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growing less able to work for the year on the high rocks near the support of herself and her grand- cottage and facing the sea, and that child.
is a good omen. I believe, too, When one day a distant relative that there I shall find rest and died, leaving the kind-hearted old quiet for my old age. If the neighlady a legacy of five hnndred bourhood is so bad, perhaps I can pounds, she looked upon the cir- help to make it better. I never had cumstance as a gift direct from bad eighbours, and I do not beheaven. This sum of money was lieve that even on Beelzebub Beach thought by her poor neighbours to anybody will molest a harmless old be a large one, and it was wonderful woman, and an innocent child like how suddenly she grew into impor- my Alice.” tance, how many friends she now So the purchase was made. Mrs. had, how many people wanted Willoughby's few and time-worn her to live with them, how many household goods were moved into came to her to borrow money, the little house, a pretty gentle red and how many came to her for and white cow was tied in the advice:
stable, and a clean white pig was But the old lady was not at all lazily happy amid the dried seataken aback. She said, “ With the weed in his pen. All this afforded money I shall buy a little home to the good old lady's unambitious for my
old age, where Alice and I mind a pleasing sense of prosperity shall quietly live and do what good and comfort. we can.” It was surprising then By the time the spirals of soft what a large number of houses, grey smoke began to curl up
from with bits of land that would come the low chimney and melt away within her means, were offered for against the blue sky that curved sale.
down to meet the bluer sea, the “I am too old a bird to be caught kingfishers from the adjacent cliff with chaff,” said Mrs. Willoughby. circled and circled around, as if “I know of a place that I have long they were trying to form an opinion thought I should like to possess. I of their new neighbours. can afford to purchase it now, and
After a while three or four of it will give me the lifelong desire of them alighted on the roof, and my heart-a home by the seaside grandma said, “ They have bidden the sea that years ago swallowed us welcome, and we will call our up my young husband, and upon little home Halcyon Cottage.” whose broad bosom my only son is The two happy occupants made now somewhere sailing. My even the cosy little house as clean and ing lamp shall shine out of the cot- fresh as soap and water and lime tage-windows, and perchance cheer and sand could make it. They the heart of some poor sailor, who garnished the rooms with fanciful may be far away from home and shells and pebbles, curious mosses, friends. The place of which I speak bright berries, and sweet wild blosis the cottage on the cliff, at the end soms from the beach and neighof Beelzebub Beach."
They planted Friends remonstrated. It was flowers and vegetables in the gara cheerless place, they thought, .den that had been made fertile from and a bad neighbourhood-so bad soil brought from the marsh. in fact that the cliff cottage had Alice's willing feet, cheery voice, been for some time uninhabited. and sparkling eyes (that could
“I know all about that,” said sight a boat at a greater distance he old lady cheerily; "but the than any other person's on the halcyons make their nests each beach), and grandma's generous
heart, good advice, and helping they became the staunch friends of hands, were always at the service the new comers. Their gratitude of their new neighbours, who had was shown, too, by their frequent at first regarded the new comers presents of fish and fuel to the old with no little curiosity, tinged, per- lady, and in gratuitously doing all haps, with aversion.
the heavy work about the field and Beelzebub Beach, as its name garden. might suggest, bore an unsavoury Gradually a pleasing change reputation. Aside from the low dawned over the appearance of the state of morals, there was not a whole village. The women were Bible-reader nor a Bible in all neater, and more provident in their the neighbourhood. Grandma Wil-housekeeping. There was much less loughby was not long in finding profane and rough language used, out this fact, and hardly a week and the fights and broils were very had passed since she came among infrequent now. The flowering slips them before the old lady gave out from grandma's garden that were that on every Sunday afternoon taking root about the doorway of there would be Scripture-reading nearly every cottage of Beelzebub in Halcyon Cottage, and whoever Beach were the presage of a refineshould choose to come would be ment, the happy effects of which made most welcome.
were soon to tell upon the morals Grandma was herself surprised of the inhabitants. that so many came out the next The good works and kindly bright Sunday, and showed them- offices of the dear old lady and selves so ready to receive instruc- her sweet little granddaughter gave tion. After her granddaughter had them a wide popularity. There read a selection from the Bible, the was one good hotel in the neigh. old lady would make terse and apt bourhood, not far from “Port," remarks upon it. Then Alice sang that had a good run of transient a hymn or two in a voice that re- custom, and all through the long minded one of birds and evening summer many of its guests as well breezes and rippling waves, while as sea-captains, sailors, fishermen, grandma closed the simple, cheer-ship-builders, sportsmen, and all ful service with a short prayer. sorts of people bent on business or
It was not long before many of pleasure, would walk or drive up the young men and women, who across the long, hard beach to hear had grown up in utter ignorance Grandma Willoughby in her quaint, of books, and who, in their strong yet impressive way, as she sat in self-assurance (for they were wise her old-fashioned, cosy chair under in all things concerning the sea), the large buttonwood-tree near her would have been ashamed to be cottage, teach the ever old, ever taught by a grown-up persun, now new gospel, and to listen to Alice's begged Alice to teach them to read. wonderfully sweet and sympathetic This welcome office she gladly per- voice as she sang the simple and formed, and evening after evening, touching hymns. after the day's work had been done, Many of the strangers regarded these ignorant and some of them Alice as a musical prodigy, and heretofore evil-doing people sat at Mrs. Willoughby was more than the feet of this flower-like child, once told that her grandehild held whose natural aptness to teach as a fortune in her voice. But the well as to learn was now brought old lady would say, “The dear into timely requisition.
child is fulfilling her mission in When the sympathies of the that humble walk in life in which rough beach folk were once enlisted, God has placed her, and her
head must not be filled with ideas learned here. He heard him tell, of going away to some city, and too, about Grandma Willoughby's then to be made a lady of.” meetings, and started for home
Early in September a wealthy right away. He landed here a merchant, who was always ready month ago to gladden the heart of to aid in any good work, became his old mother, whom he had interested in Grandma Willoughby's neglected all these years.” "mission." Chiefly through his The weather growing rough, the efforts, before the end of the month yacht remained at the port over men were at work, and in a short Sunday. Mr. Le Noir could see time a neat little chapel was built the little white chapel perched on on the cliff, above the colony of the cliff at the upper end of the halcyon's nests, and just back of long beach, and more than once the old buttonwood-tree that had thought he would visit the spot. sheltered the little assemblies from So when Captain Tom came the rays of the summer sun. ashore on Sunday morning, neatly
“Grandma Willoughby's chapel dressed, and asked the gentleman, looms up like a beacon through the half bashfully, if he had a mind to mist, and is no bad guide by which go up to Grandma Willoughby's to steer into port,” said the hardy chapel and hear the lass sing, he captain of the yacht Sea-Bird, one assented cordially, and leaving his drizzly afternoon in the late au- gay companions at the hotel, started tumn, to a distinguished-looking off with the old sea-captain. gentleman, a guest of the owner of
a rough, breezy walk the elegant little craft, as he came along the hard beach, the angry sea from below and stood near the white with the snowy foam that the wheel.
last night's winds had made on one Why is it called Grandma Wil- hand, and the grey cliffs where loughby's chapel ?” asked the gen- were situated the scattered houses tleman, whose name was Le Noir. of the fishermen on the other. As the yacht was running into the Mr. Le Noir was surprised to see harbour outside the little village, so large an audience, and when a Captain " Tom” gave the stranger a pleasant-faced young man, who was history of the new mission. teacher of the evening-school just
“ They have done a wonderful started as well as the new pastor, work,” said the old man; "and it rose to conduct the services, Caphas all been just through that tain Tom looked disappointed, and motherly old lady's simple talking, Mr. Le Noir felt as if he had been and that child's sweet singing. cheated out of something that was You know, sir, the worst of men re- greatly his due. member their mothers sometimes ; After the sermon, a short and and a good many of the sailors quite instructive one, a jaunty and fishermen, great, rough fellows young sailor rose and begged a as they are, but warm at heart, word from Grandma Willoughby, have children of their own at home, and a hymn from Alice. and that little girl's birdlike war In response a voice went up sweet bling seems somehow to reach out and clear and pure as a bird-call. and get hold of folks.
Mr. Le Noir listened a moment, “The strangest thing of all is then rose to his feet and looked that the old lady's only child, Ben anxiously across the room at the Willoughby, the little one's father, little singer. Soon, leaving his place who had been gone ever since she by Captain Tom's side, near the was a baby, heard a sailor in Liver- door, he went forward slowly, as if pool sing one of the hymns he had drawn by an invisible chord.
There stood Alice, in all her ones while in the sea by a falling flower-like simplicity and freshness, spar, and was dragged insensible a fair, slight child, in a crimson into a boat. I never had a doubt dress and white ruffled apron, her as to the fate of my wife and only pale golden hair hanging in tendril- child, until I heard little Alice sing like curls on her shoulders, her to-day. Her face so strikingly rewhite round throat swelling like a sembled her poor dead mother's, bird's, and her full blue eyes lumin- and her voice was so much like ous with feeling.
hers, that I was compelled to make Mr. Le Noir dropped into a seat inquiries of her supposed grandthat had been proffered him near mother. the platform, and with the emotions “I found that Ben Willoughby, of wonder, incredulity, and pleasure, her son, was a sailor on board our chasing each other over his pale ill-fated vessel. He saved little face, he did not remove his gaze Alice from the wreck, and, believing from the child until she had finished her parents to have been drowned, the hymn and slipped back with he represented to the sympathising with unconscious grace into her strangers on shore that she was place by her grandmother's side. his own daughter.
At the close of the services, Mr. "Arriving home, he foolishly, Le Noir approached Mrs. Wil- and, as he now says himself, very loughby and spoke to her. Earnest wickedly, gave out that he had been conversation followed. The old married, but his wife was drowned lady looked white and startled, and at the time our vessel was wrecked, beckoned her son come to her. leaving this little babe that he The people, nearly all of whom had managed to save. He gave the noticed the singular demeanour of child to Mrs. Willoughby, who, the stranger, went down the beach being a lone woman, was delighted in little chatting groups, leaving with it and gave it a mother's care, Ben Willoughby and Mr. Le Noir as you all know. in the chapel, so engaged in their “ To do away with any doubt talk as to be obvious to all sur- that might arise as to the identity rounders.
of the little girl, I will say that An hour later, Captain Tom Mrs. Willoughby has in her poswalked back to the port by himself, session a gold clasp-pin which fas. and before sundown every family tened the child's bib, and engraved in the neighbourhood knew that upon it is the name, Alice Le the fine-looking stranger had gone Noir,' which Ben told his mother to Halcyon Cottage to supper.
was his dead wife's name, He came to the evening meeting, 'So, in presence of you all who leading Alice by the hand. After have been the devoted friends of the simple services were over, the the little one, I now claim my lost stranger stepped forward, and, with darling.” Mr. Le Noir held out a slightly foreign accent, said his arms, and Alice in her winsome
My name is Philip Le Noir. innocence flitted into their fatherly Eleven years ago this autumn I shelter, while the eyes of all, both started with my wife and baby old and young, of that little comfrom my home in the south of pany were suffused with tears. France to come to America. When Alice Le Noir was not asked to we were off the coast of Newfound- leave Grandma Willoughby. Her land our ship was wrecked in a father enlarged Halcyon Cottage, gale, and nearly all of the passen- and beautified the grounds about it gers and crew perished.
so that they might spend their "I was separated from my dear summers there ; while in the winter
grandma lived with them in their , and when Sundạy comes raises her city home.
still wonderful voice in song in the Grandma Willoughby's mission mission chapel-always with a went on prospering. The little prayer of thankfulness in her heart village has now become quite a that the echoes of those hymns noted summer resort, and the name went out and drew her father to of the famous new drive and to her, and with a prayer of blessing bathing-place is called Halcyon to rest on kind-hearted GrandBeach.
mother Willoughby, who taught her Alice, now a woman, walks with to do the duty that lay nearest her her children along those sands on hand. the pleasant summer mornings,
DEATH AND AFTERWARDS.
BY G. B. FOSTER.
“To die; but after this — Heb. iv. 27. DEATH is certain. “ It is appointed unto men once to die.” The sentence of “death has passed upon all.” Of man it is written : “ His days are as grass; as a flower of the field so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone ; and the place thereof shall know it no more." Our position in life ; our success or failure ; our being poor or rich; widely known and esteemed, or unimportant and uncared for; all the events of our lives are, humanly speaking, only possibilities and probabilities; but one thing is certain--we must die !
But death is uncertain: as to when, or how, or to whom first it may come.
'Tis a solemn thought that the first man who died was a young man; not the father, but the son; that he did not die of old age, or disease, or in any expected way. Death may come to the child who has only just begun the journey of life, as it came to the little daughter of Jairus, only twelve years old; it may come to the youth just entering upon life, with a fair prospect before him, with bright anticipations, and hopeful plans, eager to enter upon the battle of life; or it may come to the old man, with his long race run, as it came to the patriarchs. It may come to the old man, quietly, looked for; to the old man with his family gathered round him, waiting to bid him good-bye, to receive his parting blessing, and to soothe his dying hour, as it came to Jacob; a quiet ending that, to a long life, the days of which he once described, as “ few and evil.” come to the old man with terrible suddenness, as it came to Eli; poor old easy-going Eli! a sad and sorrowful ending was his ! His heart trembled for the safety of the ark of God; so anxious was he that he could not remain in his home, but sat by the wayside to learn the first tidings of how the battle had gone, and the ark and his sons had fared ; and when the terrible news arrived, that Israel had fled before the Philistines, that there had been a great slaughter, that Hophni