devoted to rational spiritualism and practical ?· devoted to rational spiritualism and practical...
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DEVOTED TO RATIONAL SPIRITUALISM AND PRACTICAL REFORM.A. E. NEWTON AND S. B. BRITTAN, EDITORS. PRINCIPAL OFFICE OF PUBLICATION, AT NO. 14 BROMFIELD STREET, (UP STAIRS,) BOSTON, MASS. TERMS, TWO DOLLARS A TEAR, IN ADVANCE.
K E W SERIES. BOSTON, NEW YORK AND CHICAGO, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1859. YOL. II....NO. 6.
T H E L I T T L E A N G E L .B Y M R S . C A R O L I N E E . S O C L E .
M ay I go on the common to play ? I ve been a good girl to-day, warbled the dear little pet, Isabel Lee, in a voice 3hat was sweet as the song of a bird a t su n lig h t; and up and down the stairs she went, singing her childish ditty* and searching eagerly for her m other that she might obtain the desired permission.
Say yes, do now, th a ts a dear, good m other ! she e x claimed, when a t le D g th she found herself in the arm s o f the loved one. Miss J a n e says I ve been a eery good girl, in d e e d ; and she says, too, th a t a ir and play will do me much good. A nd theres no place in all the world where. I love so well to play as on th a t dear old common o f ours. I call it our little country, mother, cause there are no houses there nothing but grass and trees and w ater.
A nd hirelings from human nests, said the mother, as she lovingly kissed the darling. Yes, you may go, but mind and not play too hard , and be sure, B ell, to go home before dinner ia ready.
M errily then pattered tho slippered fee t afte r bonnet and cape and hoop and m errily sang the happy voic&:
I may go on the common to play, 1I guess I ll be good then every day.
V ery dem urely did the little g irl pace the crowded and fashionable tho roughfare; but O how ligh tly and joyously she bounded down the stone steps. A nd once on the gravelled path , w ith Gods green grass beside her H is noble trees arching above her H is free, glad sunshine quivering on the ir tops, dancing through the ir interlaced boughs here m ottling the soft turf, and there bathing it in a golden tide. Once beside the mimic lake, w ith its leaping, laughing, musical fountain once out in th a t little country , and Isabel, happiest o f the happy, flitted through the long walks, w ith a step th a t seemed alm ost winged, so fleet, so a iry was its tread ; while her voice rang now in childish glee, and again in b irdlike songs; and h er pulse beating with quickened life, sent fresh, b righ t hues to the delicate cheek, gave an added lustre to the b rillian t eye, a warm, glad gush to the panting heart, and a th rill o f joy to the imprisoned soul. O u t on the common she m ight be what God m eant she should be while her years were young a child, a romping, wild, frolicsome c h i ld ; and gathering in her buoyant sport th a t strength so needed in the life to come the vigor which shields the heart from muffled notes. She rolled her hoop ; she tossed her velvet b a ll; she skipped and hopped to the barbers shop she made friends with the lit tle girls who romped beside her, and len t them her hoop while 6he jum ped the ir ro p e ; she watched the little boys launch their boats, smiled with them when they bore a gallant Bail, and spoke a com forting word when they m et w ith a saddening w reck ; she played w ith the babies gladdened the h ea rt o f the w eary nurses with a kind and loving word ; and then, fairly tired out, wandered away from the noisy group.
I wont go home quite yet, said she. I ll get rested first. Y es, I ll find me a nice, cool, shady place, and sit down and think awhile. M other says i t does little .girls good to th ink and so she tripped aw ay in search of a m using spot.
B u t suddenly her steps were arrested ; the light faded from h er joyous e y e ; the song died on her lip. There, on the gren tu r f beside her, the midsummer sun pouring its to rrid ray s upon her upturned face, buried in w hat seemed deathlike slum ber, lay a man in the prim e o f life. T attered and torn were his garm ents, a battered h a t beside him, a broken bottle clenched in the righ t hand, a blotted paper in his left hand.
The poor, sick m a n ! said the wondering child, out here in the ho t sun asleep. I t s .too bad, too bad. How sorry hia folks would be i f they only knew where he was. H e m ust have been going to the doctors, for he has a bottle and a paper, and I guess he was so weak he couldnt get there, and fell down. The poor, sick man how I wish I could make him well.
She looked awhile, and then hesitating approached him, and s a t down by his side. She took out h e r handkerchief and wiped aw ay the g rea t drops th a t had gathered on his brow, and then fanned him w ith th a t soft, delicate motion which we give to the dying friend. A nd all the tim e tears were stream ing down her cheeks, and Bhe was wailing with a hushed voice but- sobbing h ea rt over his lonely lot. She was wondering i f he had a wife and little children, and i f they knew how sick he was; and she wished he would w ake up and tell h e r where they lived, th a t she m ight bring them 'there.
A long while she sa t there, a . p a tien t w atcher. O nly once she ceased the cooling breeze, it was to fold her little hands as she had been taught, and breathe over him a childish prayer. T h a t p rayer! the angels hushed the ir harps to listen, and the re was joy in heaven.
A t length the sick man turned and tossed, as though his sleep was mostly over. P oor man ! said h is little nurse, poor m an, youll be sore and stiff, I m afraid, sleeping so long on the ground when i t rained only last night. P o o r m an, to w sorry I am for you. B u t now her little chcek is la id j
close to his bloated face, for his lips m urm ur, and she would hear his words. Broken, indistinct ones they are a t first, but then audible and pleading.
J u s t one glass more one, one, only one. I m dying for i t give, give, one more only one ! .
H es begging for w ater, sobbed she, as she raised her damp face. ; H es dream ing, and thinks they wont give it to him. Oh, i f I only had som e; its so hard to w ant a d rink o f w ater and riot to have i t .
H ere her eye rested on the broken bottle, and a happy thought struck her. She carefully unclasped his hand, seized thc dark glass and hastened to the pond. I t will hold some; i t will be better than none, said she, as she dipped it in and bore aw ay the cooling, life-giving draught. She poured a few drops on his parched lips, and thetTlaved his hot forehead and burning cheeks. T h a t water th a t dew o f human love dripped through his life-pores and down to his very soul. I t broke the stupor th a t palsied his nerves. H e opened his heavy eyelids and gazed first vacantly, then wonderingly about him.
Do you feel any better 7 whispered the little g irl, in tones low and sweet as the cradlc-hym n o f a m other ; do you feel any b e tte r? I m sorry f o r^ o u .
B ette r, be tte r, m urm ured he, yes, I feel better. B u t where am I ? W hat am I ? I lay down in hell, a devil tram pling on me, and I wake up in heaven an angel watching over me. A in t you an angel 7 A in t I in heaven 7 And he seized her hand convulsively.
D ont say such naughty w ords, said she ; dont, sir, you scare me. N o, I a in t an angel, nor you a in t in heaven. You are out here on the common. I found you asleep in the sun, and I was so sorry for you I sa t down and took care of you. I am nothing bu t a little girl. Shall I give you some mere w a te r? and she held the broken bottle to his lips.
W ate r ! water ! yes, give me some. W ate r from an an gels hand may save my soul. A nd he drank, and then sal up and looked around, and a t the little one beside him.
L ittle angel, little angel, said he, there is hope for me yet hope for me. H eaven sent you to save me. B less y o u ! bless you, little a n g e l!
B u t I a in t an angel, said she, artlessly . I am only a little g irl. F eel o f my hand ; you couldnt touch me i f I was an angel. A nd see, I hain t got any wings e ith e r .
B u t he only said, L ittle angel, little , and laid his head in her lap and wept.
P oor m an, said she, as she bathed his hot temples and flushed cheeks; poor, sick man, I m so sorry for you. H ain t you got any home ?
H e answered not, b u t only sobbed tho louder. By-and-by he looked up and said to the p ity iug child, L ittle angel, can you p ra y ?
Yes, sir, I can.- I prayed fo r you while you was asleep. P ra y again pray aloud let me hear you. A nd she
knelt beside him, clasped her hands and prayed, O ur F ather, which a r t in heaven. W hen she had ceased he la id his head again upon hor lap and sobbed. '
S hant I go and find your folks for you, poor man ? asked she ; i t s getting la te, and I m ust go home soon.
T ake me to them , little angel take me to them ! and he seized her hand and led her aw ay out o f th a t beautiful green spot, and across several streets, and down into a dark , gloomy, cellar home.
pcle, haggard looking woman, w ith a little purple babe on her lap, sat on a rickety chair, the only one in the room, close to the little window, stitching as fast-as her fingers could fly. On a straw bed in the corner lay two other little ones, tossing in fever fits,-while a hoy o f Isabe ls age was crouched beside them dying. 0 I m so hungry ! I m so h u n g ry ! ,
T hank God ! you ve come back a t last, W illiam , said the woman as they entered.
Thank God ! I ve been brought back , said the m an with a choked voice. A nd here is the little v>gel th a t brought me, and saved me. B less her ! M ary bless her ! and he led the half-scared child to the knees o f the wondering wif