Imágenes de páginas


[ocr errors]

can be seen ?" repeated he. That would be a hard matter; but we'll try, we'll try.” With these words he laid aside the dish, and returned once more to his wheel.

“Good sir," said the child, beseechingly,“ please to mend the cup now. I can wait for it as well as not.'

The potter and his workmen laughed. “You would have to wait some time, my child,” said the master. The dish must be put into the fire after it is cemented. In three days I shall burn my ware, and it will be five days before you can have your


Seeing the little girl look very sorrowful at these words, the talkative potter ran on: “Aha, I understand the early rising, now! Mammy's to know nothing of the broken cup, and so it

сир must be mended before she's up. Hey? am I right? Hark’ee, now, have you no pet kitten, or puppy, or squirrel, that you

could lay the blame on?”

The child looked up as if she did not comprehend him. “Nay, nay,” said the good man, blushing, “God forbid that I should lead you to tell a lie. It was nothing but a joke. No, my daughter, tell the plain truth to your mother, that's the best way. Will you

?She nodded as if that was a matter which needed no words, and went away.

The next morning, early, she came again. “Didn't I tell you,” said Master Schmidt, frowning, “ that you could not have the cup under five days ?

? That's not what I came for,” replied the little girl, timidly : “I have brought you something else to mend.” She held up the fragments of a brown earthen vessel. Master Schmidt and his men laughed again.

“Nothing can be done with this,” said he, at length. “You think because the dish shines so, that it's porcelain. It's nothing but Waldenburg pottery, and of just the same clay as ours. This can't be mended. A pretty story it would be, if our ware could be mended. We should have to run away, or eat dry bread. Throw the pieces into the street.” The girl grew pale. “It did not belong to us,” said she,

. “but to Madame R., who sent us a little food in it."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ That's a pity,” said Schmidt. “You should handle what didn't belong to you more carefully."

“It wasn't I," returned the child; “my mother let it fall, for she has the rheumatism in her hands, and can't hold anything firmly. But have you any like it? And what would be the price of one of this size ???

The potter was moved with pity. “I have indeed plenty of them,” said he ; “but to tell the truth, they are three times as dear as the common ones." He brought one out of his wareroom, and was just about making a present of it to the little girl, when a little paper bundle caught his eye peeping out of her apron. “ What have you there ?” he asked, curiously, “coffee or cichory?"

Bird-feed, for our little Jacky,” said she, smiling, “Ah, indeed! bird-feed !" repeated Master Schmidt, with a changed manner. He hastily laid aside the intended present, and betook himself to his wheel. “I should have cheated myself finely,” grumbled he to himself, after the child had gone away empty-handed. “If you can keep birds, little miss, you can pay me for my wares. I can't afford to throw them away. Yes, yes; these folks are so poor, so very poor; and when you come to the bottom of it, they can keep cats, and dogs, and birds.”

The bird-feed was still rankling in his mind, when the little maiden came, at the appointed time, for her cup. The fissure could hardly be seen. He asked the customary price for his work, one groschen. The child searched her pocket through and through, but could bring out only ten pennies.

“ Two pennies are wanting,” said she, with a supplicating look. “So I see,” replied he, sternly. “Well, you may bring me the rest as soon as you can.” He allowed her, however, to take away the cup. The poor thing hung her head, and stole sorrowfully out of the shop. “I'm well rid of her!” said he to

“She'll not cross my threshold again, depend on't." But on the second day, she came again, the two pennies in hand. The good potter was taken by surprise. “That's my brave,


, honest girl," said he, patting her on the head. “Needn't have come again—nobody knew who she was, nor where she lived.

his men.


But what then is your name, my dear? Who are your parents ? Where is your home?"

The girl answered these questions in inverse order : “We live in Rope Lane, No. 47. My father is dead; he was a painter. My name is Magdalena Tuben.”

A painter was thy father?. Come, then, thou canst paint too? And better, I'll lay a penny, than my lubberly apprentice, there, who sits gaping at us, instead of painting his wares, and studying out mottoes for them.” The startled youth seized his pencil, and grew red as fire when Lenny cast her eye upon his work.

“Let's hear, now,” cried Master Schmidt to the maiden, “what Lazybones has made out. Can


read ?” Instead of answering, Magdalena took up the first plate and read:

“I am no stupid beast:
Plum-pudding suits my taste."

“No doubt of it!" interrupted the master, laughing. “Go on.” The second rhyme was as follows :

[blocks in formation]

“What !” cried the master, "are there no rhymes in the world except about eating? I'll lay a wager the third treats of the same thing." Magdalena proceeded :

"Fish, flesh, fowl, and wine, are joys
Which much delight the pottery-boys.”

[ocr errors]

“ Didn't I tell you so ?" said the potter, laughing heartily. “ The blockhead thinks because the dishes are to serve food in, he must write of nothing else! Now, we'll have the fourth.' The apprentice, in great confusion, tried to shove this out of sight; but the observant master bid him hand it along. It read thus :

“ When I once a master be,

Porridge, then good bye to thee!" The good-natured potter now looked angry. “So, boy,” said he, “your fare isn't good enough for you. You don't like milkporridge, it seems! Go further and fare worse, then! I'll teach

you to make game of your food ; I'll porridge you! But the lubber isn't worth being angry about. Come, my daughter, and shame him by painting a dish or writing a rhyme.”

Magdalena obeyed, blushing. If she had done the thing ever so ill, Master Schmidt would certainly have praised her at this time, he was so angry with the apprentice. But this was far from being the case. With a steady, practiced hand she drew the blue border tastefully upon the white clay, then wrote in the bottom of the dish the words :

“Knowledge, virtue, kindness, truth,
Are the crown of age and youth.”

Without saying a word, the master went into his ware-room, and bringing out once more the Waldenburg jar, presented it to the little girl. “There," said he, “take it! It was brought out for you once before. A maiden that can labor in that fashion, small and young though she be, has a right to keep a bird if she likes. Would you like to paint ware and write mottoes for me, hey? You shan't do it for poor pay.”

With a beaming face Magdalena nodded her joyful assent, and sprang with her jar gayly out of the shop.

(To be continued in the February number.)

MAKING THE MOST OF LIFE.—Dr. Harris said, when dying, “Oh, my friends, live much, live long, live instantly." Each of you should resolve to live two or three hundred years. You ask how is this possible, when you are removed by death at the age of forty or fifty? For this very reason you are called to live long in a little time. Some live longer in a single day than others in the whole course of their lives. You live only as you live to God -you only live in reality as you live wisely, usefully, and piously. Methuselah, who lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years, did not live half so long as the Son of Mary, after the flesh, who was crucified at the age of thirty-three! “The time is short.”

[ocr errors]


I RECEIVED four numbers of your valuable periodical this morning, in which I have read Dr. Cope's “Sketch of the Will Family," with great interest. 0! those wicked “ Willsof ours, what mischief do they occasion in this our fallen world! How they mar our happiness and turn God's blessing into a curse ! What a mercy it is, when they are subdued by divine grace!

Last July twelvemonth, the day on which my dear mother was seventy-seven years old, our excellent pastor, Rev. Mr. R., happened to call, as he did occasionally, to have a little chat with her about the best things, as we say sometimes; and after he had prayed, and was about to take leave, my mother said to him, “What a rebellious will I have had all my life long! When,” she added, with much feeling, “my son went to America, I felt

, very angry, and thought God had dealt hardly by me, to permit it; but,” she added, with animation, while her eyes beamed with holy joy, “I have since had cause to say, in reference to this circumstance, as well as many others, He doeth all things well. So great has been his goodness to me and mine, that I never can praise him enough.” How I love to think of her sayings, now that she is taken from me, and how consoling is the thought that she is gone to dwell forever with Him in whom was all her trust and confidence while she dwelt with us!

THE BIBLE ADAPTED TO Man.-When Dr. Duff read to the intelligent Hindoo youth for the first time the precept of the Saviour, “I say unto you, Love your enemies : bless them that curso you ;" one of them could not refrain himself from speaking out his feelings : “Oh, how beautiful!" For days and weeks he could not cease repeating, “ Love your enemies ; bless them that curse you.' How beautiful! Surely this must be the truth.”

« AnteriorContinuar »