kiss my nose, and wipe my paws with an embroidered handkerchief. I
was called 'Ami dear Ami sweet Ami.' But afterwards I grew too
big for them, and they gave me away to the housekeeper. So I came to
488/ Stories for the Household.
live in the basement storey. You can look into that from where you
are standing, and you can see into the room where I was master ; for I
was master at the housekeeper's. It was certainly a smaller place than
up stairs, but I was more comfortable, and was not continually taken
hold of and pulled about by children as I had been. I received just as
good food as ever, and even better. I had my own cushion, and there
was a stove, the finest thing in the world at this season. I went under
the stove, and could lie down quite beneath it. Ah ! I still dream of
that stove. Away ! away ! "
" Does a stove look so beautiful ? " asked the Snow Man. " Is it at
all like me ? "
" It 's just the reverse of you. It 's as black as a crow, and has a
long neck and a brazen drum. It eats firewood, so that the fire spurts
out of its mouth. One must keep at its side, or under it, and there one
is very comfortable. You can see it through the window from where
And the Snow Man looked and saw a bright polished thing with a
brazen drum, and the fire gleamed from the lower part of it. The Snow
Man felt quite strangely : an odd emotion came over him, he knew not
what it meant, and could not account for it ; but all people who are not
snow men know the feeling.
" And why did you leave her ? " asked the Snow Man, for it seemed
to him that the stove must be of the female sex. " How could you quit
such a comfortable place ? "
" I was obliged," replied the Yard Dog. " They turned me out of
doors, and chained me up here. I had bitten the youngest young master
in the leg, because he kicked away the bone I was gnawing. ' Bone for
bone,' I thought. They took that very much amiss, and from that time
I have been fastened to a chain and have lost my voice. Don't you
hear how hoarse I am ? Away ! away ! I can't talk any more like other
dogs. Away ! away ! that was the end of the affair."
But the Snow Man was no longer listening to him. He was looking
in at the housekeeper's basement lodging, into the room where the stove
stood on its four iron legs, just the same size as the Snow Man him-
" What a strange crackling within me ! " he said. " Shall I ever get m
there ? It is an innocent wish, .and our innocent wishes are certain to
be fulfilled. I must go in there and lean against her, even if I have to
break through the window."
" You will never get in there," said the Yard Dog ; " and if you
approach the stove you '11 melt away away ! "
"I am as good as gone," replied the Snow Man. "I think I am
The whole day the Snow Man stood looking in through the window.
In the twilight hour the room became still more inviting : from the stove
came a mild gleam, not like the sun nor like the moon ; no, it was only
as the stove can glow when he has something to eat. When the room
door opened, the flame started out of his mouth ; this was a habit the
The Thorny Road of Honour. 489
stove had. The flame fell distinctly on the white face of the Snow Man,
and gleamed red upon his bosom.
" I can endure it no longer," said he ; " how beautiful it looks when
it stretches out its tongue! "
The night was long ; but it did not appear long to the Snow Man, who
stood there lost in his own charming reflections, crackling with the cold.
In the morning the window-panes of the basement lodging were
covered with ice. They bore the most beautiful ice-flowers that any
snow man could desire ; but they concealed the stove. The window-
panes would not thaw ; he could not see the stove, which he pictured to
himself as a lovely female being. It crackled and whistled in him and
around him ; it was just the kind of frosty weather a snow man must
thoroughly enjoy. But he did not enjoy it ; and, indeed, how could he
enjoy himself when he was stove-sick ?
" That 's a terrible disease for a Snow Man," said the Yard Dog. "I
have suffered from it myself, but I got over it. Away ! away ! " he
barked ; and he added, " the weather is going to change."
And the weather did change ; it began to thaw.
The warmth increased, and the Snow Man decreased. He said nothing
and made no complaint and that 's an infallible sign.
One morning he broke down. And, behold,, where he had stood,
something like a broomstick remained sticking up out of the ground.
It was the pole round which the boys had built him up.
"Ah! now I can understand why he had such an intense longing,"
said the Tard Dog. " "Why, there 's a shovel for cleaning out the stove
fastened to the pole. The Snow Man had a stove-rake in his body, and
that 's what moved within him. Now he has got over that too. Away !
away ! "
And soon they had got over the winter.
" Away ! away ! " barked the hoarse Tard Dog ; but the girls in the
house sang :
"Green thyme! from your house come out;
Willow, your woolly fingers stretch out;
Lark and cuckoo cheerfully sing,
For in February is coming the spring.
And with the cuckoo I '11 sing too,
Come thou, dear sun, come out, cuckoo!"
And nobody thought any more of the Snow Man.
THE THORNY ROAD OF HONOUR.
AN old story yet lives of the t: Thorny Road of Honour," of a marks-
man, who indeed attained to rank and office, but only after a lifelong
and weary strife against difficulties. Who has not, in reading this story,
thought of his own strife, and of his own numerous " difficulties " ?
The story is very closely akin to reality ; but still it has its harmonious
490 Stones for the Household.
explanation here on earth, while reality often points beyond the confines
of life to the regions of eternity. The history of the world is like a
ma^ic lantern that displays to us, in light pictures upon the dark ground
of the present, how the benefactors of mankind, the martyrs of genius,
wandered along the thorny road of honour.
From all periods, and from every country, these shining pictures dis-
play themselves to us : each only appears for a few moments, but each
represents a whole life, sometimes a whole age, with its conflicts and
victories. Let us contemplate here and there one of the company of
martyrs the company which will receive new members until the world
itself shall pass away.
We look down upon a crowded amphitheatre. Out of the " Clouds "
of Aristophanes, satire and humour are pouring down in streams upon
the audience ; on the stage Socrates, the most remarkable man in Athens,
he who had been the shield and defence of the people against the thirty
tyrants, is held up mentally and bodily to ridicule Socrates, who saved
Alcibiades and Xenophon in the turmoil of battle, and whose genius
soared far above the gods of the ancients. He himself is present ; he
has risen from the spectator's bench, and has stepped forward, that the
laughing Athenians may well appreciate the likeness between himself
and the caricature on the stage : there he stands before them, towering
high above them all.
Thou juicy, green, poisonous hemlock, throw thy shadow over Athens
not thou, olive tree of fame !
Seven cities contended for the honour of giving birth to Homer
that is to say, they contended after his death ! Let us look at him as
he was in his life-time. He wanders on foot through the cities, and
recites his verses for a livelihood ; the thought for the morrow turns
his hair grey ! He, the great seer, is blind, and painfully pursues
his way the sharp thorn tears the mantle of the king of poets. His
song yet lives, and through that alone live all the heroes and gods of
One picture after another springs up from the east, from the west, far
removed from each other in time and place, and yet each one forming a
portion of the thorny road of honour, on which the thistle indeed dis-
plays a flower, but only to adorn the grave.
The camels pass along under the palm trees ; they are richly laden
with indigo and other treasures of price, sent by the ruler of the land
to him whose songs are the delight of the people, the fame of the
country : he whom envy and falsehood have driven into exile has been
found, and the caravan approaches the little town in which he has taken
refuge. A poor corpse is carried out of the town gate, and the funeral
procession causes the caravan to halt. The dead man is be whom they
have been sent to seek Firdusi who has wandered the thorny road of
honour even to the end.
The African, with blunt features, thick lips, and woolly hair, sita on
the marble steps of the palace in the capital of Portugal, and begs : he
is the submissive slave of Camoens, and but for him, and for the copper
The Thorny Road of Honour.
coins thrown to him by the passers by, his master, the poet of the
" Lusiad," would die of hunger. Now, a costly monument marks the
grave of Camoens.
There is a new picture.
Behind the iroii grating a man appears, pale as death, with long un-
THE KIXG OF POETS.
" I have made a discovery," he says, " the greatest that has been made
for centuries ; and they have kept me locked up here for more than
twenty years ! "
Who is the man ?
" A madman," replies the keeper of the madhouse. " What whimsical
ideas these lunatics have ! He imagines that one can propel things by
means of steam."
It is Solomon de Cares, the discoverer of the power of steam, whose
492 Stories for the Household.
theory, expressed in dark words, is not understood by Eichelieu and
he dies in the madhouse !
Here stands Columbus, whom the street boys used once to follow and
jeer, because he wanted to discover a new world and he has discovered
it. Shouts of joy greet him from the breasts of all, and the clash of
bells sounds to celebrate his triumphant return ; but the clash of the
bells of envy soon drowns the others. The discoverer of a world, he who
lifted the American gold laud from the sea, and gave it to his King he
is rewarded with iron chains. He wishes that these chains may be placed
in his coffin, for they witness to the world of the way in which a man's
contemporaries reward good service.
One picture after another comes crowding on ; the thorny path of
honour and of fame is over-filled.
Here in dark night sits the man who measured the mountains in the
moon ; he who forced his way out into the endless space, among stars
and planets ; he, the mighty man who understood the spirit of nature,
and felt the earth moving beneath his feet Galileo. Blind and deaf
he sits an old man thrust through with the spear of suffering, and
amid the torments of neglect, scarcely able to lift his foot that foot
with which, in the anguish of his soul, when men denied the truth, he
stamped upon the ground with the exclamation, " Yet it moves ! "
Here stands a woman of childlike mind, yet full of faith and inspi-
ration ; she carries the banner in front of the combating army, and
brings victory and salvation to her fatherland. The sound of shouting
arises, and the pile flames up : they are burning the witch, Joan of Arc.
Yes, and a future century jeers at the White Lily. Voltaire, the satyr
of human intellect, writes " La Pucelle"
At the Thing or Assembly at Viborg, the Danish nobles burn the laws
of the King they flame up high, illuminating the period and the law-
giver, and throw a glory into the dark prison tower, where an old man
is growing grey and bent. With his finger he marks out a groove in
the stone table. It is the popular King who sits there, once the ruler of
three kingdoms, the friend of the citizen and the peasant : it is Christian
the Second. Enemies wrote his history. Let us remember his im-
provements of seven and twenty years, if we cannot forget his crime.
A ship sails away, quitting the Danish shores ; a man leans against
the mast, casting a last glance towards the Island Hueen. It is Tycho
Brahe. He raised the name of Denmark to the stars, and was rewarded
with injury, loss, and sorrow. He is going to a strange country.
" The vault of heaven is above me everywhere," he says, " and what
do I want more ? "
And away sails the famous Dane, the astronomer, to live honoured
and free in a strange land.
" Ay, free, if only from the unbearable sufferings of the body ! " comes
in a sigh through time, and strikes upon our ear. What a picture !
GrifFenfeldt, a Danish Prometheus, bound to the rocky island of Munk-
We are in America, on the margin of one of the largest rivers ; an
The Child in the Grave. 493
innumerable crowd has gathered, for it is said that a ship is to sail
against wind and weather, bidding defiance to the elements ; the man
who thinks he can solve the problem is named Robert Fulton. The ship
begins its passage, but suddenly it stops. The crowd begins to laugh
and whistle and hiss the very father of the man whistles with the rest.
" Conceit ! Foolery ! " is the cry. " It has happened just as he de-
served : put the crack-brain under lock and key ! "
Then suddenly a little nail breaks, which had stopped the machine
for a few moments ; and now the wheels turn again, the floats break the
force of the waters, and the ship continues its course and the beam of
the steam engine shortens the distance between far lands from hours
human race, canst thou grasp the happiness of such a minute of
consciousness, this penetration of the soul by its mission, the moment
in which all dejection, and every wound even those caused by own
fault is changed into health and strength and clearness when discord
is converted to harmony the minute in which men seem to recognize
the manifestation of the heavenly grace in one man, and feel how this
one imparts it to all ?
Thus the thorny path of honour shows itself as a glory, surrounding
the earth with its beams : thrice happy he who is chosen to be a wan-
derer there, and, without merit of his own, to be placed between the
builder of the bridge and the earth, between Providence and the human
On mighty wings the spirit of history floats through the ages, and
shows giving courage and comfort, and awakening gentle thoughts on
the dark nightly background, but in gleaming pictures, the thorny path
of honour; which does not, like a fairy tale, end in brilliancy and joy
here on earth, but stretches out beyond all time, even into eternity !
THE CHILD IN THE GRAVE.
THEBE was mourning in the house, sorrow in every heart. The
youngest child, a boy four years old, the joy and hope of his parents,
had died. There still remained to them two daughters, the elder of
whom was about to be confirmed good, charming girls both ; but the
child that one has lost always seems the dearest ; and here it was the
youngest, and a son. It was a heavy trial. The sisters mourned as
young hearts can, and were especially moved at the sight of their
parents' sorrow. The father was bowed down, and the mother com-
pletely struck down by the great grief. Day and night she had been
busy about the sick child, and had tended, lifted, and carried it ; she
had felt how it was a part of herself. She could not realize that the
child was dead, and that it must be laid in a coffin and sleep in the
ground. She thought God could not take this child from her ; and
494 Stories for the Household.
when it was so, nevertheless, and there could be no more doubt on the
subject, she said in her feverish pain,
" God did not know it. He has heartless servants here on earth, who
do according to their own liking, and hear not the prayers of a mother."
In her grief she fell away from God, and then there came dark
thoughts, thoughts of death, of everlasting death that man was but
dust in the dust, and that with this life all was ended. But these
thoughts gave her no stay, nothing on which she could take hold ; and
she sank into the fathomless abyss of despair.
In her heaviest hours she could weep no more, and she thought not
of the young daughters who were still left to her. The tears of her
husband fell upon her forehead, but she did not look at him. Her
thoughts were with the dead child ; her whole thought and being were
fixed upon it, to call back every remembrance of the little one, every
innocent childish word it had uttered.
The day of the funeral came. For nights before the mother had not
slept ; but in the morning twilight she now slept, overcome by weari-
ness ; and in the meantime the coffin was carried into a distant room,
aud there nailed down, that she might not hear the blows of the hammer.
When she awoke, and wanted to see her child, the husband said,
"We have nailed down the coffin. It was necessary to do so."
" When God is hard towards me, how should men be better ? " she
said, with sobs and groans.
The coffin was carried to the grave. The disconsolate mother sat with
her young daughters. She looked at her daughters, and yet did not see
them, for her thoughts were no longer busy at the domestic hearth.
She gave herself up to her grief, and grief tossed her to and fro as the
sea tosses a ship without compass or rudder. So the day of the funeral
passed away, and similar days followed, of dark, wearying pain. With
moist eyes and mournful glances, the sorrowing daughters and the
afflicted husband looked upon her who would not hear their words of
comfort ; and, indeed, what words of comfort could they speak to her,
when they themselves were heavily bowed down ?
It seemed as though she knew sleep no more ; and yet he would now
have been her best friend, who would have strengthened her body, and
poured peace into her soul. They persuaded her to seek her couch, and
she lay still there, like one who slept. One night her husband was
listening, as he often did, to her breathing, and fully believed that she
had now found rest and relief. He folded his arms and prayed, and soon
sank into a deep healthy sleep ; and thus he did not notice that his wife
arose, threw on her clothes, and silently glided from the house, to go
where her thoughts always lingered to the grave which held her child.
She stepped through the garden of the house, and over the fields, where
a path led to the churchyard. No one saw her on her walk she had
seen nobody, for her eyes were fixed upon the one goal of her journey.
It was a lovely starlight night ; the air was still mild ; it was in the
beginning of September. She entered the churchyard, and stood by the
little grave, which looked like a great nosegav of fragrant flowers. She
THE HOTHEB AT THE GRATE-
sat down, and bowed her head low over the grave, as if she could have
seen her child through the intervening earth, her little boy, whose smile
rose so vividly before her the gentle expression of whose eyes, even on
the sick bed, she could never forget. How eloquent had that glance
been, when she had bent over him and seized his delicate hand, which
he had no longer strength to raise ! As she had sat by his crib, so she
now sat by his grave, but here her tears had free course, and fell thick
upon the grave.
" Thou wouldst gladly go down and be with thy child," saiH a voice
quite close to her, a voice that sounded so clear and deep, it went
straight to her heart.
She looked up, and near her stood a man wrapped in a black cloak,
with a hood drawn closely down over his face. But she glanced keenly
up, and saw his face under his hood. It was stern, but yet awakened
confidence, and his eyes beamed with the radiance of youth.
" Down to my child ! " she repeated ; and a despairing supplication
spoke out of her words.
" Barest thou follow me ? " asked the form. ' : I am Death."
And she bowed her head in acquiescence. Then suddenly it seemed
as though all the stars were shining with the radiance of the full moon ;
496 Stories for the Household.
sl\3 saw the varied colours of the flowers on the grave, and the covering
of earth was gradually withdrawn like a floating drapery ; and she sank
down, and the apparition covered her with a black cloak ; night closed
around her, the night of death, and she sank deeper than the sexton's
spade can penetrate, and the churchyard was as a roof over her head.
A corner of the cloak was removed, and she stood in a great hall
which spread wide and pleasantly around. It was twilight. But in a
moment her child appeared, and was pressed to her heart, smiling at her
in greater beauty than he had ever possessed. She uttered a cry, but
it was inaudible. A glorious swelling strain of music sounded in the
distance, and then near to her, and then again in the distance : never
had such tones fallen on her ear ; they came from beyond the great dark
curtain which separated the hall from the great land of eternity beyond.
" My sweet darling mother," she heard her child say.
It was the well-known, much-loved voice, and kiss followed kiss in
boundless felicity ; and the child pointed to the dark curtain.
" It is not so beautiful on earth. Do you see, mother do you see
them all ? Oh, that is happiness !"
But the mother saw nothing which the child pointed out nothing but
the dark night. She looked with earthly eyes, and could not see as the
child saw, which God had called to Himself. She could hear the sounds
of the music, but she heard not the word the Word in which she was
" Now I can fly, mother I can fly with all the other happy chil-
dren into the presence of the Almighty. I would fain fly ; but, if you
weep as you are weeping now, I might be lost to you and yet I would
go so gladly. May I not fly ? And you will come to me soon will
you not, dear mother ?"
" Oh, stay ! stay ! " entreated the mother. " Only one moment more
only once more I should wish to look at thee, and kiss thee, and
press thee in my arms."
And she kissed and fondled the child. Then her name was called
from above called in a plaintive voice. "What might this mean ?
" Hearest thou ? " asked the child. " It is my father who calls thee."
And in a few moments deep sighs were heard, as of weeping children.
" They are my sisters," said the child. " Mother, you surely have
not forgotten them ? "
And then she remembered those she had left behind. A great terror
came upon her. She looked out into the night, and above her dim forms
were flitting past. She seemed to recognize a few more of these. They
floated through the Hall of Death towards the dark curtain, and there
they vanished. AVould her husband and her daughter thus flit past ?
No, their sighs and lamentations still sounded from above : and she had
been nearly icigetting them for the sake of him who was dead !
" Mother, now the bells of heaven are ringing," said the child.
" Mother, now the sun is going to rise."
And au overpowering light streamed in upon her. The child had
vanished, anu she was borne upwards. It became cold round about her,
In the Uttermost Parts of the Sea. 497
and she lifted up her head, and saw that she was lying in the church-
yard, on the grave of her child.
But the Lord had been a stay unto her feet, in a dream, and a light
to her spirit ; and she bowed her knees and prayed for forgiveness that
she had wished to keep back a soul from its immortal flight, and that
she had forgotten her duties towards the living who were left to her.
And when she had spoken those words, it was as if her heart were
lightened. Then the sun burst forth, and over her head a little bird
sang out, and the church bells sounded for early service. Everything
was holy around her, and her heart was chastened. She acknowledged
the goodness of God, she acknowledged the duties she had to perform,
and eagerly she went home. She bent over her husband, who still
slept ; her warm devoted kiss awakened him, and heart-felt words of
love came from the lips of both. And she was gentle and strong, as a
wife can be ; and from her came the consoling words,
"God's will is always the best."
Then her husband asked her,
" From whence hast thou all at once derived this strength this
feeling of consolation?"
And she kissed him, and kissed her children, and said,
" They came from God, through the child in the grave."
IN THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE SEA.
G-BEAT ships had been sent up towards the North Pole, to explore
the most distant coasts, and to try how far men might penetrate up
yonder. For more than a year they had already been pushing their way
among ice, and snow, and mist, and their crews had endured many hard'-
ships ; and now the winter was come, and the sun had entirely disap-
peared from those regions. For many many weeks there would now
be a long night. All around, as far as the eye could reach, was a single