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a year or two older, who had come to Edinburgh to get work. Ned's work kept him out all day. But he loved his little Poll very much, and no sooner was he quit from his work than with light heart and quick step he set off homewards. No one ever could get Ned to stop at the publichouse and spend his hard earned savings. The publican might smile a welcome, but Ned knew there was a sweeter smile waiting him at home, and a little heart to cheer. His companions might sometimes laugh at him, but the thought of Polly waiting for him,-longing till he should come,- was a talisman proof against all their laughs. She knew his quick springing step the moment he entered the close, and she could tell it from all others, as step by step he climbed the long stair leading to their little attic. And then when he came in, brother and sister felt that now indeed they were happy, for they were together, and they were all the world to one another.
They were orphans from a fisher village. They could remember the far-off days when they played on the sand, and gathered chuckie stones and sholls, and made castles there, and the boats which went sailing out and in,-and a terrible night when father and their old brother bad gone out together on that last day's sail, from which they never came back. Though they lingered on for a while in the old place till mother died, friends were scarce, and Ned fell in with one who offered to teach him a trade; and so they had come to dwell in the Canongate.
Polly had a little daisy growing at her window which Ned had brought her in one half-holiday that he had spent in the country, and there it stood now in a cracked cup-her companion when he was out. And a little robin too came sometimes to see her, tempted by the daily crust which she got Ned to put out for her, and keep in her sight by putting it in a little basket hung on the window. So as robin pecked at his crumbs he sang Polly a little song. And when Polly looked away across the lingy roofs and smoky chimneys she could see St. Anthony's chapel and the top of
Arthur's Seat. And she often wondered who St. Anthony was, and how long it was since king Arthur died. But the green hillside and bold crags had other thoughts for her than kings or saints. For Polly remembered a song which one who often fed his sheep on the hillsides sang, about looking to the hills for aid ; and another song he wrote of God's caring for His people and compassing them about just as the hills encompassed Jerusalem. Then, too, when Polly looked up she could seeand she loved to gaze upon them-the beautiful clouds and the blue sky. And she learned a great deal more about clouds than perhaps many children that read this story would believe possible. It was like looking up to heaven when her eye sought the far | off beautiful blue through a rift in the clouds.
And when night came and Polly lay awake as she sometimes did, she saw the stars and planets as they rolled on in their appointed courses-God's glorious host in their solemn march. The dingy roofs were all shut out now from view. In the solemn stillness of that silent room, when the voices of earth were hushed, these bright stars had all a heavenly radiance of their own, and a voice which gently whispered words of comfort and thoughts of holy joy and love to the spirit of her who was looking out upon them through the little casement,
*For ever singing as they shine,
OUR MISSIONARY PAGE.
TANNA-NEW HEBRIDES. THE following extracts from a letter I recently received from Mrs Watt (wife of the missionary on Tanna), will interest the readers of the Dayspring :'
NUKWIARI. “Lately we had a grand assembly, or nukwiari, as it is called here. It was a soiree, concert and ball; but on Tanna the soiree came last. For weeks the preparations were going on. The gentlemen were fasting that 106
me most was at the close, when they bring in a large number of pigs, killed in a most heart-sickening manner. They are brought in one by one, raised on a pole, which is carried shoulder high, a man riding on the pig's back, and having a number of long feathers in his head. We have seen some of these feathers twelve feet long. They are made up of small feathers hung on to a bunch of reeds. The small ones are about three feet long; such as those worn by the chief's daughter mentioned above.'
they might look slender and neat; they got their wigs powdered with paint, got new belts, and their bodies greased to their hearts' content. At the same time the “belles” were getting fine new skirts &c.; indeed, they did nothing else but bathed and painted; to-day they would have one design, and to-morrow another, until they thought they were perfect. For two or three nights previous to the coming off of the nukwiari, they all sat up night and day, lest they should spoil the paint on their faces. At intervals they practised their music and dances for weeks previous. When preparations were fully made they sent intimation to all the tribes for miles round. To the west of us, they came from a distance of fifteen miles. As it was a time of enjoyment, every one was in his and her holiday attire, and while waiting for the feast, each took his and her friends to see the novelties of the place. The assembly lasted three days, during which we were obliged to hold a level. The people came in bands of twenty and thirty; we showed them the house, and gave them a tune on the harmonium and concertina, after which Mr Watt generally gave each a biscuit. They were vastly delighted, and expressed great wonder at our house. Having seen the dwelling-house, they must next examine our offices, hens, ducks, turkeys and cows. When the examination was finished, it was no uncommon thing to hear one say to another that their “hearts were weak with wonder;" and the people belonging to the mission seemed to feel somewhat proud as they said, “all these things belong to our missi" (missionary).
"As we wished to see the “nukwiari," we went up on the last day, when all the people met in a public square. In the centre of the ground, and under the shade of the principal banyan-tree, the women were assembled dancing; and what a scene of gaiety! Most of them had on white skirts trailing on the ground, and above that there was no lack of short skirts, and panniers in light green, and yellow, and sometimes scarlet; these, and beads, green-stone, paint, and feathers contributed to the full dress of a Tanna lady. One chief's daughter had five long feathers stuck in her head, and a maid to hold them up while she danced. They had no promiscuous dancing. While the women were dancing the men and all the visitors were sitting on the adjoining bank admiring. So far as we saw, the dance was as modest, if not more so than our country dances. The part that shocked
Sutteeism is said to have been introduced on Tanna from Aneityum. Be that as it may, the Tannese practise it. Since we became acquainted with them I know of few instances in which a husband died without an attempt being made to get his widow strangled. In two cases they succeeded. The one happened during our absence at the annual meeting, and the other was in the case of a man who had committed suicide, and we knew nothing of the affair until it was over. In both instances it was the mother, and not the wife that was strangled. A chief of high rank died recently, and previously to his death we heard that, should be die, three women were to be strangled, viz., his two wives, and his aged mother. We determined to do our utmost to prevent it, but he being a high chief we had little hope of success. However, on an early day we went inland to see him and to request the young men of the village to promise that they would not do it. On arriving there we found the poor man unable to speak. We told the others the object of our visit, and they promised that we should be obliged. As soon as the sick man was able to speak we conversed with him. We told him of our sinful hearts by nature, and of Jesus, a Saviour; also, of the perishing nature of all earthly things, and of that bright home on high, for all who will trust in Jesus. He looked earnestly at me, and said with great pathos, “Yesu," the name used here for Jesus. Poor man! he was unable to speak; he grasped my hand as I sat on the ground beside him, and I prayed that the Lord would have mercy on him, even at the eleventh hour. A week after, he died. On hearing of his death we hastened to the funeral, as we had our suspicions regarding the sincerity of those who promised to protect the three women, and from what we afterwards learned, the dying man had the
same, for he could not rest day nor night, but
SEPTEMBER urged them “to do the word of missi.” He was unable to speak at times, but on the night BIBLE READINGS AND LESSONS. of his death, he gave charges as to his burial, and mentioned particularly that they were to
sept. 1. GENESIS 27. 1-4—Isaac deceived. do our word; and, lest his wife to whom he had given these charges should neglect to
Memory text-Rev. 21. 8, 27. Psalm 5. 4,5. make them known, he requested that witnesses should be brought, which was done. He told
Sept. 8. MARK 1. 35-45 — Jesus' first them that they were to bury him like a
general circuit. Christian. They were to put no musket, no
Memory text-Hebrews 4. 15. Psalm 51. 7. kava, and no gods into his grave, as was their custom, but simply to wind him in a Sept. 15. GENESIS 28.-Jacob's journey. garment, and, above all, to take no lives. Memory text-John 1. 51. Psalm 84. 8-12.
When we reached the village, we found all the women from the neighbouring tribes Sept. 22. MATTHEW 5 1-20-Sermon on assembled to weep with the bereaved. The
the Mount. body was stretched out on the ground on mats, Memory text-Matthew 5. 3-9. Psalm 32. 1. and a mat spread over as a covering; only the shoulders and head were visible. A great Sept. 29. GENESIS 32-Jacob's return. number of women sat closely round the dead
Memory text-Genesis 32. 28. Psalm 5. 1-3. body, while others sat at a distanco. The approach of each new comer was the hint to BIBLE QUESTIONS on these Lessons, with answers in set up a fresh wail; but as some of them came
the words of Scripture, may be had of the Publishers. along laughing and talking, till in sight of the corpse, and then commenced so systematically, I had some difficulty in persuading myself of BIBLE QUESTIONS. the depth and sincerity of the grief. Each
THREE Prizes are offered for the largest village that goes to mourn receives a pig, and IT
number of correct answers, to be each individual is presented with two or three yams, “to make their hearts good," as the
awarded in December 1872. Tannese say. We remained till after the The following are the conditions. burial; the grave was dug at the side of his 1. Competitors not to be above fifteen years of age. house, and after going down a sufficient depth, 2. The answers honestly to be the work of the young they cut in under the house, so that he was persons competing from month to month. literally laid “in the sides of the pit.” Even
3. All answers to be addressed, not later than the 18th after the body was laid in the grave, an old
of the month, to the REV. JOHN KAY, Greenbank
Cottage, Coatbridge. chief remarked in a sad tone that it was a pity such a great man was allowed to die 41. From how many families were two is alone.” We were informed afterwards that.
brothers chosen to be apostles ? some of the women, when they perceived that 42. Name six instances in which apostles we came to see the funeral, said to each other,
showed their love to Jesus, and their zeal for “ what do these two mean, coming here to
His honour in a wrong way ? prevent us from carrying out our intentions ? 43. On what occasion did the disciples seem why did'nt they stay at home, and leave us more tender-hearted than Jesus Himself ? alope ?”
44. Which of the apostles stood by the cross I have the testimony of those who have
till Jesus died ? escaped being strangled, that they do not wish 45. Which of them first believed that He to die, but that life would be so miserable
had risen from the dead ? owicg to the taunts which they would have to bear, that they prefer “strangling to life.''
ANSWERS TO BIBLE QUESTIONS IN THE AUGUST "The Tannese believe that at death they go
NUMBER OF THE DAYSPRING. to a place called “Ipai,” where they marry (36) Rom. xii. 10; Phil. ii. 3. (37) Luke and are given in marriage, and that after a | vii. 44-46. (38) Heb. xiii. 2. (39) 1 Petur time they again die and become what is called iv. 9. (40) Matt. v. 47. What do ye more “sacred stones.”'
| than others ?
* IN THE PROMISE-GARDEN. Words by Rachel MERRYLEES.
Paisley : J. AND R. PARLANE.
London : HOULSTON AND Sons, Paternoster Buildings. The DAYSPRING can be had, post free, from the Publishers, as follows :
7 copies for 4d.. or 12 copies monthlv. for one vear. 6.