« PreviousContinue »
“Because I will not stay behind, mat at the door. “I fear I am very papa.
Mamma said she was only late to-night." leaving us for a little while, and she There was a frank heartiness in the has never come back since. If you boy's voice that bespoke a cheerful, go too, papa, you may never come unreserved mind, and something of a back either-you must stay with me fearless, independent, though still always.”
gentle nature. “But if somebody called me away “No, Dillon, you are not late at to a home where I never should feel all,” replied Mr. Stutzer, with a smile sorrow or pain any more, would you that lighted up his ghastly face with not let me go there ?" demanded the a pleasant beam. father, in a low voice.
“How is your cold sir ?" asked the “Yes, if I went too," was the boy, fixing his quick eye on Mr. prompt reply.
Stutzer's face, as they entered the “Ah, Lizette, that is selfish,” mur- sitting-room already introduced to the mured the father, smiling in spite of reader. himself, as he stroked the little hand “Better--or, at least, not worse, that was clasped within his own. thank you." “Surely you would not try to keep “ Here are some lozenges for your me here, if you thought I would be cough, sir,” observed the lad, drawing happier in another place, even though from his pocket a little box.“ you must stay behind."
thought you might like them.” Oh, papa, don't go !” cried the "I am much obliged to you,” said child, imploringly. I never, never Mr. Stutzer, giving another pleased could stay here with Margaret, or smile, as he took the little offering. anyone but you or mamma; and I Lizette stood at a distance, looking know mamma will never come back on, like a little coquette, hoping to be again."
noticed, yet withal seeming very shy Never again, indeed, poor child. and indifferent. Dillon disappointed You may go to her, but she will re- her by not looking towards her, for turn no more to you. A long silence he was thinking of something else. ensued, broken only by the scraping When she saw him sitting down at of a mouse at the wainscot, or the the table, and opening his book at rustle of a falling ember. At length once with a business-like air, she felt the shuffle of feet was heard outside a disagreeable feeling of being nethe house, and a well-known rap at glected and forgotten. Mr. Stutzer the door.
sat down also, and soon he and the “Thatis Dillon Crosbie!” exclaimed boy were engaged in the translation the child, starting up eagerly: “Light of a German history, which occupied the candles, papa.
The father rose them for some time. hastily, and from a bare cupboard, Dillon Crosbie, of half a dozen near the fireplace, took out two old pupils, who for sometime had been brass candlesticks, bearing some inches under his tuition, was the only one still of the remains of mould candles, which, remaining with him. Ill health had having lighted, he proceeded to admit of late obliged him to relinquish the the newcomer. A boy about thirteen, instruction of so many boys, and he tall for his years, entered the narrow would have also given up teaching hall, wearing a jacket of blue cloth, young Crosbie, had he not found in rather too small for him, his trousers him an extraordinary capacity for also were shorter than they needed to learning, coupled with much origibe, exposing some inches of white nality of character.
All the time, stockings above a pair of large coarse however, that he could now devote shoes. The face of the lad was flushed, to him, was an hour or so each evenand not over clean n-an ink mark ing, when he gave him lessons in streaking one glowing check. His . French or German. The boy attended curly hair rose in luxuriant disorder a day-school at Yaxley also, where he over his forehead; and in one red learned as much as the master of a hand, hacked and disfigured by many rather inferior academy could teach a scratch and gash, he held a some- him. Lizette sat on a low seat at the what worn book.
fire, silently and dejectedly, while the “Good evening, Mr. Stutzer," he reading of the Siebenjahrigen Krieges said, wiping his feet on the old worn went on; and it was only when
Dillon prepared to shut his book up, now came towards him, with a great that she ventured to look towards effort of
"Will you draw a picture for me, “I have a long way to go through to-night?" she asked, timidly. this still, sir,” he observed, pressing “Dillon is in a hurry, missy; do together the leaves he had not yet not trouble him," said her father. read, which formed a very thick bulk. * Oh, it isn't any trouble, sir," ob“I won't finish the book for some served the boy, sitting down again. weeks, I think.”
The child ran for her paint-box and Mr. Stutzer gave a faint smile, like pencils, and a sheet of paper; and the light of a moonbeam on a winter soon Master Crosbie, was sketching night.
off a very fierce tiger indeed, just What book shall I commence, sir, about to pounce upon an unhappy when I am done with it?"
individual within reach of him. “I cannot say-whoever you are Missy's delight was intense. A lion reading with will choose one for you." and a panther were drawn with the
Dillon's head gave a little sudden same speed, and in a manner betokenjerk, and his eye looked inquiringly ing rather more boldness than accuand anxiously into the master's face. racy of design, and then Dillon once For a long while he said nothing, but more took up his book to depart, his glance wandered round the cheer- still looking grave and thoughtful. less room, and fell upon the half dead When he was gone Mr. Stutzer exembers in the grate. Until a few tinguished one of the candles, and weeks back, Mr. Stutzer had always going to the cupboard, took from it a invited him to tea in the evenings; cup of milk and piece of stale bread, now he never did so, and a curious both of which he gave to the child thought flashed into the boy's head, for her supper. After which an old, that probably Mr. Stutzer had no tea half-blind woman, whose face was a for himself or anyone else. At length mass of wrinkles, made her appearhe got up to go away; his air was ance, and Missy was borne off to bed. abstracted and embarrassed. Lizette
A SKETCH OF THE PAST.
Few people at Yaxley knew much not anybody in disguise. He wasabout Paul Stutzer, nor did any body simply Paul Stutzer, teacher of lanfeel particularly curious to ascertain guages. The old lady, Mrs. Meiklam, his affairs. He was merely a teacher living at Meiklam's Rest, about a milé of languages, not often seen out of from Yaxley, knew more of him than doors; but when seen, dressed shab- any one else in the vicinity; and what bily, and of careworn appearance. she knew was this. Just before he There was nothing wonderful in that. arrived, she received a letter from an Who are so shabby and careworn old friend in the North of England, looking as the instructors of youth ? recommending him to her notice and He was always at church on Sundays patronage ; and it was through her
- he and his little girl sitting some influence that he procured his first times in one pew, sometimes in an- pupil at Yaxley-Dillon Crosbie. other, wherever the Sexton chose to Alone in the world, without known place them. Yaxley was a healthy kith or kin, Paul Stutzer had strugneighbourhood. Strangers not un- gled from early childhood. His father frequently came there for change of was a native of Germany, and had air, and to drink of a certain cool spa held for some years the situation of among the hills. Paul Stutzer ar- Professor of the German Language rived there in the summer time, when in one of our English colleges. Exthe leaves were on the trees, and the travagant and thoughtless, he died in days long and warm. There was no- poverty; and his only child might thing mysterious in his coming there. have gone to the workhouse had not He had committed no crime-was strangers pitied him. He was sent guilty of no political offence he was to a charity school, where his abilities
attracted notice. Then he was placed who always made a point of never under the tuition of the master of a giving in in any cause of dispute. respectable academy where young gen- One frightful blow on the temples tlemen were educated, and where his laid this lad prostrate; no blood was cleverness also became remarkable. shed outwardly, but the blow was From thence, under the patronage of mortal. There was a rushing wildly the person who had first rescued him to the house of many frightened boys from workhouse oblivion, he was pro ---a rushing that the schoolmaster's moted to Cambridge, where it was wife never afterwards forgot, and hoped he would shine brilliantly. then the lifeless body of the poor, Well, he did shine, for a time, at dying youth was borne within, and
and then, in a luckless hour, he laid upon a bed, solemnly and tearfell in love, and married, sorely against fully. He died that same night, and his patron's consent. His wife was the school of Paul Stutzer received a not pretty, but gentle, and of winning great blow. People blamed him for manners, and, unhappily, full of ro- the misfortune that had occurred. mantic ideas. They married ; and What sort of a master was he thenceforward Paul Stutzer's pros- who allowed boxing unto death in his pects grew black. Enraged at what establishment? The county newshe considered the bitterest ingrati- papers took the matter up, glad, tude, his patron discarded for ever probably, to have anything to write both the offending parties; and then, about; and at length, poor Stutzer away in a remote spot of the North was a marked man--looked upon as of England, Paul and his wife began little better than a murderer. The life on their own account. They set boy who was the cause of this misup a school, and at one time had fortune went home, and being the thirty day-scholars and twelve son of an influential man, escaped boarders. Things went on pretty punishment. It was only the schoolsmoothly for a long while, till Mrs. master that was responsible for the Stutzer's health began to give way occurrence. One by one boys were under too much exertion. Boys were withdrawn from so disreputable an unruly and difficult to manage. It academy. Paul and his wife and required a much more sturdy-minded child were in danger of starvation, individual than she was to fulfil the when a somewhat eccentric aunt of duties of a schoolmaster's wife. There Mrs. Stutzer, who for years had held was continual noise in the house, and no communication with her, invited shouting, and tramping up and down them all to her house. Gladly they stairs, and swinging over banisters, repaired there, but soon found their and hanging from the two great trees hostess by no means a pleasant one. in the play-ground. Naturally ner
Naturally ner- Violent in her temper and unreasonvous, the poor woman was always able in her demands, she succeeded dreading some accident, and her heart in worrying her niece, already in delibeat violently at any extra noise. cate health, to the verge of the grave, Perhaps it was a presentiment of and they were forced to leave thé cvil.
refuge of such a home. Mrs. Stutzer “Paul, I cannot rest easily in my did not long survive; she died in bed often,” she said ; "for I feel that the obscure village of Climsley, on we have great responsibility in the the borders of Yorkshire ; and the care of so many people's children. Curate of the parish, who was inteWould it not be frightful if any of rested in her husband, was the person our boys died while under our roof?” who wrote for him a letter of recom
“We must bear whatever happens,” mendation to Mrs. Meiklam, at Yaxreplied the husband. “Let us do ley, whither Paul thought of repairour duty, and we need not have any- ing for the benefit of his own health thing to reproach ourselves with.” after his wife's death.
As in most schools, there was one This, then, was the history of the boy in the community worse than all teacher of languages in the humble the rest-a tyrant over weaker lads cottage in the suburbs of the town of ---a leader of all that was mischievous. Yaxley. If unfortunate in the world,
One bright summer evening, there had he not many equals? If judged was quarrelling between this boy harshly, and wrongfully, have not and a delicate, but obstinate youth, others been likewise judged? But
Paul Stutzer was not a philosopher. cowardly as he might have been. His Over
sensitive,shy,shrinking, ashamed misery was indeed great—it might be to ask favours, lest he should be re- yet greater—it must be greater; but fused-gladly would he have met the life that God gave must be revered: death, but for the poor little Lizette, it was not his own to meddle with. It who implored him to stay with her. is easy to preach resignation to the And yet this weak man was not poor mortal quivering under the rod without his strength-strength to of affliction-easy to say, “You must resist temptation. In the silent bear up;" but, oh, hard, very hard, hours of a night of intense misery to practise it. The warrior on the and despair was he not strong when battle-field, brave as he may be, is he broke a phial of laudanum, and yet often far less a hero than the let its contents pour into the fire ? patient, suffering creature who is livStrong, you would acknowledge if you ing out his misery in the prison or the knew how great was the temptation to garret, murmuring, with pale lips, the use it otherwise. No, he was not so words, “Thy will be done.”
REMONSTRANCES AND COAXINGS,
It was a wild night; the wind blew put a stop to this reading of German, in shrill gusts, and ever and anon and going out in the night; he'll showers of sleet came dripping from catch cold, and then I shall have the cold gray sky. A bright fire pretty trouble with him. What good blazed in a comfortably furnished will all this reading do him. If he sitting-room, where the tea-tray still is so anxious to learn languages, could remained on the table, though the not Miss Pritty teach him along with occupants of the apartment had for you ?” some time partaken of their evening
“But then he is at school every day meal. A fat, middle-aged gentleman when Miss Pritty comes to me,” said was reclining, half asleep, in an arm- the little girl; "and he cannot go any chair before the fire, a thin, sharp- earlier than he does, the dinner-hour featured lady was doing fancy work is so late.” at a little table, upon which stood a The mother drew out her watch, lamp, and a girl, about eleven years with impatience. old, was alternately playing with pussy “It is a quarter past nine; I must on the rug and running to look out have the tea-things removed." of the window, rather anxiously, at Oh, mamma, wait a little while; the thick gloom without. She was a he must soon come now.” pretty child, with much of brightness “No, no, not a moment longer; he and intellect in her face. A peculiar may do without supper when he stays expression of sweetness played about out so late. I daresay he has had tea her mouth and beamed in the depths with that man.” of her eyes; her slight and graceful The bell was rung, a servant apfigure gave promise of much future peared, and the tea-tray was borne loveliness; while the very small hands from the room. For a moment a sorand feet, as well as the noble carriage rowful shade passed over the little of the perfectly shaped little head, girl's eyes, but shadows never lingered round which a profusion of hair hung there long. Soon after, the ringing of in curls, gave a charming distinction the hall-door bell announced an arto her appearance.
rival. "I wonder what keeps Dillon out “Now, mamma, I want you not to so late to-night, mamma,” she ob- scold Dillon, when he comes up,” said served, as she once again drew aside the child, running quickly to her the heavy folds of the crimson cur- mother's side. tains that hung over the window, and “Get away, Bessie, you have made gazed upon the blackness outside. me make a wrong stitch," said the
" I don't know indeed,” replied the mother, impatientiy. “I wish you lady at the work-table, in a sharp, could be more gentle, and not startle dry voice;
but if he isn't in soon I me in that way. shall send the tea-tray away. I must
Bessie had not time to make any
2 VOL. LXIII. -NO, CCCLXXIII.
apology before the door opened, and ing a little amused. “No; why should in came our friend Dillon Crosbie, I be, when I stayed so late ?" looking with regard to apparel, much “Well, why will you not have any as he had done, when first introduced supper ?'' to the reader, though perhaps less “I don't want any." ruddy of complexion than upon that Bessie thought Dillon's eyes looked evening.
as if he had a cold; he was biting his “I suppose you have had supper,” lip pretty hard, too. What if her remarked the sharp-faced lady at the mother's treatment had really anwork-table, as he entered; “ so I sent noyed him ? For a long while she away the tea-things."
said nothing; but her glance was No, I had not.
directed ever and anon to the figure “Then what made you stay out so of Dillon on the sofa. late ?"
“Bessie,” he said, at last, “I am “Mr. Stutzer was ill,” said Dillon, convinced that Mr. Stutzer has got flinging himself on the sofa. “I nothing to eat. I know quite well he thought he was dying, and I was ob- is starving." liged to run for Doctor Ryder to come “Why?" to him; that was what kept me out “Because Doctor Ryder said so;
and I know there was nothing in his “What ailed him ?demanded the cupboard but a small piece of bread lady, in a tone of slight hostility. and cup of milk, when I was search,
Í hardly know; he fainted just ing for some wine that the doctor told after I had finished reading with him, me to look for, while Mr. Stutzer was and I thought he was dead.”
insensible.” “Dead !" repeated the lady. “How “But he might not keep his food could you be so silly? I daresay he in the cupboard,” said Bessie, gravely. will not thank you for calling in a “There was nothing eatable anydoctor, if it was only a faint, putting where, in the kitchen, or any place him to expense for nothing. The heat else in the house, except some brown of the fire, or something else, I sup- bread that his old servant said bepose, affected him.”
longed to her. She is a very stupid “It wasn't the heat of the fire, any- woman; but she told Doctor Ryder, way,” said Dillon, smiling, in spite of she hadn't bought any meat for Mr. himself, "for I don't think there was Stutzer for nearly a fortnight, and a spark in the grate. I never was that he never, now, had any regular colder in my life.'
breakfast or dinner. She said she That is very odd. I should think didn't think he cared for having he ought to have a fire at least for the regular meals, on account of his delishort time you are with him," ob- cate health; but I know very well he served the lady, going on with her is too poor to buy food. Doctor Ryder work. “I don't think it is respectful said he had fainted from weakness to you to treat you so.
and want of proper nourishment." Oh, I don't care about a fire, Dillon got up and walked about the aunt,” said the boy, good-humour- room, trying very hard to repress the edly.
tears that were fast rushing to his Won't
you have some supper ?” eyes ; but he had mastered his feelasked Bessie, in a low voice, coming ings so far as to seem calm enough towards him, and pushing the curls when his aunt came back. Bessie from his cold forehead with her small could not altogether sympathize with hands.
his sorrow for his poor tutor ; she No,” he whispered; “I am not thought it very shocking, of course, hungry.
for a man to be starving; but Dillon “I will get you some milk and felt something more than mere pity bread in a moment.”
for the gentle-spirited man, who had “You need not, indeed, Bessie; I taken much pains in teaching him, could not eat to-night.”
and whose deep learning and high “You are not offended because order of intellect even boys knew how mamma sent away the tea-things ?” to appreciate. asked the little girl, after a pause, as Oh, mamma, Dillon says Mr. her mother left the room.
Stutzer is so poor he has nothing to “Offended !" repeated Dillon, look- eat,” observed Bessie, when her mo