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CAUGHT IN A THUNDERSTORM. nor did we venture on hazardous leaps across
the burns. We were too proud to admit this: Y old friend George and myself were en- but the hills must, nevertheless, have seen that joying a ramble among the hills. We
we were a good deal changed. were alone, for it was a trip a la reminiscence,
But amongst the changes that had happened you must know,
a repetition of one of the since we roamed as boys through these regions, numerous trips which we used to take twenty- that which the spirit of God had made on our five years ago, when we were “good-for-nothing hearts was doubtless the most important. It boys.” George and I had been friends from
even gave the hills a different look to us from our childhood, and were wont to spend our
what they had formerly. We loved our famiholidays on the banks of Loch Katrine or Loch lies: and how best to train our children in the Lomond, where our parents generally took nurture and admonition of the Lord was a lodgings during the summer months. These
question on which our conversation often turned. were days never to be forgotten, but of course
We felt the responsibility of our task as Christhe best of them were those on which we were
tian parents, and we felt our need of God's permitted to roam quite alone. Sometimes our guidance and assistance in our momentous work. parents or brothers would accompany us, but It was then that the hills reminded us of many when that was the case, we did not call it one
an encouraging text. ** We will lift up our of " our Highland excursions." We rather
eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh our liked to saunter among the hills without plan or help,'” I would say, - Even unto Him," rule, taking our course where there was
George would answer, “who said, · The mounbeaten path — making our way down into the
tains shall depart and the hills be removed, but dark glens, holding on by the grass, or tufts of my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither heather, or whatever we could lay our hands shall the covenant of my peace be removed.'" upon, and then in the same way climbing up
Engaged in conversation like this we sat on the opposite side till we reached the top, when the top of a rugged rock, froin which we had a we threw our caps in the air, and shouted charming view of the lochs, and the wild pano“ Victory!”
rama of the hills opposite. It was long past Twenty-five years elapsed, and what changes
Absorbed in our subject, we had not had taken place during that period! Our par noticed that dark clouds were gathering in the ents were dead long ago. George had passed east. Gradually our attention was drawn to nearly one half of those years in America, and
them by the change in the sun's rays, which had at length settled down in Manchester;
assumed a gloomy reddish hue, and threw a while I had entered a London banking-house. fantastic glare over the whole scenery. A fresh We were both married, and had families. breeze, that soon swelled into a storm, roared During all our changes and vicissitudes we had
around, while a faint report of thunder was kept up a correspondence, and our regard for heard far away in the distance. each other continued unabated. Every year
“A storm is approaching," cried George; we tried, if possible to have our families to
we must descend immediately.” gether, for a couple of weeks, either at the sea
“Whereabouts are we?” I asked, somewhat
audible. Suldenly there was a dazzling flash “ No, no, that won't do; it would give you a of lightning, and a terrible thunder-peal broke, bad cold. I will just call my son. He will which reverberated among the hills for several help you to some clothes, which you may put on minutes. At the same time the rain poured while your own are before the fire.” down in streams, as if the windows of heaven Before we could make any objections, she were opened. And now the whole creation went out to the passage, and cried “ Archie!” seemed to be in travail, groaning and sighing Archie soon made his appearance.
He was with uninterrupted roaring. Sometimes it was a tall, fine-looking young man, of about twenso dark that we could scarcely see our path, ty-five. but had to wait for a flash of lightning to dis- “O, I must give you some clothes, gentlecover the track. Then we would shelter our- men,” he said, “it you have no objection to a selves for a minute or so under a prominent farmer's dress for a while.” piece of rock, to let the first gush of a fresh He took us into an adjacent bedroom, and in shower pass over.
soon perceived a minute or two we were clad in our new that we must hasten our steps, as delay was
attire. We could not help laugbing heartily dangerous. The storm was still coming nearer. at each other's appearance. Still the change The echoing of the thunder amongst the hills was really pleasant, and but for the serious was becoming quite frightful. It was as if a mood in which the still raging storm kept our great number of large cannon were being fired minds, there would have been no end to our off at once. Sometimes, for several minutes, jokes. we walked in the lustre of uninterrupted flashes Upon re-entering the room we found a bright of lightning; while the hills rose before our fire blazing on the hearth. Archie was cutting dazzled eyes like huge ghastly-looking giants. bread, while his mother was getting the kettle
• It is the voice of the Lord,” said George, to boil for tea. The good old woman went to taking my arm: “ the God of glory thundereth. the kitchen, and soon came back with some cold The voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The
meat on a plate. She had no great difficulty voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness." in persuading us to partake of this hearty meal.
“ Let us not fear then," I said. “ The voice It was really a luxury in our circumstances. of the Lord will do us no harm."
While we were thus enjoying her hospitality By this time we had reached the bottom of she put our wet clothes on chairs before the fire. the hill. We found ourselves on a country The cry of a baby was heard, and for the road, along the side of which ran a rivulet, now first time we noticed a cradle in the corner of swollen into a tempestuous torrent.
A little to the room. he left we noticed a bridge, and beyond it a “ Yes, darling,” said Archie, stooping down cottage. To see it and to run to it were the and taking the little one out of its nest. It was work of a moment.
a fine boy, between two and three. Health We entered a clean, tidy-looking room. An and sleep had painted large bright roses on his elderly woman, with a kind face, sat at a table little puffy cheeks, which curiosity contrasted mending clothes. No sooner did we make our with the frightened look which he cast at the appearance, than, taking off her spectacles, she strangers. said in a frank voice, placing chairs for us at I suppose that's your child,” said my friend the same time:
to Archie. “ What a fine fellow!
And where “Come in, come in, gentlemen. Dear me, is his mother ? ” what weather!”
“ She is away to Callander, to see her sister, The water ran in streams from our clothes, who is ill,” was the answer. and formed pools underneath our chairs.
" Is this your first child ?” I asked, rather
children; the other Da Vinci's “ Lord's Supper.” | the picture was first brought into the house, the In the middle between them was an oil paint- dog jumped up to it, barking and wagging its ing, evidently by a good artist. It represented tail, as it recognized Archie at once.” a young couple driving in a brougham and pair Nonsense, mother,” said Archie, with a in the midst of a furious thunderstorm, with a smile. “ It was because of the glittering of the broken bridge in the distance. The lady was gold frame, which the dog seemed to like." most elegantly dressed, and the coachman wore “Well, that may be true, too," the old woman rich livery. A lad stood by the horses, speak- replied ; “ but I know that everybody who saw ing to the coachman. I rose and examined the it was quite surprised at it. And no wonder, picture with great pleasure.
too, you stood two hours every day for a week, “ That's a fine work of art,” I said, resuming before the gentleman with the brush and the
you fond of pictures ?” little board with paints. Don't you rememI like them pretty well,” answered Archie; ber, boy ?” “but I am not a great judge. Those who are, “ Of course I do," replied Archie. " He gave say that it is worth looking at.”
me a guinea each time I did it. And we bought " Who is the artist ? ” George asked, after yon time-piece with it, and a watch for myself.' having followed my example of inspecting it. But why did he want to paint you?' I
" I really cannot tell his name,” said Archie. asked. “ Do you know, mother ? ”
" I will tell you how it came about,” said the Well, I forget it," answered the old woman,
woman. " It is a strange story, sir, and it shows “ But he is a friend of Sir Wilbraham's, you how wonderfully God supports the widow and know. He is a clever painter, I am told.” the orphan. In those days we lived in a poor
“ Sir Wilbraham ?” I asked. “Who is he?” wretched hut. Archie was then a lad of four
" Why, he is the gentleman there in the teen. My husband was dead, and had left me carriage,” said Archie; " and the lady is his without any support. I did not know how to wife. His name is Sir Wilbraham
He get on from one day to the other. As I could lives near Carlisle, where he has a large estate, not afford to send Archie to school, I kept him and he has also a house and extensive grounds at home to do little jobs and errands for the near Stirling."
neighbors, which brought in a few coppers a George remembered having heard the name week. During the summer months he used to before.
stand near the bridge yonder, to watch the car“ Good-looking couple,” he said, looking at riages that crossed it, as this is a favorite road, the figures in the picture.
and put the drag on the wheels. One afternoon Ay,” said the old woman, " and they still a gentleman and a lady came up in a carriage, look as bright and youthful as they do in the and Archie put on the drag as usual. The picture, though it is ten years since it was coachman asked him if they could drive to the painted, and they have four children now. But Trossachs, stay there a couple of hours, and be a blessing is upon them and their house ; and back about nine. Archie said they could. The no wonder, for better people there are not in gentleman then dropped a shilling into his Scotland or England, or the whole world. hand, and off they drove."
Though the rain was pouring, Archie rushed “ You may imagine my surprise, sir, when on out to see, and it was just as I said. • Mother,' a sudden I heard a carriage stop at the door, he said, “it is so dark that I could not see my and a gentleman and lady enter, led by Archie. own hands, but when a flash of lightning came I made them welcome as I could. The gentleI saw that the bridge was all swept away, and man asked me if I would allow them to spend the pieces of wood floating down the water. It the night under my roof. They were in much was about nine o'clock then. · Archie, boy,'I the same condition as you were in just now said, “you must go and stand on the rock a bit drenched to the skin - for their umbrellas and from the bridge. You know the gentleman and rugs had been but poor protection in such an the lady will soon be up, and they will all go awful storm. I pitied the poor lady. She looked over the bank and into the water, if you don't very pale, and shivered all over. I took her warn them.'
So Archie went out and took his into a little closet, and begged her to put on stand on the road. The rain rushed down in some of the best of my clothes. As I had still torrents, but he did not mind it much, as he my late husband's clothes in my possession (they was well-used to it, and I promised him a cup are the same as you have on now, sir,) I could of tea with sugar when he came back. • Moth- also help the gentleman. Archie gave the er, they're not come,' he said, and it's half-pastcoachman a dry shirt, and they both went off to nine.' He was cold and shivering, poor boy. their beds among some straw in the shed. I • But you must go again, Archie,' I said ; "they made a good fire to dry the clothes, and managed will come, as they are sure to have left the Tros- to give the gentleman and lady a cup of tea sachs before the storm came on.' I gave him with oat cakes. I saw that it did them good, his tea and a piece of bread, and off he went and I was delighted to see the care the gentleagain. He waited another half-hour, when on man took of the lady. I gave up my own bed a sudden he saw the lamps, and the carriage to them, which they took very thankfully; and came up at full speed under torrents of rain. | I made a shake-down for myself in the little Archie at once began shouting : “Stop! stop! closet. So we got through the night very well the bridge is broken! The bridge is broken!' on the whole. The next morning we were all He shouted loud enough to be heard in spite of quite contented with our night's quarters. The the noise of the storm and the rattling of the clothes were dry again, and the lady was as carriage, but they were going at such a rate, cheerful and happy as need be. Early in the that they were within a few yards of the river morning, before they awoke, I had sent Archie before the coachman got the horses drawn up to the baker's, who lives a mile from this, with What is the matter ?' shouted the gentleman. the shilling he got from the gentleman. He • The bridge is broken, sir !' said Archie. At came back with a half loaf and some butter. I the same moment there was a flash of lightning, had still some tea, so I was able to offer them a and they saw with their own eyes the depth breakfast. But they did not take much of it, into which they were about to plunge. • Pre- for they were anxious to drive off, as they had serve us!' exclaimed the coachman, 'we were friends at the Trossachs, who would be alarmed but a few steps from our death!' A cry of about them. So when the carriage was at the horror escaped from the gentleman's lips. What door the lady thanked me kindly for what she are we to do now?' he asked. We cannot get called my goodness, and put a piece of paper back to the Trossachs to-night, can we ?' • Not into my hand. The gentleman patted Archie
saved our lives, and we cannot forget you.'-— | way honie again, we agreed that of all our • Or rather your son,' said the gentleman; Highland excursions,” this, though likely to • where is he?' Archie soon made his appear- be the last, was certainly not the least.
The gentleman then bade Archie tell his friend the painter what had happened on THE PAY OF THE NEEDLE. that evening, and how he had been watching on the road in the rain and lightning, and how T is notorious that our seamstresses he had stopped the carriage. After that the
scantily compensated for their labor. The gentleman minutely inquired into our circum- scavengers who lazily sweep our streets, doing stances, and when he learnt our poverty, and their work in the most slovenly and shiftless my husband had been a farmer, and how Archie manner imaginable, receive per day about triple would have been brought up one too, had death the sum that an expert needlewoman can earn not set all our plans at naught, he looked Archie in the same time with the aid of a sewing main the face and said, “Would you like to go to chine by making shirts. Why thick-headed school, and become a farmer?' • Yes, sir,' said louts of the male gender should be more liberArchie, and his eyes glistened, for though he is ally rewarded for their lubberly labor, than present, sir, I cannot keep from saying that he smart active women for doing what they are was always a good boy, and very fond of learn- hired to do in the best possible manner, is a ing. To be short, sir, he offered to take Archie question that admits of but one solution. It is to a place near Stirling, where he would put easier to cheat and oppress women than to him with a farmer, and give him schooling at *grind the faces” of men, and therefore, to the the same time. Of course I had no objec- shame of manhood, not to speak of chivalry, tion, and Archie jumped with joy. He also masculine laziness is better paid than feminine settled on me a pound a week during my life. industry. When employed on the same kind Soon after, he arranged with the laird that I of work the sexes are never equally remushould have a new house, and that when Archie nerated — the men, even if less skilful than grew up he should have a farin. After living their fair competitors, invariably getting " the
with the farmer, Archie came home, lion's share.” and Sir Wilbraham stocked his farm for him.
All wrong, however, is comparative, and it “ And that, sir,” said the old woman, " is the may be some consolation to our needlewomen story. Archie is a happy husband and father, to know, that they are not so hardly dealt with as you see; and every morning and evening we as their sisters on the other side of the ocean. seek a blessing on the heads of Sir Wilbraham In England, according to the last Public Health and his family, and we want words to thank Report made to the Lords, of Council for the Him for the wonderful way in which he has information of Parliament, the average income been a Husband to the widow, and a father to of each aclult seamstress is only about eightythe fatherless.”
eight cents per week, and very often the poor Tears stood in the good woman's eyes when creatures remain unemployed for weeks toshe had finished her story, and Archie tossed gether. Sometimes — wonderful benevolence! his baby up and down in his arms, saying: —the needlewoman receives a weekly loaf of “ Yes, darling, it is just so; and when you're bread from her parish. Only one out of every big, we'll tell you all about it."
three workers can afford to buy milk to the Meanwhile the weather had cleared up, and extent of one farthing's worth per ilay. Here is was bright and beautiful. Our clothes were dry their bill of fare: “ Of meat, some buy two now, and we went into the bed-room to put ounces daily, others a quarter of a pound three them on.
times a week and half a pound on Sunday ; “ John,” said George to me, “ We must make others only one penny-worth of sheep's brains a present of a five-pound-note to the baby, and or a penny-worth of black pudding for dinner send him one every year till he is of age.” or supper.” Such are the rations of scores of
“ Done!” I said; “I will run shares with thousands of industrious, virtuous, church going you.”
women in “Merry England." Meanwhile the Before we took leave of the kind people, we Archbishop of Canterbury preaches a charity once more looked at the picture, which now sermon now and then on the income of two seemed to possess new beauties. And on our hundred and fifty thousand dollars per annum.