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THE DISTRESS IN LANCASHIRE.
TO THE WOMEN OF ENGLAND.“ DEAR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS,—Many of you are to be seen constantly at the "Dorcas Meeting,” stitching away with right good-will at garments for your poor. Now, we have no wish whatever to interfere with those comfortable gatherings; yet we have a proposal to make to you, and shall be much obliged if, before you shake your heads and say, “ We cannot manage it here," you will give it a second thought, and then we believe that it will be managed, and, moreover, satisfactorily caried out.
We need hardly remind you that thousands of the Lancashire poor are on the verge of starvation. From this fearful contingency a noble and generous public are doing their best to preserve them. Have we, as Christian women, duly considered that one-and-sixpence, two shillings, or even three-and-sixpence per week, allowed from the Relief Fund, must be spent in bare bread, to say nothing of rent, of coals, of soap, and many other things which we call necessaries ? What then of clothes! It was no fiction that reached our ears the other day of that poor creature, covered with sores, the result of lack of food, lying absolutely naked save the sheet that covered her !—no fiction that “ Father's Sunday clothes are pawned, so he cannot go to chapel now!”-no fiction that Mary shivers these chill autumnal mornings, because sister Betsy has gone to work part time, so of necessity wears the only remaining gown!-no fiction, mothers, with your well-filled baby drawers, that while your darling is guarded from all fear of cold, many and many another, with frame as frail, limbs as tender, is already lifting up its piteous little moan in the ear of its heart-broken mother, and inevitably, by full winter, must have found its “ rest 'neath the churchyard god,” because no soft flannel wrapped it round, no warm scarlet cloak guarded it from the cutting wind that whistled in through the broken roof!
Oh! women of England, since these things are so, and no idle tale, no picture of the imagination, can we sit still in our homes, can we enjoy our winter firesides, while their cry is coming up in our ears ? Oh! let us at least do something. Each may say, “ I am but one, but I am one," and at least can benefit one poor creature, make one garment, mitigate the sorrow of one. We fully believe this, therefore we make this proposal.
Let one lady in every circle invite her friends to meet her in the public school-room, or at her own house, and bring with her either one garment, or money to purchase one. "Let two or three hours be spent weekly in making up these clothes, and then, added to old clothes, frocks, linen, anything that every tidy housekeeper will be glad to clear out of her stores, what packages may be sent, what joy created, what suffering saved, and without any great effort either! Numbers of ministers and their hard-pressed wives will hail such boxes with tears of joy. Many railway companies will gladly, when appealed to, forward such packages free of cost. So, ladies, it remains with you: commence at once ; move others in the cause ; arrange, plan, act, and the blessing of “ Him that is ready to perish" will come upon you and yours. Even if self-denial be needed, if sacrifices be made, shall you regret it when you hear the Master say, “I was naked and ye clothed me," and, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me"? We think not. Yours, with strong faith in your generosity and energy,
A PLEADER FOR LANCASHIRE.* * Any communication addressed to "F, F., The Grove, Blockley, Worcestershire,” will be gladly received if practical help be offered,
THE CHANGED CROSS. “He that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”—Matt. x. 38. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts : neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”—Isa.ir. 8.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you an end and expectation."-Jer. xxix. 11.
It was a time of sadness--and my heart,
And while I thought on these--as given to me
And thus no longer trusting in His might,
Far heavier its weight must surely be
A solemn silence reigned on all around,
A. moment's pause, and then a heavenly light
Then One, more fair than all the rest to see,
“ This may not be,” I said, and looked again
But oh! that form so beautiful to see,
And so it was with each and all around,
And then with lighten'd eyes and willing feet,
And then, in the prepared, appointed way,
With thankfulness I raised it from the rest,
And while I thus my chosen one confessed,
Ah no! henceforth my one desire shall be,
Tales and Sketches.
GUDBRAND AND HIS WIFE. day, and he found no purchaser to take the
| animal off his hands." FROM THE NORWEGIAN.
“Well, well !" said Gudbrand," at all THERE was once a man called Gudbrand, events, I can take Sukey back to the place who lived in a lonely little farm-house on a I brought her from. I've got hay and litter remote hill-side. From this circumstance in plenty there for the poor brute, and it's he got the name among his neighbours of no farther returning than it was coming Gudbrand of the Hill.
hither.” Whereupon he very quietly started Now, you must know that Gudbrand
again on the road to his home. had an excellent wife, as sometimes happens After walking on for a few hours, and to a man. But the rarest thing about it just as he was beginning to feel a little tired, was, that Gudbrand knew the value of the met a man leading a horse by the bridle such a treasure; and so the two lived in towards the town. The horse was in conperfect harmony, and gave themselves no | dition, and was all saddled and ready concern about either wealth or the lapse of | for a rider. years. No matter what Gudbrand might “The way is long, and night rapidly do, his wife had foreseen and desired that
coming on," thought Gudbrand. “I can very thing ; so that her good man could hardly drag my cow along, and to-morrow not touch, or change, or move anything I'll have to take this same walk over again. about the house, without her coming for Now, here's an animal that would suit me ward to thank him for having divined and a great deal better, and I'd go back home forestalled her wishes.
with him as proud as a lord. Who would Besides, it was easy for them to get be delighted to see her husband returning along, since the farm belonged to them, in triumph, like a Roman general? Why, and they had a hundred solid crowns in a the wife of Gudbrand !" drawer of their closet, and two excellent | Upon this happy thought, Gudbrand cows in their stable. They lacked nothing, | stopped the trader, and exchanged his cow and could quietly pass their old age without for the horse. fear of poverty or toil, and without having to Once mounted on the charger's back, look to the friendship or the commiseration our hero felt some qualms of regret, for he of any of their fellow-creatures.
was old and heavy, while the horse was One evening, while they were talking young, frisky, and headstrong, so that, in over their various little tasks and projects, | less than an hour, behold, our would be says the wife of Gudbrand to her husband: cavalier was on foot again, vainly striving
“ Husband, I've got a new notion in my to drag along by the bridle a creature that head: you must take one of our cows to cocked up his head at every puff of wind, town, and sell her. We'll keep the other, and capered and pranced at every stone and she'll be quite enough to furnish us that lay in his path. with all the milk and butter we can use. “This is a poor bargain I've made," Why should we toil for other people ? thought Gudbrand, when, just at that moWe've money lying in the drawer, and we've ment, he descried a peasant driving along no children to look after. So, wouldn't it a hog so fine and fat, that its stomach be better to spare these arms of ours, now touched the ground. that we are growing old ? You will always “A nail that is useful is better than & find something to occupy your time about diamond that glitters and can be turned to the house ; there'll be no lack of furniture nothing, as my wife often says," reflected and things to mend, and I'll be more than Gudbrand; and with that, he traded off ever beside you with my distaff and knit- | his horse for the hog. ting-needles,"
It was a bright idea, to be sure, but our Gudbrand bethought him that his wife good man had counted without his host. was right, as usual, and so, as the next Don Porker would not budge an inch. morning was a beautiful one, he set off for | Gudbrand talked to him, coaxed him, but the town at an early hour, with the cow all in vain ; he dragged him by the snout, he wanted to sell. But it was not market. he pushed him from behind, he whacked
him on both his fat sides with a cudgel, 1 so that Gudbrand was soon tired of strug, but it was only labour lost, and Mr. Hoggling to hold it. remained there in the middle of the dusty « Pah!" growled lie, “the goose is an road like a stranded whale. The poor | ugly, ill-grainéd creature, and my wife farmer was yielding to despair, when, at would not have one about the house." the very nick of time, there came along With this reflection, he changed the goose a country lad leading a she-goat, that, with at the first farm-house he came to, for a an udder all swollen with milk, skipped, ran, fine rooster of rich plumage, and furnished and played about in a manner charming to with a grand pair of spurs. behoid.
This time he was thoroughly satisfied. "There! that's the very thing I want!" The rooster, it is true, squawked from time exclaimed Gudbrand. I'd far rather have to time in a voice rather shrill to gratify that gay,'sprightly creature, than this huge, most delicate ears; but as his claws had stupid brute." Whereupon, without an been tied together with twine, and he was instant's hesitation, he exchanged the hog carried head downward, he finally gave for the she-goat.
up, and resigned himself to his fate. The All went well for another half hour. I only unpleasant circumstance now remainThe young madam with her long horns ing was that the day was rapidly drawing greatly amused Gudbrand, who laughed to a close. Gudbrand, who had started at her pranks till his sides ached. In fact, before dawn, now found himself fasting too, she pulled him along; but when one at sundown, without a farthing in his is on the wrong side of forty, one soon pocket. He still had a long walk before gets tired of scrambling over the rocks ; him, and the good man felt that his legs and so the farmer, happening to meet a were giving out, and that his stomach shepherd feeding his flock, traded his she craved refreshment. Some bold step must goat for an ewe. “I'll have just as much be taken ; and so, at the first wayside milk," mused her from that animal as tavern, Gudbrand sold his rooster for a from the other, and at least she will be shilling, and as he had a raving appetite, quiet, and not worry either my wife or he spent the last doit of it for his supper.
"After all," said he the while, “what Gudbrand was right in one respect, for use would a rooster be to me, if I had to there is nothing more gentle than an ewe. die of hunger ?" This one had no tricks; she neither As he, at length, drew near his own capered nor butted with her head, but dwelling, however, Gudbrand began to stood perfectly still, and bleated all the time. meditate seriously on the curious turn Finding herself separated from her com things had taken with him, and before panions, she wanted to rejoin them, and entering his home, he stopped at the door the more Gudbrand tugged at her tether, of Peter the Greybeard, as a neighbour of the more piteously she baaed.
his was called in the surrounding country. " Zounds !”, shouted Gudbrand; 6 she's “Well, . neighbour,” said Peter, “how as obstinate and whimpering as my neigh have you prospered in the town?"" bour's wife. Who'll rid me of this bawling, o Oh, 80-80," "answered Gudbrand ; "I bellowing little beast ? I must get clear of can't say that I've been very lucky, nor her at any price."
have I much to complain of, either;" and “It's a bargain, if you choose, neigh he went on to tell all that had happened. : bour," said a country fellow, who was "Neighbour, you've made a pretty mess just passing with a fat goose under his of it,” said Peter the Greybeard ; "you'll arm. “Here, take this fine bird instead; have a nice time of it when you get home. she's worth two of that ugly sheep that's Heaven protect you from your dame. I going to split its throat in less than an wouldn't be in your shoes for ten crowns." hour, anybow."
«Good!" rejoined Gudbrand of the « Done !" said Gudbrand; "a live goose Hill; “things might have turned still is as good as a dead ewe, any day;" and worse for me ; but now I'm quiet in my Bo he took the goose in exchange.
mind about it, for my wife is so clever that, But it was no easy matter to manage right or wrong, no matter what I've done, his new bargain. The goose turned out well or ill, she'll not say one word about it.” to be a very disagreeable companion ; for "I hear and admire your statement, finding itself no longer on the ground, it neighbour," retorted Peter, “but with all fought with its bill, its feet, and its wings, 1 respect for you, I do not believe a word of it."