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garden, where a great many common big-blown roses the cavalry ! Don't let them trample on me!” were growing by the hedge. Of these he made Another, again, was whimpering like a child, his fret. bouquets, which he arranged in corn measures, cans, ful exclamations mingling strangely with the steady or whatever came to hand that might serve as a snores of a big German sergeant lying next to him, temporary flower-pot, and placed them in the open- who had lost a leg indeed, but seemed blest with a ings which ad been hastily knocked in the timbers constitution to make the best of all accidents of of the barn to give air. They seemed to bring a fortune. breath of freshness and life into the chamber of At last some of the attendants found time to snatch suffering. Alexandre. seeing what he was about, gave a meal prepared for them in the courtyard, and him a nod of approval ; and he was rewarded by the Victor took his supper with them. They had black pleased looks on hot and haggard faces, as they bread, coffee without milk, half-cooked potatoes, and turned towards these flowers.
tough steaks, about which these hungry men asked Then he hit upon another way of being service- no questions, but there was reason to believe they able. Near the door lay a French artillery officer, had been cut from a dead horse, for a splinter or two who appeared almost unconscious of all around him, of shell was found in the meat. None of them could and gave no other sign of life than a faint groan afford to be particular; many others that night were from time to time.
worse off. “Can I do anything for you, sir ? ” asked Victor After a short rest, the doctors had to go back to in a low tone.
their posts. Victor, hardly able to hold up his head, The officer slightly shook his head and closed his contrived to coil himself up at the bottom of their open eyes.
carriage, the best bed he could find vacant. Yet, for “Would you not like me to write to anyone?” all his fatigue, he lay some time restless, haunted by
The poor mau opened his eyes again to fix them the incidents of this most momentous day of his life, eagerly on him.
and amazed by the strangeness of his situation. The “Yes ! yes !” he murmured.
country, usually so quiet at this hour, was still all In the carriage was Victor's leather knapsack, or astir. In two or three places the sky glowed with the satchel, commonly used by schoolboys in that part of reflection of burning houses, or perhaps stores the world, which that morning, to disguise his real destroyed by the French in their retreat. The roads errand, he had filled with a few books, a half-written resounded with an almost ceaseless roll of guns and exercise book, and pen and ink. These writing waggons, the clatter of hoofs, and the steady materials now came in very useful. He made a desk tramp of regiment after regiment.
A little of the knapsack, holding it over his knees as he sat way from the forester's house, a band of Geron the floor and prepared to write to the officer's mans were singing a hymn round their watchdictation.
fire, “ Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott;” a solemn But the poor man had only strength to mutter his strain, that to the French boy seemed to have wife's name and address, adding
something terrible, as mysteriously expressing “Tell her—my wound is light-give her hope, the confidence of his country's foes. Then, from ah! I cannot!”
time to time, came a distant report, a cry of suffering, The boy began the letter to this effect, but he never the hoarse challenge of a sentry. To this varied had courage to finish it, for the lady's husband died lullaby Victor at last fell asleep. during the night.
(To be continued.) Once set to this sort of task, however, he had no lack of employment. When other men saw what he was at, they began begging him from all sides to write for them also. So, till it grew too dark, and the blank 'leaves of his book were exhausted, he kept
OUR PRIZE PAPER. writing to their dictation, first beside one couch, then CHRISTMAS TALE COMPETITION, 1881. another, addresses, messages, promises, news, lamentations, all of which he undertook to see duly forwarded by post, to the great satisfaction of the THE HERMIT OF CASTLE WOOD; OR, A helpless sufferers.
CHRISTIAN'S REVENGE. Night came on. The barn was dimly lit up by candles fixed upon bayonets, and a few flickering lamps,
1.—THE HERMIT. made for want of better, by putting a potato with a wick through it into a glass full of melted tallow.
T was Christmas Eve in the year 1571, The patients were exhorted to be quiet and try to
and a real Christmas Eve it was. The sleep. But the restless ones had small chance of
glistening snow covered all the ground,
and the whole earth had a ghost-like composing themselves in that stifling obscurity, that
appearance. Here and there the rugged lent double terror to the continual incidents of suffer
point of some larger than ordinary stone ing and death. Some became delirious. One, heed
projected out of the white mantle which less of his bandages, insisted on getting up to
enveloped its smaller neighbours, and stumble towards the open air, and had to be led back
appeared a solitary black speck on the
shining crystal background. Neither by force. Another, in his fury, took the surgeon for
the twittering song of a bird nor the an enemy, and struck wildly at the very sister of rushing sound of the wind broke the stillness of the night, mercy who was holding drink to his lips. A third, nor did the brilliant moon or any twinkling star relieve thé who fancied himself still on the field, kept screaming,
In the castles of the nobles the board was covered by delicious at the pitch of his voice, “ Take me out of the way of dainties, and all kinds of bev which at the time of our
story were prevalent in England. The most gallant knights it came to blows, and after a brief struggle he fell wounded. I of the country round joined in the merry meetings; and the fled from the scene of the fight, thinking him dying, and for fairest “ ladyes” of the land graced the assemblies with their years wandered about having no settled abode. But by and presence.
by I heard that my father was dead, and that my brother had Far away from the haunts of men, and from all the scenes possession of the estate. Vexed at his prosperity and my of Christmas festivity, and the revelry and riotings which at poverty, I determined to slay him. Disguised as a minstrel, Í that season were so prevalent, right in the centre of Castle gained access to his castle, and played before his wife and Wood, in a rude and uncivilised looking hut, lived a holy hermit. children (for he had married during my absence). At a late For years this had been his dwelling-place, and to all appear- hour he retired, and I tracked him to his bedroom. There, as ances would continue to be so until the time of his death. Never the midnight hour pealed forth, the blow descended, and he lay a human face did he see, save when some weary pilgrim dead before me! I fled for my life, and at last found this place travelling through the wood, sought shelter from the pitiless of refuge. Here I have lived since then ; but one change has blast, the pelting rain, or the falling snow.
taken place in me; and that is, the blessed Gospel has reached On the night on which my story begins, the hermit was While I lived in plenty I was a world-loving being ; now engaged in devotional exercise. On the deal table before him I am changed, and looking forward to heaven when I die." was laid a Bible, over which he eagerly bent, and read with During the latter part of this recital, the knight's eyes had earnestness the comforting words of the Gospel. In the posi- fashed angry gleams upon the hermit, and now as the latter tion in which he sat, he afforded an excellent subject for an finished, his pent-up passion burst forth, and advancing to the artist. He was an old man, of middle-stature, with a benevolent recluse he seized him tightly and said : face, and dark, kindly-looking eyes, which were now gazing Wretch, miscreant, see in mo De Levier, thy victim's son! intently upon the word of God. His brow bore marked signs It is meet that thou shouldest die by my hand ! Prepare to of sorrow and grief, for the furrows of trouble were plainly meet thy doom !” seen there. His long, white beard gave him a patriarchal look, Mercy, mercy, cried the terrified man, 6 for the love and one could almost have thought him the tried and faithful of God, mercy! Pardan, De Levier, pardon ! Abraham or the aged Jacob. In the words of the poet But all entreaty was in vain, and as the calm Christmas Goldsmith, his
morning dawned, the weapon fell, and the hermit of Castle
Wood lay stretched on the floor! “Beard descending swept his aged breast.” But suddenly he was interrupted in his reading by a knock at
II.-CHRISTMAS AGAIN. the door. He raised his head and gazed round the hut, as if to ascertain whence the sound proceeded. There was a second Again the merry Christmas had come, and with it came knock, then a third. Upon this the hermit rose, and advancing festivity and joy. The knight De Levier had purposely avoided to the door he said,
ever approaching the Castle Wood, and what had become of the “ Who is he that would at so late an hour, on this holy night, hermit's body he cared not to know. interrupt my devotions?” And thus speaking he cautiously But on Christmas Day, 1572, a number of his acquaintances opened the door, and peering out into the darkness, discovered requested him to go with them to the estate of a friend, an the form of a man, tall and slender, standing before the hut. Earl of some distinction; and as Sir Levier was unable to
Fear not, good hermit,” answered the stranger, drawing decline, he went. Their way led through Castle Wood, so you nearer ; “I swear you shall never repent any kindness done may imagine the knight's feelings as he once more visited the to me, a traveller in this wood, caught by a storm, blinded by hated place. For some time all went merrily, and jests were the snow, and brought by a lucky chance to your dwelling.” interchanged among the jolly knights. But suddenly a storm of
Upon this the door was opened wider, and the stranger snow came on, and they were completely unable to see their way. entered, and without waiting for an invitation, divested him- In the confusion that followed they dispersed one from another, self of his outer garments, and sat down before the one burning and De Levier trusted entirely to his horse. The animal, howstick-designated by politeness a fire. He did not take long to ever, stumbled and threw his master. The knight's head came devour the sinall morsel of coarse, brown bread, or to drink the io violent contact with the root of a tree, and he became horn cupful of water set before him as his meal.
unconscious. Come, father, place some more fuel on the fire, for by'r When he recovered, he was lying on a pallet in a small hut. lakin 'tis almost as cold inside as out."
As he opened his eyes, they met the gaze of the murdered (3) Muttering about “no more in the house,'' the hermit brought hermit. At the time of our story superstition was rife, and forth from a recess two or three wretched-looking pieces of De Levier thought he gazed on the face of a spirit; for the wood, and threw them upon the flickering flame.
grey hair was greyer still, and the long white beard.was longer Well, that's better certainly, but still it's nothing to boast and whiter. With a terrified expression on his countenance, he about,” coolly remarked the stranger as the flame brightened exclaimed : up. “ I can't see what makes a man live in such a solitary “Mercy, father, mercy! I will give thee money or what thou place as this ; for my part I prefer a life in the world to one of wilt, but spare my life! solitude. But come, reverend father, tell me how thou didst “ It is thy turn to pray for mercy now," said the recluse, come to live in this miserable hut?"
with a quiet smile. “But rest thee, good knight, be not “Call it not a miserable life,” replied the hermit solemnly ; afraid ; a Christian loveth his enemies. “ call it not a miserable life to devote oneself to prayer and But art thou not a spirit ? ” said De Levier. sacred things in this place, where none of the vices which * Nay, my lord, nay; I am a plain man, and no spirit. corrupt the people of the world can enter; call it not a foclish When thou thoughtest to have killed me, I, by the providence way, young man, to pass one's life.”
of God, escaped wounded. I recovered from my stupor, and, **Well, well, father, every man has different opinions,” by means of herbs, cured myself. This evening I found thee answered the traveller, shrugging his shoulders ; “I will not unconscious beside a tree, and brought thee here, and now, dispute with thee; but tell me why thou didst come here.” prithee, rest thee, for I forgive thee, even as Christ forgave me.
* And who art thou, who wouldst know this thing? And what reasons hast thou for asking such a thing ?” said the Time passed on, and the knight grew rapidly better, under hermit, gazing intently at the face of the stranger.
the treatment of the recluse. He was at last moved to his own “In truth, good father,” replied the knight, for such he castle, and when he went his preserver went too. He left his appeared to be, thy question is hardly answered. Whom I solitary hut and took up his abode with his, at one tiine, wouldam I reveal not to thee for reasons of my own; why I desire be murderer. He found out now what he should have known thee to tell me thy history, I cannot say, unless it is that my before, that it was better to live in the world and spread the curiosity is great. But come, prithee wilt thou e'en do it for Gospel, than live in solitude and keep it to himself. these ? " and the stranger placed a few gold and silver coins on None ever knew whom he really was, not even the Lady De the deal table. The old man eagerly grasped the money, and Levier, beyond that he was the rescuer of the knight. As such said: “On condition that thou reveales: to no man what thou he was known and honoured by the family of his nephew. hearest, will I tell the tale of my life.”
During the few remaining years of his life he tried to make Agreed," said the knight, and fortwith he placed himself amends for his past crime, by spreading the good news of salvain a position to hear all that was said.
tion among the people around sim. “My father," began the recluse, “was a powerful and The knight De Levier never repented meeting the hermit of wealthy earl; but I was only his younger son, and my eker Castle Wood. brother looked upon me with scorn. One day we had a quarte!;
JAMES E. ARCHIBALD (141)
OUR YOUNG AUTHOR'S PAGE.
OUR PRIZE JWARDS.
CERTIFICATES are gained by AMELIA L. CULVER (Ashford); SYDNEY C. GOODMAN (Taunton); JESSIE H. PENN (Gloucester); J. W. Ashtov (Wakefield); ANNIE CLAY (Bleakheath, Dudley);
Anna M. FREMANTLE (Portman-square, W.); C. WILLIAMS AS S we stated in previous numbers, this column is reserved
(Bethnal Green). for the names of those readers who, by recommendation
We HONOURABLY Mevrion J. W. VERRIER, Hugh COLEor the distribution of our illustrated prospectus-leaflets, are
BROOK, HOWARD MOSELEY. endeavouring to make our Magazine more widely known, both
In the Junior Division we have great pleasure in awarding in London and the provinces. Anyone sending name and address to the editor will be furnished, post-free, with a packet the Prize to Una Muriel Maud Harch (10), The Walnut-tree of these leaflets; we have a good many still on hand." The House, Upper Walmer, near Deal. following are the most recent additions to the list, which now numbers no less than one hundred and eighty-nine :
Tetley, Mr., Manchester
THE THREE WISHES.
WISH I were a man!
Is the youthful stripling's cry,
As all around him-far and nearnear Leeds H. Alldridge, Wylde Green,
His boyhood's pleasures lie; Richard Sharp, Brighton near Birmingham
And above him stretches, bright and blue, S. C. West, Braintree F. W. Phillips, York
Sweet childhood's sunny sky. Harry Chard, Keynsham, near Robert Hygate, Brixton
“I wish I were a boy!” Bristol J. W. Crampton, Wandsworth
The man of business says: Howard Goldsmid, Birming. W. Wilson, Birmingham
And sighs to think of bygone hours, ham James J. Newman, Dalston
In his happy boyhood's days; George H. Hubbard, Welling. William Thomas, Blackburn.
When the sun of happiness never set,
Or ceased to shed its rays.
The old man bows his head,
Made white by the snow of years ; pool W. A. Wills, Derby.
And fast and thick, with many a sigh,
Like rain-drops flow his tears.
“ The days of long ago,
Was void of pain and woe!
Far better they than these,
When I can only sigh and moan, the Senior Division we have much pleasure in awarding
And long for a swift release.” Taunton.
But Father Time he answers back, Next in order of merit, and excellently designed, were
As he looks on mortal life, those texts sent in by Harry ANDERSON (Orphan Working
“Ye sons of men, when wil ye cease School, Maitland Park, N.W.), and Mary JANE BROWN (Salis
This foolish, weary strife? bury). CERTIFICATES have been awarded to these two com
This strife with Time, this strife with Death; petitors, and also to GEORGE WADE (Leeds), Mary DRAYTON,
Ye never can prevail : (Brixton), GERTRUDE A. LEES (Aberfeldy, Perthshire), W.
For men are mortal, men must die, C. PRESCOTT (Beer, Devon).
All strength at last will fail. We HONOURABLY MENTION F. W. SMITH, CHARLES S.
When will ye cease to weep and sigh, Herd, W. H. BATEMAN.
For the things that ne'er can be? In the INTERMEDIATE Division the Prize is won by CHARLES
Why raise the storms of trouble thus JOHNSON (15), 64, Canwick-road, Lincoln.
Upon's life ebbing sea ? CERTIFICATES are awarded to SAMUEL GREENWOOD (Camber
Cease ye to mourn, ye sons of men ; well), JAMES J. NEWMAN (Dalston), BRUCE FRESHWATER (Market Harboro').
The past is always past; We HONOURABLY MENTION Joux W. WADE.
The future in the distance looms,
It cometh at the last.
The present ye have with you now;
Make use, then, of to-day, We award a CERTIFICATE to EDMUND JORDAN (Staines).
And use its short-lived hours aright,
It, too, must pass away ;
He that is youthful let him live
A life pure to the end ;
He that is old, his latter days, good that we hope to publish many of them from time in
In peace and joy may spend. our monthly Puzzledom page. The Prize in the SENIOR Division is won by Thomas H.
Death cometh unto every man
And he must pass away ; KNIGHT (191), North-street, Lostwithiel, Cornwall
. Next in order of merit are ANNIE S. PENN (Gloucester),
Dust to dust shall return again, and GERTRUDE Amy LEES (Aberfeldy, Perthshire). The com
And clay shall turn to clay. positions of these two young ladies were excellent. Certifi
But ye have souls to cultivate ; cates have been awarded to them; as also to EDITI J. MILLAR
O cherish them till they be (Uxbridge); LUCY E. RATCLIFFE (Ramsey, Hunts); BLANCHE
With their Creator fit to dwell, DEANE (Uxbridge); James Blossom (Sheffield); Thos. F.
In the realms of eternity ! HOWELL (Cardiff); WALTER SACKETT (Cheetham, Manchester).
Learn ye to live, learn ye to die ; We HONOURABLY MENTION GERTRUDE DRAYTON, BESSIE M.
Fret not the time away; Turr.
Waste not an hour : nor cease to work ; In the INTERMEDIATE DIVISION we have awarded the PRIZE
Make use of each passing day!” to AUGUSTUS H. SCALES (16), Brompton Cemetery, S.W.
J. E. A. (15).
We offer Books TO THE VALUE OF HALF A GUINEA to Com1.
petititors under Twenty-two; a SECOND PRIZE TO THE VALUE OF What well-known play of a celebrated dramatist does this SEVEN SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE to those under Seventeen ; and
a THIRD PRIZE TO THE VALUE OF Five SHILLINGS to those under represent?
Fourteen, for the best paper on
ROUND ABOUT THE FARM IN FEBRUARY, 1. A design.
3. Industrious insects. 2. A by-way.
4. The home of the feathered race. containing the best account of farming operations carried on
Harry McTIER. during the month. MSS. must not contain more than 1,500 III.
words, but may contain less. Competitors must count and
affix the number at the end of the last page. 1. A consonant.
4. A conjunction. 2. Assistance.
5. An exclamation. 3. The answer.
We offer BOOKS TO THE VALUE OF HALF A GUINEA to ComThe centrals of the above read downwards form the name of a favourite musical instrument.
petitors under Twenty-two; a SECOND PRIZE TO THE VALUE OF LIZZIE PETERS.
SEVEN SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE to those under Seventeen ; and
a THIRD PRIZE TO THE VALUE OF FIVE SHILLINGS to those under IV.
Fourteen, for the best BEHEADINGS. 1. Behead a basin, and leave a bird.
RHYMING LETTER TO A FRIEND. 2. Behead entire, and leave a hollow place. 3. Behead understood, and leave fresh or novel.
The above may be in any metre but must not exceed 120 4. Behead a kind of tobacco, and leave an ugly woman.
lines. ELLEN M, THANE. General conditions applicable to the above Competitions :
All papers must have name, age, and address, at the top of
the first page. DIAMOND PUZZLE.
Must be guaranteed as original by parent, guardian, 1. A consonant. 3. The answer.
minister, or teacher. 2. Negative. 4. A cover.
All papers must be sent in not later than 19th February. 5. A consonant.
All papers must be fastened together, but different com. The centrals of the above, read downwards, give the name
petitions must be kept separate. of a feathered winter visitor.
LUCY E. RATCLIFFE.
We would again call attention to our
£10 AND £5 LIBRARY COMPETITION, 3. “ The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." 4. ^ The Lord is the true God and everlasting King.”
Full particulars of which will be found on the yellow cover. 5. “Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: Thou hast cast out the heathen and planted it.”
ANSWERS TO PUZZLEDOM IN PART 13. One word taken from each of the above texts forms part of a verse in the fifteenth chapter of St. John.
“Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat.”
TRAP 1. A usefu mineral. 3. An Eastern measure.
ROPE 2. An ancient city. 4. An inhuman Emperor.
LEVEL. 1. First, give a king of Judah's name,
Backwards or forwards, 'tis the same.
E 3. The middle of the day proclaim,
ul Backwards or forwards, just the same.
0 ver-ste P 4. Of Jether's sons, the youngest name,
VII. Backward or forward, still the same.
G rea T
L ove D