" No one should be driven to despair," she said, little
thinking she used almost the very words of the Lord,
according to the Sinaitic reading of a passage in St. Luke's
The argument had little force with the rough Scotch-
man: his mistress was soft-hearted! He shook his head
ominously at the idea of giving a tramp the chance of
doing decent work, but at last consented, with a show of
being over-persuaded to an imprudent action, to let the
boy help him for a day, and see how he got on, stipulating,
however, that he should not be supposed to have pledged
himself to anything.
Miss Tempest's plans went beyond the gardener's
scope. She had for some months been inclined to have
a boy to help in the house an inclination justified by
a late unexpected accession of income: if this boy were
what he seemed, he would make a more than valuable
servant; and nothing could clear her judgment of him
better, she thought, than putting him to the test of a
brief subjection to the cross-grained, exacting Scotch-
man. By that she would soon know whether to dismiss
him, or venture with him farther!
She had but just wrung his hard consent from the
gardener, when the cook came running, to say the boy
was gone. Upon poor Miss Tempest's heart fell a cold
"But we've counted the spoons, ma'am, and they're
all right!" said the cook
This additional statement, however, did not seem to
give much consolation to the benevolent old lady. She
stood for a moment with her eyes on the ground, too
pained to move or speak. Then she started, and ran to
THE GARDENEfl. 307
the gate. The cook ran after, thinking her mistress gone
out of her mind and was sure of it when she saw her
open the gate, and run straight down the bank to the
road. But when she reached the gate herself, she saw
her standing over a boy asleep on the grass of the oppo-
Abdiel, lying on his bosom, watched her with keen
friendly eyes. Clare was dreaming some agreeable morn-
ing-dream; for a smile of such pleasure as could haunt
only an innocent face, nickered on it like a sunny ripple
on the still water of a pool.
"No!" said Miss Tempest to herself; "there's no du-
plicity there! Otherwise, a tree is not known by its
Clare opened his eyes, and started lightly to his feet,
strong and refreshed.
"Good morning, ma'am!" he said, pulling off his cap.
"Good morning what am I to call you?" she re-
" Clare, if you please, ma'am."
"What is your Christian name?"
" That is my Christian name, ma'am Clare."
"Then what is your surname?"
" I am called Porson, ma'am, but I have another name.
Mr. Porson adopted me."
" What is your other name?"
" I don't know, ma'am. I am going to know one day,
I think ; but the day is not come yet."
He told her all he could about his adoptive parents,
and little Maly; but the time before he went to the farm
was growing strangely dreamlike, as if it had sunk a
long way down in the dark waters of the past all up
308 A ROUGH SHAKING.
to the hour when Maly was carried away by the long
The story accounted to Miss Tempest both for his
good speech and the name of his dog. The adopted child
of a clergyman might well be acquainted with Paradise
Lost, though she herself had never read more of it than
the apostrophe to Light in the beginning of the third
book! That she had learned at school without under-
standing phrase or sentence of it ; while Clare never left
passage alone until he understood it, or, failing that, had
invented a meaning for it.
" Well, then, Clare, I've been talking to my gardener
about you," said Miss Tempest. "He will give you
"God bless you, ma'am! I'm ready!" cried Clare,
stretching out his arms, as if to get them to the proper
length for work. "Where shall I find him?"
" You must have breakfast first."
She led the way to the kitchen.
The cook, a middle-aged woman, looked at the dog,
and her face puckered all over with points of interro-
gation and exclamation.
"Please, cook, will you give this young man some
breakfast? He wanted to go to work without any, but
that wouldn't do would it, cook?" said her mistress.
"I hope the dog won't be running in and out of my
kitchen all day, ma'am!"
"No fear of that, cook!" said Clare; "he never leaves me."
"Then I don't think I'm afraid," she began, and
stopped. " But that's none of my business," she added.
"John will look after his own and more!"
Miss Tempest said nothing, but she almost trembled;
THE GARDENER. 309
for John, she knew, had a perfect hatred of dogs. Nor
could anyone wonder, for, gate open or gate shut, in they
came and ran over his beds. She dared not interfere!
He and Clare must settle the question of Abdiel or no
Abdiel between them! She left the kitchen.
The cook threw the dog a crust of bread, and Abdiel,
after a look at his master, fell upon it with his white,
hungry little teeth. Then she proceeded to make a cup
of coffee for Clare, casting an occasional glance of pity
at his garments, so miserably worn and rent, and his
brown bare feet.
" How on the face of this blessed world, boy, do you
expect to work in the garden without shoes?" she said at
"Most things I can do well enough without them,"
answered Clare; " even digging, if the ground is not
very hard. My feet used to be soft, but now the soles
of them are like leather. They've grown their own
shoes," he added, with a smile, and looked straight in
The smile and the look went far to win her heart,
as they had won that of her mistress: she felt them
true, and wondered how such a fair-spoken, sweet-faced
boy could be on the tramp. She poured him out a huge
cup of coffee, fried him a piece of bacon, and cut him as
much bread and butter as he could dispose of. He had
not often eaten anything but dry bread, in general very
dry, since he left the menagerie, and now felt feasted
like an emperor. Pleased with the master, the cook fed
the dog with equal liberality; and then, curious to wit-
ness their reception by John, between whom and herself
was continuous feud, she conducted Clare to the gardener.
310 A ROUGH SHAKING.
From a distance he saw them coming. With look irate
fixed upon the dog, he started to meet them. Clare knew
too well the meaning of that look, and saw in him Satan
regarding Abdiel with eye of fire, and the words on his
" And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight."
The moment he came near enough, without word, or
show of malice beyond what lay in his eye, he made,
with the sharp hoe he carried, a sudden downstroke at
the faithful angel, thinking to serve him as Gabriel served
Moloch. But Abdiel was too quick for him: he had read
danger in his very gait the moment he saw him move,
and enmity in his eyes when he came nearer. He
kept therefore his own eyes on the hoe, and never moved
until the moment of attack. Then he darted aside.
The weapon therefore came down on the hard gravel,
jarring the arm of his treacherous enemy. With a mut-
tered curse John followed him and made another attempt,
which Abdiel in like manner eluded. John followed and
followed; Abdiel fled and fled never farther than a few
yards, seeming almost to entice the man's pursuit, some-
times pirouetting on his hind legs to escape the blows
which the gardener, growing more and more furious
with failure, went on aiming at him. Fruitlessly did
Clare assure him that neither would the dog do any
harm, nor allow any one to hit him. It was from very
weariness that at last he desisted, and wiping his fore-
head with his shirt-sleeve, turned upon Clare in the
smothered wrath that knows itself ridiculous. For all
the time the cook stood by, shaking with delighted
laughter at his every fresh discomfiture.
THE GARDENER'S DISCOMFITURE.
THE GARDENER. 311
" Awa', ye deil's buckie," he cried, K an tak' the little
Sawtan wi' ye! Dinna lat me see yer face again."
"But the lady told me you would give me a job!" said
"I didna tell her I wad gie yer tyke a job! I wad
though, gien he wad lat me!"
" He's given you a stiff one!" said the cook, and laughed
The gardener took no notice of her remark.
"Awa' wi' ye!" he cried again, yet more wrathfully,
He raised his hand.
Clare looked in his eyes and did not budge.
"For shame, John!" expostulated the cook. "Would
you strike a child?"
" I'm no child, cook!" said Clare. "He can't hurt me
much. I've had a good breakfast!"
"Lat 'im tak' awa' that deevil o' a tyke o' his, as I
tauld him," thundered the gardener, " or I'll mak' a pulp
"I've had such a breakfast, sir, as I'm bound to give a
whole day's work in return for," said Clare, looking up at
the angry man; " and I won't stir till I've done it. Stolen
food on my stomach would turn me sick!"
"Gien it did, it wadna be the first time, I reckon!"
said the gardener.
"It would be the first time!" returned Clare. "You
are very rude. If Abdiel understood Scotch, he would
bite you," he added, as the dog, hearing his master speak
angrily, came up, ears erect, and took his place at his
side, ready for combat.
" Ye'll hae to tak' some ither mode o' payin' the debt!"
312 A ROUGH SHAKING.
said John. "Stick'spaud in yird here, ye sail not! You
or I maun flit first!"
With that he walked slowly away, shouldering his hoe.
"Come, Abdiel," said Clare; "we must go and tell Miss
Tempest! Perhaps she'll find something else for us to
do. If she can't, she'll forgive us our breakfast, and
we'll be off on the tramp again. I thought we were going
to have a day's rest I mean work; that's the rest we
want! But this man is an enemy to the poor."
The gardener half turned, as if he would speak, but
changed his mind and went his way.
"Never mind John!" said the cook, loud enough for
John to hear. "He's an old curmudgeon as can't sleep
o' nights for quarrellin' inside him. I'll go to mis'ess, and
you go and sit down in the kitchen till I come to you."
/"^LARE went into the kitchen, and sat down. The
\J housemaid came in, and stood for a moment looking
at him. Then she asked him what he wanted there.
" Cook told me to wait here," he answered.
"Wait for what?"
"Till she came to me. She's gone to speak to Miss
" I won't have that dog here."
" When I had a home," remarked Clare, " our servant
said the cook was queen of the kitchen: I don't want to
be rude, ma'am, but I must do as she told me."
THE KITCHEN. 313
"She never told you to bring that mangy animal in
" She knew he would follow me, and she said nothing
about him. But he's not mangy. He hasn't enough to
eat to be mangy. He's as lean as a dried fish!"
The housemaid, being fat, was inclined to think the
remark personal; but Clare looked up at her with such
clear, honest, simple eyes, that she forgot the notion, and
thought what a wonderfully nice boy he looked.
" He's shamefully poor, though ! His clothes ain't even
decent!" she remarked to herself.
And certainly the white skin did look through in
"You won't let him put his nose in anything, will
you?" she said quite gently, returning his smile with a
very pleasant one of her own.
"Abdiel is too much of a gentleman to do it," he
"A dog a gentleman!" rejoined the housemaid with a
merry laugh, willing to draw him out.
"Abdiel can be hungry and not greedy," answered
Clare, and the young woman was silent.
Miss Tempest and Mrs. Mereweather had all this time
been turning over the question of what was to be done with
the strange boy. They agreed it was too bad that anyone
willing to work should be prevented from earning even
a day's victuals by the bad temper of a gardener. But
his mistress did not want to send the man away. She
had found him scrupulously honest, as is many a bad-
tempered man, and she did not like changes. The cook
on her part had taken such a fancy to Clare that she did
not want him set to garden-work; she would have him
314 A ROUGH SHAKING.
at once into the house, and begin training him for a page.
Now Miss Tempest was greatly desiring the same thing,
but in dread of what the cook would say, and was
delighted, therefore, when the first suggestion of it came
from Mrs. Mereweather herself. The only obstacle in the
cook's eyes was that same long, spectral dog. The boy
could not be such a fool, however, she said, not being
a lover of animals as let a wretched beast like that
come betwixt him and a good situation!
" It's all right, Clare," said Mrs. Mereweather, entering
her queendom so radiant within that she could not re-
press the outshine of her pleasure. "Mis'ess an' me,
we've arranged it all You're to help me in the kitchen;
an' if you can do what you're told, an' are willin' to learn,
we'll soon get you out of your troubles. There's but one
thing in the way."
"What is it, please?" asked Clare.
" The dog, of course ! You must part with the dog."
" That I cannot do," returned Clare quietly, but with
countenance fallen and sorrowful. " Come, Abdiel!"
The dog started up, every hair of him full of electric
" You don't mean you're going to walk yourself off in
such a beastly ungrateful fashion an' all for a miserable
cur!" exclaimed the cook.
" The lady has been most kind to us, and we're grateful
to her, and ready to work for her if she will let us;
ain't we, Abdiel ? But Abdiel has done far more for me
than Miss Tempest! To part with Abdiel, and leave him
to starve, or get into bad company, would be sheer in-
gratitude. I should be a creature such as Miss Tempest
ought to have nothing to do with: I might serve her as
THE KITCHEN. 315
that young butler I told her of! It's just as bad to be
ungrateful to a dog as to any other person. Besides, he
wouldn't leave me. He would be always hanging about."
" John would soon knock him on the head."
" Would he, Abdiel?" said Clare.
The dog looked up in his master's face with such a
comical answer in his own, that the cook burst out laugh-
ing, and began to like Abdiel.
"But you don't really mean to say," she persisted,
" that you'd go off again on the tramp, to be as cold and
hungry again to-morrow as you were yesterday and all
for the sake of a dog? A dog ain't a Christian!"
"Abdiel's more of a Christian than some I know,"
answered Clare : " he does what his master tells him."
"There's something in that!" said the cook.
" If I parted with Abdiel, I could never hold up my
head among the angels," insisted Clare. " Think what
harm it might do him! He could trust nobody after,
his goodness might give way! He might grow worse
than Tommy! No; I've got to take care of Abdiel, and
Abdiel's got to take care of me ! 'Ain't you, Abby ? "
"We can't have him here in the kitchen nohow!" said
the cook in relenting tone.
" Poor fellow ! " said the housemaid kindly.
The dog turned to her and wagged his tail.
" What wouldn't I give for a lover like that!" said the
housemaid but whether of Clare or the dog I cannot
" I know what I shall do!" cried Clare, in sudden resolve.
" I will ask Miss Tempest to have him up-stairs with her,
and when she is tired of either of us, we will go away
316 A ROUGH SHAKING.
"A probable thing!" returned the cook. " A lady like
Miss Tempest with a dog like that about her! She'd be
eaten up alive with fleas! In ten minutes she would!"
" No fear of that ! " rejoined Clare. " Abdiel catches
all his own fleas ! Don't you, Abby?"
The dog instantly began to burrow in his fell of
hair an answer which might be taken either of two
ways : it might indicate comprehension and corrobora-
tion of his master, or the necessity for a fresh hunt. The
women laughed, much amused.
"Look here!" said Clare. "Let me have a tub of
water warm, if you please he likes that : I tried him
once, passing a factory, where a lot of it was running to
waste. Then, with the help of a bit of soap, I'll show you
a body of hair to astonish you."
"What breed is he ?" asked the housemaid.
" He's all the true breeds under the sun, I fancy," re-
turned his master ; " but the most of him seems of the
sky-blue terrier sort."
The more they talked with Clare, the better the
women liked him. They got him a tub and plenty of
warm water. Abdiel was nothing loath to be plunged in,
and Clare washed him thoroughly. Taken out and dried,
he seemed no more for a lady's chamber unmeet.
" Now," said Clare, " will you please ask Miss Tempest
if I may bring him on to the lawn, and show her some
of his tricks?"
The good lady was much pleased with the cleverness
and instant obedience of the little animal. Clare pro-
posed that she should keep him by her.
" But will he stay with me ? and will he do what 1
tell him?" she asked.
THE WHEEL RESTS FOR A TIME. 317
Clare took the dog aside, and talked to him. He told
him what he was going to do, and what he expected of
him. How much Abdiel understood, who can tell ! but
when his master laid him down at Miss Tempest's feet,
there he lay; and when Clare went with the cook, he
did not move, though he cast many a wistful glance after
the lord of his heart. When his new mistress went into
the house, he followed her submissively, his head hang-
ing, and his tail motionless. He soon recovered his
cheerfulness, however, and seemed to know that his
friend had not abandoned him.
THE WHEEL RESTS FOR A TIME.
rTlHAT part of the human race which is fond of dolls,
_L may now imagine the pleasure of the cook in going
to the town in the omnibus to buy everything for a live
doll so big as Clare! In a very few days she had him
dressed to her heart's content, and the satisfaction of her
mistress, who would not have him in livery, but in a
plain suit of dark blue cloth: for she loved blue, all her
men- people being, or having been in the navy. Thus
dressed, he looked as much of a gentleman as before: his
look of refinement had owed nothing to the contrast of
his rags. Better clothes make not a few seem commoner.
When Mrs. Mereweather came back from the town the
first day, she found that the ragged boy had got her
kitchen and scullery as nice and clean, and everything
318 A ROUGH SHAKING.
as ready to her hand, as if she had got her work done
before she went, which the omnibus would not permit.
This rejoiced her much; but being a woman of experi-
ence, she continued a little anxious lest his sweet ways
should go after his rags, lest his new garments should
breed bumptiousness and bad manners. For such a
change is no unfre"quent result of prosperity. But such
had been Mr. Person's teaching and example, such Mrs.
Person's management, and such the responsiveness of the
boy's disposition, that the thought never came to him
whether this or that was a thing fit for him to do: if the
thing was a right thing, and had to be done, why should
not he do it as well as another ! To earn his own and
Abdiel's bread, he would do anything honest, setting up
his back at nothing. But when about a thing, he forgot
even his obligation to do it, in the glad endeavour to do
As the days went on, Mrs. Mereweather was not once
disappointed in him. He did everything with such
a will that both she and the housemaid were always
ready to spare and help him. Very soon they began to
grow tender over him ; and on pretence of his being the
earlier drest to open the door, did certain things them-
selves which he had been quite content to do, but which
they did not like seeing him do. Many I am afraid
most boys would have presumed on their generosity, but
Clare was nowise injured by it.
Nothing could be kinder than the way his mistress
treated him. Having lent him some books, and at once
perceived that he was careful of them, she let him have
the run of her library when his day's work was over. For
he not only read but respected books. Nothing shows
THE WHEEL RESTS FOR A TIME. 319
vulgarity more than the way in which some people treat
books. No gentleman would write his remarks on the
margins of another person's book; no lady would brush
her hair as she read one of her own.
From hungry days and cold nights, Clare and Abdiel
found themselves in clover the phrase surely of some
lover of cows ! and they were more than content. Clare
had longed so much for work, and had for so many a
weary day sought it in vain, that he valued it now just
because it was work. And he seemed to know instinct-
ively that a man ranks, not according to the thing he
does, but according to the way he does it. In life it is
far higher to do an inferior thing well than to do a
superior thing passably.
Clare made good use of his privileges, and read much,
educating himself none the worse that he did it uncon-
sciously. He read whatever came in his way. He read
really not as most people read, leaving the sentences
behind them like so many unbroken nuts, the kernel of
whose meaning they have not seen. He learned more
than most boys at school, more even than most young
men at college ; for it is not what one knows, but what
one uses, that is the true measure of learning. What-
ever he read, he read from the point of practice. In
history or romance he saw not merely what a man
ought to be or do, but what he himself must, at that
moment, be or do. There is a very common sort of man
calling himself practical, but neglecting to practise the
most important things, who would laugh at the idea of
Clare being practical, seeing he did not trouble his head
about money, or "getting on in the world" what ser-
vants call "bettering themselves;" but such a practical
320 A ROUGH SHAKING.
man will find he has been but a practical fool. Clare
took heed to do what was right, and grow a better man.
Such a life is the only really practical one.
People wondered how Miss Tempest had managed to
get hold of such a nice-looking page, and the good lady
was nattered by their wonder. But she knew the world
too well to be sure of him yet. She knew that it is
difficult, in the human tree, to distinguish between blossom
and fruit. Deeds of lovely impulse are the blossom;
unvarying, determined Tightness is the fruit
MISS TEMPEST was the last of an old family, with
scarce a relation, and no near one, in the world.
Hence the pieces of personal property that had continued
in the possession of various branches of the family after
land and money, through fault or misfortune, were gone,
had mostly drifted into the small pool of Miss Tempest's
life now slowly sinking in the sands of time, there to
gleam and sparkle out their tale of its old splendour. She
did not think often of their money- worth : had she done
so, she would have kept them at her banker's ; but she
valued them greatly both for their beauty and their
associations, constantly using as many of them as she
could. More than one of her friends had repeatedly tried
to persuade her that it was not prudent to have so much
plate and so many jewels in the house, for the fact was
sure to be known where it was least desirable it should:
she always said she would think about it. At times she
would for a moment contemplate sending her valuables
to the bank; but her next thought by no means an
unwise one would always be, "Of what use will they
be at the bank? I might as well not have them at all!
Better sell them and do some good with the money!
No; I must have them about me!"
There are predatory persons in every large town, who
either know or are learning to know the houses in it
worth the risk of robbing. When it falls to the lot of
this or that house to be attempted, one of the gang will
make the acquaintance of some servant in it, with the
object of discovering beforehand where its treasure lies,
and so reducing the time to be spent in it, and the risk
of frustration or capture. Often they seduce one of the
household to let them in, or hand out the things they
want. Any such gang, however, must soon have become
convinced that at Miss Tempest's corruption was impos-
sible, and that they could avail themselves solely of their
own internal resources.
It was well now for Miss Tempest that she was so
faithful herself as to encourage faithfulness in others:
gladly would she have had Abdiel sleep in her room, but
she would not take the pleasure of his company from his
old master and companion in suffering. The dog there-
fore slept on Clare's bed, just as he did when the bed was
as hard to define as to lie upon, only now he had to take
the part neither of blanket nor hot bottle.
One night, about half-past twelve, watchful even in
slumber, he sprang up in his lair at his master's feet,