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Tales and Sketches.
"That little thing is sick, I believe," said GOING TO SING IN HEAVEN.
John Harvey, compassionately. “Wha: John HARVEY was a sceptic of thirty do you sing, child ?” he added. years' standing, and apparently hardened "I sing you Italian, or a little English," in his unbelief. Everybody had given him she said, sostiy. up as unconvertible. But one friend had John Harvey had been looking at her never given him up. When spoken to shoes. “Wby," he exclaimed, and his about him, “I will talk with and pray for lip quivered, “her feet are wet to the that man until I die,” he said ; "and I ankles, absolutely; her shoes are full oi will have faith that he may yet come out i holes ! ” of darkness into the marvellous light. And
By this time the child began to sira, oh, how wonderful that light will seem to pushing back her hood and folding before him, shut up so long!”
her ber little thin fingers. Her voice was And thus, whenever he met him, Mr. | wonderful; and simple and common is Hawkins pressed home the truth upon were both air and words, the power an him. In answer to all the sceptic's re.'' pathos of the tones drew together sereia. pulses, Mr. Hawkins would only say, “ God of the habitués of the reading-room. Ik can change a sceptic, John; he has more little song commenced thus :power over your heart than you have;
" There is a happy land, and I mean still to pray for you."
Far, far away.” The two friends met one day, and, after Never could the voice, the manner of that a talk, went into an hotel and dined. As child, be forgotten. There almost seeret they were on the point of rising, a strain of a halo round her head; and when she hau soft music came through an open door-a finished her great speaking eyes turned tochild's sweet voice.
wards John Harvey. “That is pretty,” said John Harvey : “Look here, child, where did you lear: 1 “what marvellous purity in those tones !”. that song?” he asked.
“Out of here, you little baggage," cried "In Sabbath-school, sir," was the simpie a hoarse voice, and one of the waiters answer. pointed angrily to the door.
“And you don't suppose there is a bep! “Let her come in,” said John Harvey, land ? " he continued, heedless of the na" springing to his feet.
eyes upon him. "We don't allow them in this place, “I know there is : I'm going to ting sir,” said i he waiter, “but she can go into there,” she said, so quietly, so decideci: the reading-room.”
that the men looked at each other. "Well, let her go somewhere, for I want “Going to sing there?” to hear her," responded the gentleman. “Yes, sir. My mother said so. S !
All this time the two had seen the sbadow used to sing to me until she was sic of a something hovering back and forward Then she said she wasn't going to sing a on the edge of the door: now they fol- | more on earth, but up in heaven." lowed a slight little figure, wrapped inį “Well, and what then?” patched cloak, patched hood, and leaving “And then she died, sir," said tid! the marks of wet feet as she walked. child, tears brimming up and over on the Curious to see her face-she was very dark cheek, now ominously flushed scare: small-John Harvey lured her to the John Harvey was silent for a few m.! farthest part of the great room, where there ments. Presently he said, were but few gentlemen, and theu motioned “Well, if she died, my little girl, ye! her to sing. The little one looked timidly may live, you know." up. Her cheek was of olive darkness, but “Oh no, sir! no, sir! (very quickly! a flush rested there, and out of the thinnest I'd rather go there, and be with motke face, under the arch of broad temples, Sometimes I have a dreadful pain in r deepened by masses of blackest hair, looked i side, and cough as she did. There wor two eyes, whose softness and tender plead- / be any pain up there, sir : it's a beautiing would have touched the hardest heart. I world!"
"How do you know ? faltered on the slowly down town. Threading innume. lips of the sceptic.
rable passages they came to the gloomy “My mother told me so.”
building where lived Carletta's father. Words how impressive! manner how ! No--not lived there; for as they paused childlike, and yet how wise! John Harvey a moment, out came two or three men had had a praying mother. His chest, bearing a pine coffin. In the coffin, the laboured for a moment--the sobs that | top nailed down so that no mourner might struggled for utterance could be heard even open, provided there had been any such, in their deeps---and still those large, soft, slept the old organ-grinder. lustrous eyes, like magnets, impelled his " It was very sudden, sir," said a woman glance towards them.
who recognised his benefactor. “Yester“ Child, you must have a pair of shoes." day the little girl was took sick, and it - John Harvey's voice was husky.
seemed as if he dropped right away. He Simultaneously, hands were thrust in died at six last night.” pockets, purses pulled out, and the Two men went silently up-stairs. The astonished child held in her little palm room was empty of everything save a bed, more money than she had ever seen before. ! a chair, and a nurse, provided by John
"Her father is a poor, consumptive Harvey. The child lay there, not white, organ-grinder," whispered one. “I sup. but pale as marble, with a strange polish pose he is too sick to be out to-night." on her brow. Oh, how those dark eyes on
Along the sloppy street went the child, the instant became eloquent as · John under the protection of John Harvey, but Harvey sat on the side of the bed! - not with shoes that drank the water at 1. “Well, my little one, so you are no -; every step. Warmth and comfort were better."
hers now. Down in the deep, den-like lanes " Oh no, sir : father is gone up there, of the city, walked the man, a little cold and I'm going.” child-hand in his. At an open, broken Up there! John Harvey turned uncondoor they stopped-broken, creaking steps sciously towards his friend. they climbed. At last another doorway “I wish I could sing for you,” she said,
opened, a wheezing voice called out of the and her little hands flew together. - dim arch, “ Carletta."
“Do you wish to sing ?" "Oh, father! father! see what I have "Oh, so much! but it hurts me. It brought you-look at me--look at me;". wont hurt me up there, will it ?" Where and down went the hoarded silver, and was the child looking that there seemed venting her excessive joy, the child feil, such wonder in her eyes ? crying and laughing together, into the “ Did you ever hear of Jesus ?" asked man's arms.
John Harvey's friend.
"Oh yes.” A face, dark and hollow, all overgrown "Do you know who he was ?" with hair, black as night, and uncombed ; “Good Jesus," murmured the child, a pair of wild eyes ; a body bent nearly with a rare smile. double ; hands like claws.
“ Hawkins, this breaks me down," said “Did he give you all this, Carletta ?" John Harvey, and he placed his handker
"They all did, father: now you shall chief to his eyes. have soup and oranges."
“Don't cry, don't cry : I can't cry, I'm “Thank you, sir-I'm sick, you see—all so glad!” said the child exultingly; and gone, sir-had to send the poor child out, 1 she looked up as if heaven's light were or we'd starve, sir. God bless you, sir! | already dawning on her. I wish I was well enough to play you a “What are you glad for, my dear?" tune;" and he looked wistfully towards asked John Harvey's friend. the corner, where stood the cld organ, “To get away from here," she said debaize-covered, the baize in tatters.
liberately. “I used to be so cold in long "It's no matter," said John Harvey, winters, for we didn't have fire sometimes ; with difficulty. “I'll come and see you but mother used to hug me close, and sing some other time;" and he groped his way about heaven. But I did have to go out, down atairs.
because they were sick, and people looked
cross at me, and told me I was in the way; One month after that the two men met but some was kind to me. Mother told me again, as if by agreement, and walked, never mind, when I came home crying, and
kissed me, and said if I was good the ' " John," said his friend with an impres. Saviour would love me, and one of these sive look, “shall we pray?" days would give me a better home; and so For a minute there was no answer; I tried to be good, for I wanted a better then came tears : the whole frame of the home. And, oh, I shall sing there, and be | man shook as he said it was almost a cry so happy! Christ sent a little angel in my i_“Yes, pray! pray!” dream-mother told me he would, and that And from the side of the dead child angels would carry me up there. Oh, I went up agonising pleadings to the tbrone feel so sleepy!”
of God. That prayer was heard ! With a little sigh she closed her eyes.
“Harvey, are faith and hope nothing?" asked Mr. Hawkins, pointing to the little
"I THOUGHT IT WAS MY face taking on such" strange beauty, as
MOTHER'S VOICE." death breathed icily over it.
A FRIEND told me, not long ago, & “Don't speak to me, Hawkins : to be as beautiful story about kind words. A good that little child I would give all I am lady, living in one of our large cities, was worth," was the broken response.
passing a drinking-saloon just as the keeper “And to be like her you need give was thrusting a young man out into the nothing, only your stubborn will, your street. He was very young and very pale, sceptical doubts, and the heart that will but his haggard face and wild eyes told never know rest till it finds it at the feet of that he was very far gone in the road to Christ. Oh, my friend, resolve, by the side ruin, as with oaths he brandished his of this little child, who is soon to be clenched fists, threatening to be revenged
singing in heaven,' that you will be a fol. 1 upon the man who so ill-used him. This lower of my Saviour. Let reason bow poor young man was so excited and blinded here, before simple, trusting faith, that only with passion, that he did not see the lady, feele."
who stood very near to him, until she laid There was no answer. Quietly they sat her hand upon his arm, and spoke in her there in the deepening shadows. The hos gentle, loving voice, asking him what was pital doctor came in, stood off a little way, the matter. shook his head. It needed no close in At the first kind word the young man spection to see what was going on.
started as if a heavy blow had struck him, Presently the hands moved, the arms and turned quickly round, paler than were raised, the eyes opened ; yet, glazed before, and trembling from head to foot. though they were, they turned stiil up He surveyed the lady for a moment, and ward.
then with a sigh of relief he said,-“See, see!” she cried. “Oh, there is “I thought it was my mother's voice, it mother! and there are the angels! and sounded so strangely like it! But her they are all singing-all singing !"
voice has been hushed in death for many TIer voice faltered, her arms fell, but the
years," celestial brightness lingered yet on her face. “You had a mother, then," said the Feebly she turned to those who had minis lady, "and she loved you ?". tered to her, feebly smiled: it was a mute With that sudden revulsion of feeling return of thanks for all their kindness. which often comes to people of fine
“There is no doubting the soul-triumph nervous temperaments, the young man there," whispered Mr. Hawkins.
burst into tears, sobbing out, “Oh yes, I " It is wonderful,” replied John Harvey, had an angel mother, and she loved her looking on both with awe and tenderness. boy! But since she died all the world has “Is she gone?"
been against me, and I am lost! lost to He sprung from his chair as if he would good society, lost to honour, lost to decency, detain her; but the chest and forehead were and lost for ever!” marble now, the eyes had lost the fire of “No, not lost for ever; for God is life : she must have died as she lay looking merciful, and his pitying love can reach the at them.
chief of sinners," said the lady, in her low, “She was always a sweet little thing," sweet voice ; and the timely words swept said the nurse sofily.
the hidden chords of feeling which had John Harvey stood as if spellbound. been long untouched in the young man's There was a touch on his arm : he started heart, thrilling it with magic power, and and turned.
| wakening a host of tender emotions, which
had been buried very deep beneath the am sure I should have recognised it any. rubbish of sin and crime,
where. And your voice, too, it is so like More gentle words the lady spoke, and my mother's!" when she passed on her way the young man Those last words made the lady rememfollowed her. He marked the house where ber the poor young man she had kindly she entered, and wrote the name which spoken to in front of the drinking-saloon so was on the silver door-plate, in his little long before, and she mingled her tears memorandum-book. Then he walked with those which were falling slowly over slowly away, with a deep, earnest look on the man's cheeks. his white face, and deeper, more earnest After the first gush of emotion had sub. feelings in his aching heart.
sided, the gentleman sat down, and told Years glided by, and the gentle lady had the lady how those few gentle words had quite forgotten the incident we have been instrumental in saving him, and related, when one day a stranger sent up making him what he then was. his card, and desired to speak with lier. “The earnest expression of 'No, not lost
Wondering much who it could be, she for ever,' followed me wherever I went;": went down to the parlour, where she found said he," and it always seemed that it was a noble-looking, well-dressed man, who the voice of my mother speaking to my rose deferentially to meet her. Holding from the tomb. I repented of my many out his hand, he said,
transgressions, and resolved to live as "Pardon me, madam, for this intrusion, Jesus and my mother would be pleased to but I have come many miles to thank you have me; and, by the mercy and grace of for the great service you rendered me a God, I have been enabled to resist temptafew years ago," said he in a trembling tion, and keep my good resolutions.". voice.
“I never dreamed there was such power The lady was puzzled, and asked for an in a few kind words before," exclaimed the explanation, as she did not remember ever lady, “and surely ever after this I shall baving seen the gentleman before.
take more pains to speak them to all the “I have changed eo much," said the sad and suffering ones I meet in the walks man, “ that you bave quite forgotten me; of life.” but though I only saw your face once, I |
Two Stories for the Christmas Firezide.
for him to economize, but this year, by dint CHRISTMAS PRESENTS.
of extra work and extra exertions, he had “ CHRISTMAS is coming!"
laid aside a little sum of money which he The thought recurred pleasantly to Nir. | intended should be spent in Christmas Forrest as he sat in his down-town law presents for his three rosy, healthy chiloslice, with the snow beating against the dren, and a very pleasant, perplexing piece windows and the fierce December wind of work it was to decide what they should raitling the casements, for his mind reverted
be. to his quiet little home, a few streets off, “Let me sec," soliloquised Mr. Forrest where the night before he had sat up until to himself; “it is really time the matter eleven o'clock with his wife and children, was decided on-day after to-morrow is the making wreaths and garlands of evergreens eventful day, and there isn't a moment to so as to decorate the house in genuine be lost in making the selections." old-fashioned Christmas style.
And he poised his heels thoughtfully on This was the first Christmas that Mr. the fender, and gazed reflectively into the Forrest had really felt himself able to keep glowing fire, pondering on the respective as those of his own boyhood had been kept merits of all the holiday shop windows he
—with all the delicious mystery of presents had passed that morning on his way to the and stocking hanging, gifts and toys. He office, was not rich—it had always been necessary. “On the whole," he said to himself, “I believe Charlie would like a handsome pair, “But I thought your mother supported of skules best--he is just the age when herself quite comfortably by taking in hearty out-door exercise is the most bene. | wasbing?" ficial, and I know he has wanted some for “ Yes, sir, so she did ; but a few weeks a long time, only he thought I could not ago she sprained her wrist so badly that afford it. A good boy is Charlie, and he she has not been able to do anything since. shall have the skates. I think I shall add a Poor folks, such as we are, never have any. set of drawing cards and a box of Faber's thing a-head, sir, and my wages are all we pencils, he is so fond of drawing, and it will have had to live on for a long time.” make his evenings pass so pleasantly at “Your wages, Eddy! How can two perhome. George shall have one of those fine sons live on five shillings a week?” said stereoscopes, and a good serviceable sled, Mr. Forrest, shocked to think how much with iron runners; and as for little Mary, real suffering there was in the world. one of those rosewood work.boxes, fitted “ It does seem a small sum, sir," said the out with silver thimble, scissors, and all boy simply, “but it was all we had, and the little et ceteras, will be the very thing mother was thankful I was old enough to for her, with half a dozen children's books.” earn even that."
And Mr. Forrest rubbed his hands “How much does she owe?” said Mr. exultingly as be thought of the happy Forrest. faces there would be at home when Santa “Three pounds for rent, sir, and one Claus should have safely deposited all these pound to the grocer.” various budgets.
Four pounds! Just the sum now snugly At this moment Eddy Brown, the little lying in the lawyer's pocket-book, and office-boy, came in with the coal-scuttle to which he had intended to expend in holiday replenish the grate. He was a quick, bright presents for his wife and children ! looking little fellow of about twelve, who He sat pondering for several minutes, had always been rery diligent and steady, while Eddy brushed up the hearth, and and Mr. Forrest, in the benevolent fulness mended the fire in silence. At leagth he of his heart, bethought himself of extending spoke. the Christmas influences even to this father "I will come round and see your mother less boy. So he put his hand in his pocket, to-night, my' boy. It is a pity that an saying,
honest, hard working woman like her “Eddy, my boy!”
should be allowed to suffer." “Sır!”
“ Thank you, sir,” said the boy in a quiet “Here is a Christmas present for you, and subdued tone. Mr. Forrest drew his Eddy. You have always been a very good chair up to bis desk, untied his tape-bound boy, and I think you deserve it."
packets, and began his day's work. "Thank you sir," said Eddy, with a “Mother,” said Charlie Forrest, when he pleased and gratified look as he took the came home from school that self-same day, tiny gold piece from his employer's hand. "what would you advise me to buy for It was a great sum for him, and he felt Mary ? I've settled on a little portfolio for very grateful for Mr. Forrest's kindness, George, but I can't think what would be but nevertheless the smiledid not linger long nicest for a girl.” on his face. He wore a sad expression that Mrs. Forrest had been counsellor-general morning, which Mr. Forrest was not long to all the children for the last fortnightin perceiving.
the confidant of all their conjectures, se. Why, what's the matter with you to-day, cret intentions, and small mysterious plots, Eddy ? What makes you look so grave ?" which were to end in a grand dénouement
“I can't help it, sir,” said Eddy, trying on Christmas morniog--for the children hard not to cob, « we are all so much in were more puzzled as to the laying out of trouble at home."
their carefully hoarded pocket-money than “Trouble! what kind of trouble ?" Rothschild himself in the investment of
“About the rent, sir. Mother is behind his millions. hand two or three months, and the agent
" Well, I don't know, my dear; sup. said this morning we must move to-morrow, pose you were to buy her some little book, and we've nowhere to go, for nobody will the Life of Washington,' for example." take us in unless we can pay at least a "I guess I will, mother ; she would month's rent in advance. And the grocer like that, for Washington is such a fawon't let us have anything more until the l vourite character of hers. I'll go down to at bill is settled, and
the town and buy my gists to-morrox