Imágenes de páginas

held him fast, while he begged of them with tears to let him go. One went and fetched a doctor, who

came and


him some medicine which sent him to sleep, and Jacquot sat by him watching. He slept long, and it was afternoon when he awoke. He looked round, and then pressing his hand to his head said, “How my head aches !” The doctor came again soon after, but shook his head and said he would die. When he had gone, Pierre asked Jacquot what he had said, and when told that he could not live, he burst into tears and cried as if his heart would break, while he could only cry, “Mother, oh, mother!" Alas! she was far away over the mountains, little thinking that her poor boy was on his dying bed, calling upon her to come and help him. How her heart would have ached had she known this. She loved him, and often thought about him, and prayed for him, but could not help him now. But what a good thing it is, that when our parents and friends are far away from us, there is one who watches over us; I mean the Saviour.

I told you before that these two boys came from that part of Italy called Piedmont, and lived in the valleys where their fathers before them had lived for many hundreds of years; and for all this time, though very poor, they had been known to be a very pious people, fearing God, and loving Jesus Christ the Saviour. And they taught their children to get off many parts of the New Testament that they might never forget what Jesus Christ had said. Perhaps, like some of you, these boys did not think much about these things when they were well; but now death came they remembered the words of the Lord Jesus, and Jacquot tried to remember and repeat as many of them as he could, such as-"Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." And more than once or twice did Jacquot kneel down and pray as well as he could for poor Pierre, who always seemed to be more quiet and comfortable when he had done.

But poor Pierre got weaker and weaker. His faithful friend, Jacquot, never left his bedside; but as long as Pierre had strength they talked about the Saviour, and of their native valley—of their parents, brothers, and sisters, and playmates, none of whom Pierre would ever see again. But he cried very bitterly when he thought of his mother, whom he had always loved, and he felt it so hard to die without seeing her again. The night came on, and all went to bed but Jacquot, who sat moistening his sick friend's lips with one of the oranges which his companions had bought for him. About midnight he seemed worse. His hands were cold, and drops of sweat stood on his forehead with pain. His mind again wandered, though now he was not so restless; by his talk he seemed to be again in his own home with his mother. At length he grew calmer and more sensible, the pain seemed to leave him, and he turned to Jacquot and asked him to bring his monkey, called “Prince,” to his bedside; he did so, and Pierre took hold of one end of the chain and looked earnestly at him. “ Prince" seemed to think something was the matter with his master, but did not ow what. “I will give him to you,” said Pierre, turning to Jacquot, “take care of him for my sake, and if you live to get back home again tell my mother”—here he again burst


into tears, and could say no more for some time, but at length, recovering himself a little, he said—“tell my dear mother I loved her to the last." Tears now choked his utterance; he turned, looked at Jacquot, squeezed his hand, whispered, “Come, mother-come, Jesus !" and died.

The next day but one, a coffin containing the body of poor Pierre was carried by Jacquot and some of his companions to one of the cemeteries outside the city, where he was buried, and Jacquot returned to his lodgings desolate and sad. However, he had his living to get, so he began to practise Prince in his performanc s. Prince felt very little sorrow for his dead master; and as Jacquot treated him very kindly, for poor Pierre's sake, Prince soon shewed an attachment to him, and they got on very well together. Time rolled on, and as some of Jacquot's acquaintances were going to England he agreed to go with them, and very soon stood in the streets of the great city of London; but he did not feel so lonely and sad as he did when he first left home. Time bad worn off the keen edge of his sorrow to part from all he loved best in the world, and he now eagerly looked forward for another year or two to pass, and then he would return to his home.

It would take me too long to tell you all that befell Jacquot in London; but in course of time he had earned sufficient to enable him to return home again, with something to spare to help his father and mother. He had followed his mother's advice, and put his trust in God, who had watched over and taken care of him in all his wanderings. The day came at length when he and Prince left London for France, on his way home. His heart was filled with joy at the thought; but now and then a shade of sadness fell over him as he wondered if all at home were alive and well. On reaching France he set off on his long journey to his native valley. Once more he pased through the villages which he had years before entered in search of a living. The fields and meadows, the hills and valleys, all seemed very beautiful; and his heart leaped for joy as he trod the green banks leading by quiet homesteads and fruit laden orchards. One afternoon he reached the summit of one of the mountains at the foot of which snugly lay his native village down in the deep valley. Here it was he parted from his father; there was the cottage, his own home, there was some one standing at the door-it must be his mother! Tears of gladness dim his eyes, and he runs forward and is soon clasped in his mother's arms. She looks a little older, but it is the same loving, kind, and affectionate mother who wept so when he left her. His brothers and sisters are quickly gathered round; they have grown much taller since he left, but they caper about with joy to see Jacquot. His father soon came in, and big tears of gratitude to God rolled down bis cheeks as he gazed on his beloved boy once more. They all knelt down, and in broken words thanked God that he had spared them all to meet again, and had watched over their boy in all his journeyings. That evening Jacquot sat again on his little stool beside his mother, with his hand clasped in her's, telling them all of the sights he had seen, and the adventures that had befell him, till it was very late, and after once more kneeling down to thank the Father of all mercies for his goodness to them, they went to bed. The next morning Jacquot had to carry the sad tidings of Pierre's death to his mother, who wept bitterly for her dear boy.

Jacquot’s brothers and sisters were uncommonly pleased with Prince, the monkey, and the funny tricks he could play.

The money Jacquot had saved enabled his father to rent a piece of land on which they all worked well; so the last days of his father and mother were made more happy.

Thus ends the story of Jacquot, the Italian boy; but there are two or three things I want you to learn from it. One is to put your trust in God wherever you are—another to be obedient and affectionate to your parents—and the last is to be kind to those who are far away from home and friends.

The clock now gave warning that it was time to go to bed. But they all wanted to know when cousin would tell thein another tale, and what it would be about; so James promised to come again as soon as he had one ready and could spare time. Mother undressed Ada, who then kneeled down and repeated her little prayers and the hymn beginning

“Lord, teach a little child to pray,

Thy grace betimes impart.” Willie pulled his shoes off, and marched upstairs, very sleepy by his looks ; and Emma and Lucy, after a goodnight to all, soon followed.

The wind blew hard, and the rain fell fast, as cousin James went home; but he thought to himself as he went along that in heaven there will be no storm, no night, no parting, but one happy eternal day, and there will many a weary wanderer find rest at last through the kindness and favour of Him who is the way, the truth, and the life.

« AnteriorContinuar »