« ÎnapoiContinuați »
birthday was hanging in the wardrobe, and, while arranging my clothes, I may have touched the ring, and loosened its hold from where it was hanging to the dress, and thus caused it to fall. It was then very plain that Marie bad nothing to do with taking the ring, and that really nobody had stolen it. I now felt.worse and worse all the time. There was the poor sick girl, to whom I had spoken hastily, and whom I had accused of stealing. I hastened off to see her as soon as I could. After reaching the house, I threw myself into her arms, and we both wept there together. I told her that my ring had been found, asked her to forgive me, and, on leaving, was assured by her that she freely forgave me for making the unjust charge, and, in token of it, gave me a parting kiss.
“ Now that ring, my dear Malvina, is the one which you now have in your hand. I spoke hastily to poor Marie, and caused her many an hour of suffering, and, perhaps, hastened her death by accusing her of being a thief. Many years have passed by since then, but I have worn that ring ever since my finger became large enough for it to fit me; in memory, first of my dear mother, then of poor Marie, and, lastly, to remind me of the sin of speaking hastily and unkindly, even to the poorest and humblest.” As soon
Aunt Josephina had finished her history of the ring, she gave a side glance at little Malvina, and saw that she was crying
“O Aunt Josephina !” said the little girl, never, never, as long as I live, will I accuse the baker or anybody else of doing wrong until I am certain that I am right.”
You had better never accuse them at all,” said Aunt Josephina, “and, to help you in keeping my advice, when you are thirteen years of age this diamond ring shall be your property. I need not ask you to remember its history; and let it be a constant reminder to you either to speak kindly or not at all.”
Daft Yeddie. POOR idiot, who was supported by his parish in the Highlands of Scotland, passed his time in wandering from house to house He was silent and peaceable, and won the pity of all kind hearts. He had little power to converse with his fellow-men, but seemed often in loving communion with Him who, while He is
the High and Holy One, condescends to men of low estate. Yeddie, as he was called, was in the habit of whispering and muttering to himself as he trudged along the highway, or performed the simple tasks which any neighbour felt at liberty to demand of him. The boys, while they were never cruel to him, often got a little fun out of his odd ways. He believed every word they said to him ; and because he had been told in sport, that if he once rode over the hills to Kirk in a donkey-cart, he would never be heir to the Earl of Glen-Allen, he refused all the kind offers of farmers and cottagers, and replied always in the same words: “ Na, na; ill luck falls on me the day I mount a cart: so I'll aye gang on my ain feet up to the courts of the Lord's house, and be talking to Himsel as I gang."
Once, when a merry boy heard him pleading earnestly with some unseen one, he asked, “ What ghost or goblin are you begging favours of now, Yeddie?”
“Neither the one nor the tither, laddie,” he replied, "I was just having a few words wi' Him that neither yersel nor I can see, and yet wi' Him that sees the baith o' us!” The poor fellow was talking to God, while the careless wise ones laughingly said, “ He is talking to himself.”
One day Yeddie presented himself in his coarse frock and his hob-nailed shoes before the minister, and making
a bow, much like that of a wooden toy when pulled by a string, he said, “ Please minister, let poor Yeddie eat supper on the coming day wi' the Lord Jesus."
The good man was preparing for the observance of the Lord's Supper, which came quarterly in that thinly settled region, and was celebrated by several churches together; so that the concourse of people made it necessary to hold the services in the
air. He was too busy to be disturbed by the simple youth, and so strove to put him off as gently as possible. But Yeddie pleaded, “Oh, minister, if ye but kenned how I love Him, ye wud let me go where He's to sit at table !"
This so touched his heart that permission was given for Yeddie to take his seat with the rest. And, although he had many miles to trudge over hill and moor, he was on the ground long before those who lived near and drove good horses.
As the service proceeded, tears flowed freely from the eyes of the poor “ innocent," and at the name of Jesus he would shake his head mournfully and whisper, “ But I dinna see Him.” At length, however, after partaking of the hallowed elements, he raised his head, wiped away the traces of his tears, and, looking in the minister's face, nodded and smiled. Then he covered his face with his hands, and buried it between his knees, and remained in that posture till the parting blessing was given, and the people began to scatter. He then rose, and with a face lighted with joy, and yet marked with solemnity, he followed the rest.
One after another from his own parish spoke to him, but he made no reply until pressed by some of the boys. Then he said, “ Ah, lads, dinna bid Yeddie talk to-day ! He's seen the face o' the Lord Jesus among His ain ones. He got a smile fro’ His eye and a word fro’ His tongue; and he's afeared to speak lest he lose memory o't; for it's but a bad memory he has at the best. Ah ! lads, lads, I ha' seen Him this day that I never seed before.
I ha' seen
wi' these dull eyes yon lovely Man. Dinna ye speak, but just leave poor Yeddie to His company."
The boys looked on in wonder, and one whispered to another, “Sure he's na longer daft! The senses ha' come into his head, and he looks and speaks like a wise one.”
When Yeddie reached the poor cot he called “home,” he dared not speak to the “ granny” who sheltered him, lest he might, as he said, “ lose the bonny face.” He left his porritch and treacle untasted; and after smiling on, and patting the faded cheek of the old woman, to show her that he was not out of humour, he climbed the ladder to the poor
loft where his pallet of straw was, to get another look and another word fro' yon lovely Man." And his voice was heard below, in low tones : “Aye, Lord, it's just poor me that has been sae long seeking ye; and now we'll bide together and never part more ! Oh, aye! but this is a bonny loft, all goold and precious stones. The hall o' the castle is a poor place to my loft this bonny night!" And then his voice grew softer and softer till it died away.
Granny sat over the smouldering peat below, with her elbows on her knees, relating in loud whispers to a neighbouring crone the stories of the boys who had preceded Yeddie from the service, and also his own strange words and appearance. “And besides all this,” she said in a hoarse whisper, “he refused to taste his supper-a thing he had never done before since the parish paid his keeping. More than that, he often ate his own portion and mine too, and then cried for more! such a fearful appetite he had ! But to-night, when he cam' in faint wi' the long road he had come, he cried, “No meat for me, granny; I ha' had a feast which I will feel within me while I live; I supped with the Lord Jesus, and noo I must e’en gang up the loft and sleep with Him.''
“Noo, Molly,” replied granny's guest, “does na’ that
o the words o' our Lord Himsel' when He telld them that bid Him eat, I ha' meat to eat that ye know not of?' Who'll dare to say that the blessed hand that fed the multitude when they were seated upon the grass, has na’ been this day feeding the hungry soul o' poor Yeddie as he sat at His table ? Ah, Molly, we little know what humble work He will stoop to do for His ain puir ones who cry day and night to Him! We canna tell noo but this daft laddie will be greater in the kingdom of heaven than the Earl himsel-puir body-that looks very little noo as if he'd be able to crowd in at the pearly gate !"
“And oh, Jannet, if ye could ha' seen the face of yon puir lad as he cam’into the cot! It just shone like the light, and at first, even before he spoke a word, I thocht he was carrying a candle in his hand! I believe in my soul, good neebor, that Yeddie was in great company to-day, and that the same shining was on him as was on Moses and Elias when they talked with Jesus on the Mount. I e’en hope he brocht the blessing home wi' him to 'bide on the widow that was tooauld and feeble to walk to the table, but who has borne with him, and toiled patiently for him, because he was one of the Lord's little and feeble ones.”
Oo, aye, doubtless he did bring home the blessing, and that ye'll get the reward o' these many cups o' cold water ye've given him; for what's the few pence or shillings the parish grants ye, compared wi' the mother's care ye give him!” said Janet.
· Aweel, aweel,” replied granny, “if I get the reward, it'll not be because I wrought for that. I seemed e'er to ken, syne the day I took the daft and orphanted lad, that I was minding, and feeding, and clothing one of these little ones,' and I ken it better to-night than ever. I ha' strange new feelings myseľ too, neebor, and I'm minded o' the hour when our blessed Master came and stood among His faithful ones, the door being shut, and said, ' Peace be unto you.' Surely this strange heavenly calm can no’ be of