wandered about it at will.

Some stayed in the hall and played forfeits.
You would have been amused to see one poor

man who had forgotten all his arithmetic, pay forfeit after forfeit.

I am sorry to say he was not of an amiable temper, for when he was told to sit upon a rolling glass bottle and hold a tallow candle in each hand, one lighted and the other not, and to light the one from the other, he thought it would spoil his best clothes, and positively refused to do it.

Another time he was told to bring pepper and salt into the room upon his tongue, so he covered his tongue with pepper and salt till he could hardly speak, and walked into the room looking very cross.

The young lady who had given him this forfeit to redeem showed him how to do it, by coming in and saying “ Pepper and salt!” so he had his trouble for nothing.

How beautiful and cool the garden was !

The moonbeams streamed down among the trees and made dark shadows upon the paths; everything seemed so peaceful and happy, and Lydia's mother put her arm into mine, and said to think of her child's happiness made her feel quite young again! A bright gleam of the moon showed me something glittering in her hand; even on such a day the industrious Frau Hofrath had not forgotten her knitting needles.

Suddenly there was a noise which made us all start. A bugle call, the long blast of a trumpet, a peal of bells, and a loud cry of “Fire!” rang through the still night air. In a moment the gentlemen collected, wished their hostess “Goodnight,” and disappeared amongst the trees.

In Germany almost every one is a volunteer in the Fire Brigade, and has to be ready at the


of “ Fire!”

The garden overlooked the town, and from the upper terrace we could see the red light in the sky and the smoke rising up in bright columns, then becoming quite black, and disappearing in the air.

We watched the light grow brighter, and listened to the bells, which rang out more and more wildly as the fire increased. The streets seemed alive with armed men, as the firemen turned out of their houses, buttoning their uniforms as they ran, and calling to each other to know where the fire was. It was a long time before we went home, and long after we were in bed the bells were still ringing and the fire still raging.

Now I must say good-bye to you. I hope I have made you think Germany, and Silk Street in particular, a nice place; if I have not, it is my fault, and not the fault of the kind Germans. I hope you will go there yourselves one day, and see that I am right.

« PreviousContinue »