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TO A YOUNG GIRL AT SCHOOL.
“ The Virgin's name was Mary.” THERE be who deem that dispo
sitions vary, Alike in all of like baptismal
name: If so, among the blest art thou,
dear Mary, Called to take part with her who
loved and knew no blame;
How few have seen God's Angel!
she was one. They who have seen have mostly
seen in prayer; Or after prayer in sleep, their
vigil done, Temptation past, and pain of peni.
tence or care.t
And when she saw, with modest
doubt distressed She trembled first, then meekly
bowed her head In calm submission to her LORD'S
behest, Less marvelling at the words, through
awe of him who said.
The Virgin-Mother and her new
born child; Type, beyond thought, of inno
cence in love ! Love strong as death, yet calm
Heaven's pure dove.
shared with one Who, once betrothed, still loved
as elder brother ; Then, in her Son's best friend, she
loved a second son.
Nor love alone, though love in
briel blessed her sight.* * One tradition says, that she was praying in her private chamber for the coming of Messiah, when “the Angel came in unto her,” (see Bishop Taylor's Life of CHRIST); another, that it happened as she returned from a fountain, still shown, where she had been drawing water.
Be this thy mood, dear girl, when
love from friends, Receive, as undeserved, with dubious
glad surprise. Else vain thy love and innocence,
vain prayer ; Vain the sweet dreams of after
life, which bless Thy youthful bosom crossed with
early care ; The Virgin's grace which won God's gift was “lowliness.”
ARTHUR BAKER, Aylesbury, Christmas,
+ S. Luke i. 11; Dan. ix. 20, 21; Acts x. 3, 9; xii. 6, 7; xxvii. 23; Gen. xxviii. 11, 12, xxxii. 24; S. Matt. iv. 11; S. Luke xxii. 43; S. John xx. 12 ; S. Luke xv, 22.
THE ANGEL OF LIFE.
CHAP. I. Two little children were sitting under the sheltering boughs of a beautiful oak tree, enjoying the delightful calmness and refreshing breezes that accompany the close of a sultry summer day: they seemed restless and looked out here and there, now conversing quickly together for a few seconds, then resuming a silence so
hushed, that it seemed passing strange for children of such tender age.
Before them on the turf was a fine dog, as quiet and expectant as themselves, whilst around them books and work lay scattered. The birds chirped from bough to bough, the bees went humming busily along, the butterfly in his gaudiest coat floated by them, all alike unheeded. They looked at each other and still were mute, and patient, and watchful as before.
A slight cloud gathered over the hitherto unspotted sky, and darkness passed over the flowers which wafted forth fragrance richer and sweeter than before ; the birds seemed hushed for a second ; the zephyr swept by with gentle music, lifting up their fair hair; some heavy drops of rain fell ;--again they looked at each other, more quiet if possible, but they moved not.
The guardian dog rose slowly, shaking himself and looked wistfully, first at one and then at the other. Rosalie patted his head and turning to Ernest, said quickly in a fearful tone of voice,
“Do you think, Ernest, mamma is in the rain ; I hope it will not be a storm, for I know she is always anxious for us, and yet we must stay here till her return, for she bade us do so, must we not ?"
Certainly, for she said she should not be long." “Oh! I think it must be two hours instead of one, and then mamma could not tell that we should have a storm. I don't think if she were here, she would let us remain under the tree, and besides/" “Hush, hush, dearest Rosalie, we are to do as we are bid, and
suppose what we should do if something else happened ; does not mamma say so ? I hope this is nothing more than a few drops ;-oh there is dearest mamma,” and with a bound those three joyous ones rushed to meet her, one still patient and happy, the other two like uncaged larks, set free from imprisonment endured but not enjoyed.
“How are you both,” said their fond mother, kissing them, " quite well and quite happy ?”
Yes, dearest mamma.
“No, mamma,” said Rosalie, "only I am so glad that you came just when you did; for I was thinking of thunder and lightning, and what we ought to do if it were a storm, for you said nothing about it.” " You stayed here then all the time ?"
Yes, mamma, for Ernest said we were to do as you bid us." “Come and kiss me again, my dear children, and listen to me,
You must try to act in this manner all your life long Remember obedience is your first and chief duty, over the consequences that follow you have no control.
Recollect also your ever-loving Father, and His commands and precepts; mine are
only his words rendered more clear to your untutored young hearts, (if I can make them so;) think of Him, and love Him ever more and more.
I pray you not to forget me, your anxious and loving mother; be tender and affectionate to each other; treat kindly those who are placed under your care, especially poor Fido. Will you try to remember all these things ?”
They murmured, “ Yes, dearest mother."
“Now let me see your tasks. Very well, both of you. See, I have brought you buth a little book to keep for me until I return: for, my beloved Ernest and Rosalie, if time has seemed long to you to-day, what will it be to-morrow, when before your eyes see the bright sun arise from his couch, I shall be gone for a little space; still look and watch for me as you have to-day, and then when you least expect me you will see me again. You must not leave these gardens of flowers ; should you like a longer walk, ask Rachel to go with you; above all remember to keep Fido always with you. I have marked your tasks.”
“ Must you leave us again, dear mamma ? shall you be very long away ?" said the children, with tearful eyes.
“I cannot tell, perhaps I may be home to-morrow night, perhaps not for two or three days. If you love each other, feed Fido, and do your tasks, and read your little book, you will not think mé gone very long. And beware of going beyond this sweet spot; you know not the dangers outside, within there are trials sufficient for your weak strength; that dark forest, I may not tell how dreadful it is; if you venture there, my beloved little ones, perhaps I may never see you again.” And the mother bent, and whilst blessing, wept over those her children, commending them to that Power, Who alone could save and defend them from all that was hurtful and dangerous.
CHAP. II. “In crowd at once, where none the pass defend, The harmless freedom, and the private friend.”—Johnson. With forlorn and sorrowful hearts, our Rosalie and her brother wandered amongst their once happy flowers; poor Fido frisked and gambolled about, he was unnoticed; so being weary of trying to amuse, when he was so unsuccessful, he lay down under the shady tree, and curling himself rourd, composed himself for a nap. Their tasks accomplished, with what joy did they peruse their mother's gift, that little book which seemed as if it had been written purposely for them.
The second and the third day passed away : no signs of their mother's coming, and day after day they waited expectant, still she came not: can we wonder they relaxed in their duty ? It was no wonder, but it was wrong. They went to look out from the gate, instead of watching from the green bank by the tree; when Fido driven away.
growled, and would have prevented them, he was scolded and
While they were thus looking about, some of their young acquaintance, the children of a neighbouring family, whom they had met once or twice, passing by, chanced to see them; they turned to speak to Rosalie, and after a few remarks, admired the garden so much, that the pleased children invited them to walk amongst their beautiful flowers, and eat some fruit with them.
After partaking of their companions' hospitality, Henry exclaimed
“Now tell me what you are doing here, Ernest.” Ernest told him with great simplicity the command their mother had left them, and how surprised they felt at her long absence.
Henry burst out laughing. “Did you ever see such a pair of cowards, such poor creatures, Anne and Jane ? only fancy not going beyond this square of ground, without an old woman following you; but sitting watching like a frightened rabbit; and then reading, pooh! it would make me quite mopy. Come, come, I see you are ashamed of yourselves, so if you like to trust me, I will take as much care of you as any Rachel ever did, besides showing you far gayer flowers than any in your gardens and fruit twice as large, of a red colour, and with a most delicious flavour."
“Where will you take us to find it,” said Jane, eagerly. " Follow your leader, and you will see.”
“No, indeed,” said Jane,“ do not think you are going to deceive us again ; I have not forgotten your grand promises of beautiful singing birds last week, pretending you had found a nest full, and when we came to look at them, and were peeping in, you let off your pop-gun behind our heads, and we both tumbled into the ditch, thinking we were killed ; whilst you ran away laughing, leaving us to get out of the mud as we could.”
Ernest and Rosalie hearing this, drew back hesitatingly.
“What nonsense!” said Henry ; “ I assure you that is all Jane's invention, she wants all the fruit for herself, and you would like to taste it too, only you are afraid, poor little dears." “No, we are not afraid,” said Ernest, “only mamma told us
you were cowards, she ought to have said. Come, Annie and Jane, we must go, or it will soon be too late for us to get anything."
“Rosalie is going a little way with me, down the valley, only we must not take her too far,” said Annie.
"There's a pretty little girl," replied Henry; “I always said you were better than your brother, who dare not even peep out of his rabbit-hole, for fear something should run away with him. Good bye to you, my valiant sir, we shall hear your laments when we return and tell you how much we have seen, and what beautiful
fruit we have had; I hope your meditations will be agreeable in the mean time.”
“ Rosalie, Rosalie, are you going to leave me?" cried Ernest, running after her, and taking her hand; " indeed, indeed, you must not.” Annie and Jane seized her hands, pushing Ernest back, and ran down the slope, so that Rosalie's struggles were ineffectual, if she even tried to relax their hold ; she turned her head back, and saw Ernest wiping his eyes; and her heart smote her, but she did not attempt to stop.
A loud growl, with a sharp quick bark, made the whole party start and stop for an instant.
“Hold your tongue, you good-for-nothing beast, and take that for making such a noise, and telling tales," said the rude Henry, throwing a large pebble at the poor dog, which hit his hind leg, making him whine most piteously.
"O my poor dear Fido,” said Ernest, running to him, and examining his foot. “ Poor dog! this is for your faithfulness. What can I do, Fido ? for these are naughty children, and have drawn away my poor sister : I must not, I cannot leave Rosalie, and yet I do not like to go with them—I do not like to leave you. Try and crawl along, poor fellow, if you can, till we overtake them; and when Rosalie sees how much you are hurt, I know she will be sadly vexed with herself. Perhaps I can make her hear me now if I call."
In vain did Ernest call, no answer was made. He walked slowly and cautiously, keeping the others just in sight, hoping every minute that Rosalie would turn back; however, she seemed very much engrossed, talking to Annie; every now and then he heard Henry's shrill whistle and loud laugh, as if something uncommonly amusing had occurred.
* Evening was advancing very rapidly; the wind seemed to be gathering strength as the sun declined, with a chilling and rain-like blast it blew through the trees of the dark forest which lay beneath him. Ernest hardly knew why he felt so timid and fearful. He kept turning round to look at his loved home and the lofty mountain trees, then came thoughts of his mother and her last injunctions. What would she think of their disobedience ? Ought he to have remained behind ? “ Decidedly not,” said conscience, 'you must try and bring your sister back if you can.” How sorry he felt that he had invited their late companions to their happy home, to mar their joy and contentment. At this moment he remembered his little book, and pulling it out of his bosom, he seated himself so that he could see ihe road for a great length; and after reading some time he closed his book, and bowing his head, he bent down and prayed for help to act aright: he then wiped up his tears, and remembering that now he must act and not sit lamenting, which would not fetch Rosalie back, nor heal poor Fido's swollen foot, he patted his dumb companion, and then com