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Tales and Sketches.
tection of the Pope.
the Austrians; 80 old men and delicate "AS USELESS AS PETER BANNER
women and children must make the fearful MANN.”
journey, or remain to be brutally treated by FROM THE GERMAN.
the pitiless foe. AMONG the upper valleys of the Alps, The troops poured into the valley, and there lives a brave, intelligent, industrious the people (whose plans were already laid race of people called “the Waldenses." with caution and prudence, in case such a Though surrounded by Roman Catholics, necessity should arise) pretended to subthey have remained for ages firm Protes- mit. With the first shades of evening they tants. Even the Romish princes that have went as usual to their beds, and soon the governed them have never interfered with whole valley was as silent as death, except their religion, for the bravest and most as the sounds of brawling or shouting and faithful of their guards were Waldenses, singing came from the church and schoolwho served them as they were taught to house, where the officers were quartered. perform all their other duties“not with When the darkness of night, however, eye service, as men pleasers, but as unto liad settled over the valley, one by one they
stole from their homes and met in a large But at last a prince succeeded to the cavern in the mountain side, which was throne who had not sufficient strength of hidden by a tall snow-covered rock from character to persist in doing what he knew the sight of those in the village. Here to be right; and yielding to the persua- they kneeled down, and the old pistor fersions of the jealous Romish priests, he vently and earnestly implored the protecordered them to abandon their Protestant tion of God in their fearful journey. faith and put themselves under the pro- This done, they set forward, the aged pas
tor leading the van, some of the strongest This they very respectfully, but very de- men walking on each side of the women cidedly, refused to do; and, by the same and the little ones who followed, and the adrice, the prince determined to send remainder bringing up the rear, that they troops and force them to do so. Very might be ready, in case they were pursued foolishly he sent his Waldensian troops and overtaken, to meet the foe.
Oh! a against them; but it was soon very plain fearful journey it was indeed! that they did not mean to be very active Among that little band of fugitives " for in the matter, so Austrian soldiers were the sake of God” was Meta Bannermann, employed to do the business.
the widow of one of the noblest and bravest The Waldenses fought bravely: step by sons of the valley. Almost at the beginstep they disputed the possession of every ning of the struggle he had been killed in inch of ground in their green valleys. But an attempt to protect from brutal insult
were overpowered by the great num- the corpse of the old pastor's wife, and bers of the Austrian armies, and driven left his own wife, with her young babe and from one valley after another, until they a crippled son of six years old, to the had reached the beautiful apot known as grateful love and care of the pastor and the valley of Chamouni,
his flock. This was the highest one on that side of Carefully, that bitter cold night, she the mountain.
If forced to leave that, wrapped her sleeping babe and held it their only place of refuge was on the other tightly to her bosom. For hours they side of the Alps, to reach which they must trudged on through the snow ; oven the climb to its almost inaccessible summit, stoutest scarce able to bear the intense and descend, amid the same difficulties, on cold ; and when, at every halt för rest, she the other side. There was a comparatively saw the little stiffened bodies taken from easy road to it, to be sure, through the the arms of the weeping mothers and laid mountain passes - such a 'road as the in the snow, she held her little ones still mountaineers generally have to use in pas. closer, and prayed in her innermost heart sing from one valley to another -- but this that she might be spared that trial. they dared not attempt, for fear of meeting But the little bundle in her arms began
to grow heavier, and she could scarce re- about a table playing with a company of frain from a cry of agony as her heart told leaden soldiers. One of them was broken, her the canse. But still she clasped the and as a little girl picked it up, her brother little body closely, as if by the warmth of exclaimed: “Throw it away! It's as useher own bosom to restore life to her child. less as Peter Bannermann!" She spoke no word, though: none knew The boy's pleasure was over, and he went the babe was dead. She could not leave it home to tell, with bitter tears, what he had there in the cold spow. No, she would not heard. The broken soldier had been thrown tell her trouble ; heavy as was the load she into the street; Peter had picked it up, and would bear it, stagger on with it still, and for many days he looked at it again and if a merciful God allowed them to reach in again, while the words rang in his ears: safety the shelter they were seeking, she “As useless as Peter Bannermann.” could bury it in God's own acre beside the It haunted him even in his dreams; and church, where she could go, day after day, at last he rose one cold, starry night, when and look at the little grave.
hardly half awake, and wandered by himself Thanks to the love of a pitying Father, up the side of the mountain. On he went the poor exiles at last reached the haven of from rock to rock, dreaming that he was rest they sought, and found a warm wel- no longer a cripple, and then rousing again come. Here, while the females, young and to a painful consciousness of the fact, as old, gave their eager help to the generous he found the difficulty he had in crossing housewives who sheltered and fed them, the some little ravine, over which another men, old men as well as their sons and grand- would have gone at a single leap. He sons, armed and stationed themselves in noticed that upon several of the most prosquadrons among the mountain passes and minent peaks of the mountain there were bebind the rocks that hung over the moun. large piles of wood and brush carefully tain roads, ready to attack and drive back arranged, and near each was the enemy should they attempt to follow sentinel. At last he gained a distant them there. Even the little boys bad their point, and wearied with his efforts, sat duties assigned them, in taking information down to rest. from party to party, and climbing to recon- Here, too, was a pile of wood, and as noitre where a man would not dare to show the sentinel paced past him, he asked its himself.
object. The first who discovers the apo But little Peter Bannermann could be of proach of the Austrians,” replied the man
He could not climb the slippery good naturedly, "is to light his pile; then peak, or slide over the frozen glacier; so he the others will light theirs, and so the must sit at home, and for the first time in warning be given to all the valleys round; his life repine at his misfortune.
for it is said they are going to take u Christmas Day was near at hand. The unawares." And he passed on. widow Bannermann had no gift for her Peter sat thoughtfully, and then again crippled boy. With jealous care she had dropped almost off into sleep, quite unable hoarded up a few kreutzers, and on the to tell how he came there, and whether he Christmas Eve, when the lights of the had heard or only dreamed of the beaconChristmas trees streamed from even the piles ; but, through all, those bitter words humblest cottage windows, she slipped rang through his brain, and he murmured the twelve kreutzers into his hand, and the drowsy prayer that he too might be bade him go and buy for himself whatever able to be useful. he most fancied.
Suddenly he started to his feet; no With a grateful kiss the boy started on sound had reached him, but straining his his errand, stopping from time to time to gaze down the side of the mountain-peaks look in through the frosted window panes on which he stood, he saw, or fancied he upon the happy, merry groups within. He
saw,a dark mass moving slowly and silently did not envy their happiness, and was ready upwards. He turned to the sentinel; he to echo every gay laugh ; but when he saw was gone. Again he gazed with straining a straight-limbed, active boy run nimbly eyeballs ; then suddenly springing to the across the room, his eyes filled with tears, pile, in an instant a bright flame shot up and he murmured at his own lameness. from it; and before the flying boy—who,
Presently be came to the house of the now forgetting his lameness, was speeding town magistrate, and looked in upon a large like an arrow down the icy slopem had gone company of children that were gathered a hundred yards, the signal was answered
from every mountain and rocky peak, until wound ; his moments were numbered. The the whole valley seemed lighted up.
old pastor bent over him. “My noble But vainly those who had lighted the boy," said the old man, while the tears beacon-fires strove to catch a sight of those rolled down his furrowed cheeks, " for thy of whose coming they had thus given sake and that of thy brave father, thy Warning: Nowhere was a single form to mother shall never want what we are able be descried, and many a harsh speech was to give. Hast thou anything else to ask of made of the dreaming cripple, and of their own folly in being so hasty. But this did not The boy smiled. “ Never let the Wallast long ; soon the sound of a smothered denses forget, dear father, that, though a tramp began to be heard ; and before the cripple, God gave me the noble privilege of words had left their lips, the Austrians gaving them from their oppressors !” and came in sight, led by a mountain guide with the last words his spirit passed away. through passes they would never else
have The traveller who passes the night in the found.
little villages that lie nestled among the But they had seen whose form had stood valleys of the Waldenses, will hear at midbeside that first beacon flame, and whose night (the hour at which those beaconhand had thus defeated their plans. The fires were lighted), the sound of the watchdying boy was still in sight, but it was in a
Midnight! and God's peace is fearful place; he stood upon the edge of a
with us! Blessed be the memory of Peter wide rift ; how could the cripple cross it ? Bannermann !" But he must; not only was his own life at stake, for an enraged soldier was in full pursuit, but the alarm must be given to the village; the sleepers awakened, and the
HOW OLD MR. PETREL CAME TO women and children enabled to betake them
GO TO CHAPEL, selves to their biding-places.
THERE are some tough oaks that grow Peter (never stopped to think: with a on Mount Zion, or rather horn-beams, wild leap he sprang over the gulf: an that you can neither split nor cut. Old arrow sped by the hand of his pursuer
Mr. Petrel was one of these. He lived struck his side, but still he rushed on. The near the “ beech woods,” a little beyond alarm was given; the village was aroused ; the old red school-house, and about three and the noble boy sank bleeding at his miles from the centre of the town. He mother's door. None sought safety until was an honest, regular, equare-and-square their preserver was raised and ready to be man, not gifted in making soft speeches, carried with them; but flight proved need- weeping at funerals, or visiting the sick. less
. Met by an armed host where they But he paid his taxes, went to chapel, obhad expected to surprise helpless women and served the Sabbath, and felt that he was feeble old age, the invaders were soon re- really what he professed to be-& stiff, pulsed ; thousands fell in that deadly fight, staunch, and good Christian. But a trial short as was its duration, and thousands came upon Mr. Petrel, as they do upon us were hurled down the icy slopes of the all, and he met it in bis way, as we all do Show.covered mountain, and were dashed in ours.
And thus it was. to pieces in the wild chasms below.
The "old meeting-house” had become Meanwhile a grateful company, had 80 rickety and worn out, that it was detergathered about the dying boy, and his eye mined by the people that they must have a lighted with joy as he clasped his mother's
The first thing was to raise the band and whispered, “Never again can they
necessary funds. As Mr. Petrel had fears say, 'As useless as Peter Bannermann!"" of his own, he would not subscribe any. He could tell nothing of the way in which thing till he could see “how things went." he reached the mountain-peak-nothing of But they “went” very well, and the funds the way in which he had returned; all he were subscribed, leaving a margin for Mr. mew was that he had prayed and his Petrel. Now, the old meeting-house stood prayer had been answered. "By the light about half a mile from the centre of the of the stars he had caught a glimpse of the town, nearer Mr. Petrel's house. So, in invaders as they rounded a peak below, and,
selecting a new site, after many anxious no one near him, had lighted the meetings, all of which Mr. Petrel attended,
and spoke earnestly, it was finally deterBut the life-blood was pouring from his mined to set the new house a little nearer
· Them that
the centre. The exact distance was just twenty-six rods. This was a better site than the old one-a little nearer those who lived in the south part of the town, and it would leave the old house to worship in till the new one was done. But Mr. Petrel now had his back up ! He scolded, he stormed, he urged! He knew he always rode to church, but to ride twenty-six rods further, that was intolerable. He solemnly declared that he would never enter the new house. The people reasoned, coaxed, and bore with him, and went on and built the present nice house. They knew Mr. Petrel was unbendable, and soon left off trying to bend bim.
He kept his word. He never entered the chapel. He stayed at home; he read a little; slept all he could; sharpened his razor, and shaved ; and got over the Sabbath as well as he could. But he stopped growing in intelligence, cheerfulness, kindness, and everything that was good. The tree lacked sap.
Thus he lived sixteen years a sort of Christian Ishmaelite among his neighbours. At the end of this time he was taken sick, very sick, and his neighbours thought he must die. He thought so him. self. One dark stormy night, as he lay waiting for the morning, the hours seeming to move on wings of lead, he saw the door open-perhaps he dreamed it, he was never sure-and in came a tall, powerful Form, most plainly from the world of spirits. It came up and stood by Mr. Petrel's bed. The hair of the old man stood on end. He tried to speak, but those awful eyes were upon him, and he “could not move his tongue. After a long pause, the Form spoke:
Mr. Petrel, are you ready to go ? You see I have come.' -- Go where ? ” gasped the sick man. -Go before the great Master.” -- What for?”
Why, to answer 'for all the deeds done here in the body'; to have your life and character examined."
“Will they ask me questions ?
“ Most certainly ; and very searching ones, too."
“ Won't you just tell me some of these questions, for I shall want the answers ready?
“Well, you will be inquired of how you have spent your life ; what has been the great object of your life ; what your example has been befor: toute family, and
before the community ; how you have regarded God's word and will ; how you have spent your Sabbaths, and improved your opportunities to get good, and be good, and do good; how you have treated Christ and his commands ; how you have treated his people and his cause what fruits will remain after you are gone." Poor Mr. Petrel groaned out aloud.
Now, why do you groen ? You hare had a long life and great opportunities
, and you must be a good, ripe Christian. All the sermons you have heard for the last
“Hold! hold! I haven't heard & sermon for more than sixteen years !"
“ Indeed! Why not? Have you been sick so long?"
“No, sir : but I got put out, and vowed I would never enter the meeting-house ; and I've kept my word.”
“ Yes, at the loss of your soul,” said the Form, very sorrowfully.
“How do you know that ? Petrel, his chin dropping, and his face cold and sweaty.
“Because the Lord says, honour me I will honour; they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.' will you say when asked how
you spent your Sabbaths, and why you have dishonoured the Lord's house and Christ's table ?"
Mr. Petrel began to gasp. It seemed as if he would choke.
“Why, when I had made the vow, could I do?"
“Do ? Repent of the awful sin, and do works meet for repentance.”
“But this would break my word.".
“Better break that than to break the express commands of God, and live and die under his curse.”
“But I should lose my self-respect."
“Perhaps 80; but have you any great amount of that quality to lose ? "
“But the people would call me a fool il I should go to meeting.”
“They call you a fool now, and know you to be one.
“But they would laugh at me.".
“ They have done that for the last sixteen years."
But, are you sure that this will shut me out of heaven?”
“Perbaps if you were to be admitted, you would have to go too far, and so refuse to worship there. Who knows? Why
1 wide window was his father was buried, he
should you not set up your will there, and father's direction, took the violin, and went trample on Christ just as you have done round to the different houses at which his here? No, depend upon it, a will so stiff father was in the habit of playing. When and stubborn cannot be admitted there! he came home he told his father how well But we are wasting time. Are you ready he had got on, and how pleased the people to go with me?"
were with his playing. Oh, no! no! Do excuse me for a “ Thank God for that,” said the dying little while
. Things look different to me. man, “ for you will now be able to support Please leave me now, and let me have one yourself. Luigi, listen to what I say: I more trial. I solemnly promise
shall soon join your blessed mother in The Form held up his finger in a very heaven ; but before I go, promise me you. warning manner, and slowly went back- will never be a thief or a beggar. No, my. wards out of the room.
Poor Petrel was boy, be honest, and God will help you: be covered with perspiration. But from that honest as the daylight, and you never need hour he began to recover. He slowly got fear any man." well
. He said nothing about the vision, Little Luigi gave the required promise, but all noticed that his voice was softer and a day or two afterwards his father died,
and all his actions kinder than they had and he was left a friendless orphan in the sever been before.
wide wide world. On the third Sabbath after this, as all the congregation were seated in the house locked up the little tenement they had lived of God, the door slowly opened, and in in, and, taking his violin, the only thing he walked old Mr. Petrel! All gave a start,
owned in the world, with many tears he as if a ghost had entered, and all looked bade farewell to the only place he had ever
but in a moment more a dozen known as his home, and took the key to pew-doors flew open, and as many beaming the landlord. faces nodded to welcome him. How “Father's dead," he said, when he saw
strange it all seemed! How delightful the man, "and I shan't be able to pay the the singing ; how beautiful the house ; rent, so I've brought you the key." how well the people were dressed; how “But where are you going to live, my wonderfully the man of God preached ; boy ?." said the man, as he took the key. What fervent prayers; what a place! He “Oh, in the street," answered Luigi, “if held down his head, and wept profusely I can't anywhere else; but I daro say somefor joy. His soul seemed to come back, body will give me a lodging now and then. like Noah's dove, to the ark of safety. His All the neighbours are very kind to me." tears were contagious, and many an eye Well,” said the landlord,“ wept with him. After meeting, all his was an honest man; I'll say that of him old friends and neighbours gathered round 80 I hope you'll be like him. There's a him, and shook him warmly by the hand, trifle to begin the world with :” and he and welcomed him back, and not a reproach gave the boy a few pence.
nor a sneer did he see! His Luigi was glad of something to eat; for coming seemed to open all hearts and although the neighbours had offered him moisten all eyes, and they rejoiced as over
some dinner before he came out, he was a lost sheep restored to the fold.
too sad to feel hungry. But his long walk And thus it was “how Mr. Petrel came had given him an appetite, so that he was to go to chapel.”- Rev. J. Todd, D.D. glad to enter the first shop he came to, and
buy food. He then began to play his HONESTY REWARDED.
violin, and many people, attracted by bis youth, and the mournful strain he was
playing, gave him a trifle as they passed, so In one of the back streets of Florence that at night he was able to pay for a bred a poor man who gained his living by lodging with one of the neighbours. The playing on a violin. He was always accom- next day he went out again, and though he genied by a little boy, his only child; and did not get quite so much as he did the the people of the neighbourhood often gave day before, still he would not ask, but kept the little Luigi a breakfast or dinner if his father had not been able to obtain anything
on playing, leaving it to the listeners to
give him whatever they pleased unasked. for him. But one day poor Montalto was
So day after day passed, and he grew to taken ill, and then little Luigi, by his
love his violin as though it had been a com.
did he hear,
FOR THE YOUNG.