|Vol. VIII.—No. 354.
||OCTOBER 9, 1886.
||Price One Penny.
[Transcriber's Note: This Table of Contents was not present in the original.]
THE SHEPHERD'S FAIRY: Chapter 2.
DINNERS FOR TWO.
A DREAM OF QUEEN'S GARDENS: Part 1.
THE WEATHER AND HEALTH.
GIRLS' FRIENDSHIPS: Chapter 1.
MERLE'S CRUSADE: Chapter 2.
THE CONTENTS OF MY WORK-BOX.
BITS ABOUT ANIMALS.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
"AND CLUNG TO HER NECK WITH A SMOTHERED CRY."
In the heart of the heartless town, where hunger and death are rife;
Where gold and greed, and trouble and need, make up the sum of life—
A woman lives with her only child,
And toils 'mid the weary strife.
No end to the tiring toil to earn a wage so small;
No end to the ceaseless care—ah! the misery of it all!
While the strongest snatch the hard-earned crust,
The weakest the crumbs that fall.
Oh, look at the pallid face as it bends o'er the dreary work;
The stitch, and stitch, and stitch that she knows she dare not shirk!
Her strength is ebbing away so fast
That she scarcely feels it go.
Oh, list to the weary sigh—a whole tale in one breath—
A widowed life, and a mother's love, and the fear of an early death.
While there at her feet a pale boy sits,
And weeps for his mother's woe.
* * * * *
She has called to her boy in the night; he has nestled beside her bed,
And clung to her neck with a smothered cry and a feeling of sudden dread.
And thus they lie, till the mother strives
To speak with her tears unshed.
And then she tells him—so sweet and low, it sounds like a fairy tale—
How Jesus has sent His angels down to fetch her; that He won't fail
To send His angel to watch o'er him
When love can no more avail.
* * * * *
But still she holds him so gently firm, so close to her lifeless breast;
She speaks no more, he weeps no more, for God knows what is best.
He has taken both from a world of pain
To endless peace and rest.
E. A. V.
THE SHEPHERD'S FAIRY
By DARLEY DALE, Author of "Fair Katherine," etc.
p the old oak staircase three or four stairs at a time sprang the baron; then he walked quickly with beating heart down the long corridor to the west wing, where the nursery was, and pausing at the top of a spiral staircase which led to the side door he intended to go out by, he shouted impatiently to the housemaid who was left in charge of the baby.
"Marie! Marie! Vite, vite. Where is Monsieur Léon's malacca cane? It was in my dressing-room this morning. Fetch it directly."
The girl came running to do her master's bidding, and no sooner had the white streamers of her cap disappeared down the corridor than the baron darted into the nursery. A lamp was burning on a table at one end of the room, and at the other, carefully guarded from any draught by a folding-screen, stood a swinging-cradle, on pedestals of silver. The framework, the baron knew, was an old family relic, but the cradle itself was a new and wonderful creation of white swansdown and blue satin, lined with lace and trimmed with pale blue ribbons. In this mass of satin and lace lay the baron's tiny daughter, fast asleep, her small fingers grasping a lovely toy of pink coral with golden bells, which was fastened round her waist with pale blue ribbon. For one moment the baron hesitated. To tear the little creature from her luxurious home, and trust her to the tender mercies of some rough sailors for a day or two, and then leave her in the hands of strangers, who might or might not be