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"Charles Kingsley Memorial Cot"
Little Hospital by the River.
A FRIEND of the late CHARLES KINGSLEY having been much interested in the account of the Cheyne HOSPITAL FOR INCURABLE CHILDREN,” in the MAY Number of MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE, has given £100 towards the Endowment of a Cot to be called “THE
CHARLES KINGSLEY MEMORIAL Cot.”
The Annual cost of each Cot being £30, the additional sum required to make the Endowment perpetual would be £500.
The Donor of the £ 100 believing that others to whom CHARLES KINGSLEY's works have given pleasure, and who knew and sympathized in his great love for children, will be glad to give their aid, desires to have it known that Contributions towards the sum required for the complete Endowment of the Memorial Cot will be received by the Hon. Sec., at 47, CHEYNE WALK, CHELSEA.
this penetration of his own the Squire believed it of course ; all other men of smiled again, and walked away very
his age die, and in their case the presteadily, very slowly, humming a bar cautions of the family were prudent of an old-fashioned air.
and natural; in his own case it is He went thus into the broken true he did not feel the necessity; but woodland towards the east, and strolled yet no doubt it must be so. in the chase like a man taking a walk smiling to himself; so living as he for pleasure. The birds sang over- was, and everything round, it was an head, little rabbits popped out from odd sort of discord to think of dying. the great tree trunks, and a squirrel He felt a kind of blank before him, a ran up one of them and across a long sense of being shut in. So one feels branch, where it sat peering at him. when one walks along a bit of road All was familiar, certain, well known; surrounded with walls, a cul de sac from he had seen the same sights and heard which there is no outlet. A sense of the same sounds for the last seventy imprisonment is in it, of discourageyears; and the sunshine shone with ment, too little air to breathe, too little the same calm assurance of shining space to move in-certainly a disas at other times, and all this rustling, agreeable, stifling, choking sensation. breathing life went on as it had Involuntarily a sigh came from his always gone on. There was scarcely breast; and yet he smiled persistently, a leaf, scarcely a moss-covered stone feeling in himself a kind of defiance to that did not hide or shelter something all the world, a determination to be living. The air was full of life; sounds amused at it all, notwithstanding the of all kinds, twitter and hum and sentence they were passing against him. rustle, his own step among other While the Squire continued his movements, his own shadow moving walk, amid the twitter of the birds across the sunshine. And he felt well and the warble and the crackle enough, not running over with health and rustle and hum in the woods, and vigour as he had sometimes felt and all the sounds of living, now long ago, not disposed to vault over and then another sound struck inwalls and gates in that unlicensed exu- a sound not necessarily near, for in berance which belongs to youth only, that still summer air sounds travel but well enough, quite well in short, easily-an echo of voice, now one soft steady afoot, his breathing easy, his cry or laugh, now a momentary babble. head clear, everything about him com- It struck the old man as if an indefortable. Notwithstanding which his pendent soul had been put into the children were discussing, as in reference
He knew very well what it to a quite near and probable event meant
— no one better. what was to be done when he should By very dint of his opposition to them die ! The Squire smiled at the thought, he recognised the sound of the children but it was a smile which got fixed and wherever they were. They were there painful on his lip and was not spon- now, the little things whose presence taneous or agreeable. The amusement had moved Randolph to this assault to be got from such an idea is not of a upon his father. They were altogether genial kind.
He was over seventy, antagonistic to Randolph, or rather he and he knew, who better? that three- to them; this gave them a curious perscore and ten has been set down as the verse interest'in
their grandfather'seyes. limit of mortal life. No doubt he They offered him an outlet from his cul must die--every man must die. It de sac; the pressure seemed suddenly was a thing before him not to be removed which had bowed him down; eluded; the darkness, indeed, was in a moment he felt relieved, delivered very near according to all ordinary from that sense of confinement. A
but the Squire did not feel it, was new idea was like the opening of a not in his soul convinced of it. He door to the old man ; he was no longer
compelled to contemplate the certainty repetitions of sound, like a succession before him, but was let softly down of small reports, one, two, three. He into the pleasant region of uncertainty listened in the mild, easily-roused, --the world of happy chances. The and not very active curiosity of such a very character of the smile upon his moment, and recognised with a smile face changed. It became more natural, the sound of pebbles skipping across more easy, although he did not know the water, and presently saw the little the children nor had any intention of missiles gleaming along from ripple to noticing them. But they were there, ripple, flung by a skilful but not very and Randolph might scheme as he strong hand. The Squire did not even liked; here was one who must bring ask himself who it was, but went on his schemes to confusion. A vague quietly, doubting nothing. Suddenly lightening came into the Squire's turning round a corner upon the edge thoughts. He was reprieved, if not of a small bay, he saw a little figure from the inevitable conclusion at least between him and the shining water, from the necessity of contemplating it; making ducks and drakes with varyand he continued his walk with a ing success. The Squire's step was lighter heart. By and by, after a inaudible on the turf, and he paused somewhat long round, and making in sympathy with the play. He himsundry observations to himself about self had made ducks and drakes in the the state of the timber, which would Penninghame water as long as he could bear cutting, and about the birds recollect. He had taught his little which, without any keeper to care for boys to do it; he could not tell how them, were multiplying at their own it was that this suddenly came to his will and might give some sport in mind just now-though how it should September, Mr. Musgrave found him- do so with Randolph, a middle-aged, self by the lake again with that fasci- calculating parson, talking about nation towards the water which is so family arrangements—Pah! but even universal. The lake gleamed through this recollection did not affect him now the branches, prolonging the blue of as it did before. Never mind Ranthe sky, and calling him with soft plash- dolph. This little fellow chose the ing upon the beach, the oldest of his
stones with judgment, and really fo: friends, accompaniment of so many
such a small creature launched them thoughts, and of all the vicissitudes of well. The squire felt half disposed to his life. He went towards it now in step forward and try his skill too. the commotion of feeling which was When one shot failed he was half-sorry, subsiding into calm, a calm which had half-inclined to chuckle as something of fatigue in it; for reluctant antagonist; and when there came a as he was to enter into the question of great success, a succession of six or age and the nearly approaching con- seven reports one after another as the clusion, the fact of age made him flat pebble skimmed over fold after easily tired with everything, and with fold of the water, he could not help nothing more than excitement. He saying “Bravo !” in generous applause ; was fatigued with the strain he had generous, for somehow or other he felt been put to, and had fallen into a languid as if he were playing on the other state which was not unpleasant; the side. This sensation aroused him; he condition in which we are specially had not been so self-forgetting for disposed to be easily amused if any many a day. “Bravo !” he cried with passive amusement comes in our way. something like glee in his voice.
So it happened that as he walked The little boy turned round hastily. along the margin of the lake, with the What a strange meeting! Oddly water softly foaming over the pebbles enough it had never occurred to the at his feet, Mr. Musgrave's ear was Squire to think who it was. Strangers caught by a series of sharp little were rife enough in these regions, and
people would nowand then come to Pen- “Do you know who I am ? " asked ninghame with their families-who the Squire, bending his brows. Nello would stray into the chase, taking it looked at him curiously, half amused, for public property. But for the ducks though he was half frightened. He and drakes which interested him, he had never been so near, or looked his would probably have collared this grandfather in the face before. little fellow and demanded to know “I know, but I may not tell,” said what right he had to be here. He Nello. He shook his head, and though was therefore quite unprepared for he was not very quick-witted, some the encounter, and looked with the latent sense of fun brought a misstrangest emotions of wonder and chievous look to his face. “ We know half-terror into the face which was so very well, but we are never to tell,” familiar to him, but so strange, the he added, shaking his head once more, face of his grandson and heir. When looking up with watchful eyes as once he had seen the child no further children have a way of doing to take doubt was possible. He stared at him his cue from the expression of the as if he had been a little ghost. He elder face, and there was something had not presence of mind to turn on very strange in that gleam of fun in his heel and go away at once, which
“We know, but we are would have been the only way of keep- never, never to tell." ing up his former tactics; he was “Who told you so ?” speechless and overpowered ; and there “It was Martuccia," said the boy, was nobody by to spy upon him, no with precocious discretion. His look grown-up spectators-not even the
grow more and more inquisitive and other child to observe what he did, or investigating. Now that he had the listen to what he said. In this case opportunity, he determined to examine the Squire did not feel the need to be the old man well, and to make out the vigilant, which in other circumstances kind of person he was. would have given him self-command. Mr. Musgrave did not answer. He Thus the shock and surprise, and the on his side was investigating too, with perfect freedom of his position un- less keenness and more feeling than the watched and unseen, alike broke down child showed. He would have been all his defences. After the first start he' unmoved by the beauty of Lilias, stood still and gazed at the child, as though it was much greater than that the little boy, more frankly and with of Nello. The little girl would have much less emotion, gazed at him. irritated him ; but with the boy he felt
“Who are you, sir?” the grandfather himself safe, he could not tell how; said with a tone that was meant to be he was more a child, less a stranger. very peremptory. The jar in it was Mr. Musgrave himself could not have incomprehensible to Nello: but yet it explained it, but so it was. A desire gave him greater courage.
to get nearer to his descendant came into “I am Ne—that is to say," the the old man's mind; old recollections little fellow answered with a sudden crept upon him, and stole away all his flush and change of countenance, strength.
“ You know who I am ; “my name, it is John."
do you know who you are, little "John what? Speak up, sir. Do
fellow ?” he asked, with a strange you know you are a little trespasser, break in his voice. and have no business to be here?"
“I told you; you are—the old “Oh yes, I have a business to be gentleman at home," said Nello. here," said Nello. “I don't know “I know all about it. And me? I what it is to be a trepasser. I live am John. There is no wonder about at the Castle, me. I can come when that. It is just-me. We were not s please, and nobody has any business always here. We are two children who to send me away."
have come a long way. But now I boy ?"
know English quite well, and I have says.
She can't make the stones lessons every day.”
skim. That was a good one when you “Who gives you lessons, my little said • Bravo!' Where did you find out
The Squire drew a step to say bravo? They don't talk like
He had himself had a little that here." brother sixty years ago, who was like “It was a very good one," said the Nello. So it seemed to him now. He Squire ; suppose we were to try would not think he had likewise had a again." son thirty years ago, whom Nello was “Oh! can you do it?" said Nello, like. He crept a little nearer the with round eyes of wonder. child, shuffling his foot along the you do it as well as me?” turf, concealing the approach from “When I was a child," said the himself. Had he been asked why he Squire, quite overcome, “I
had a little changed his position, he would have brother just like you. We used to said it was a little damp, boggy, not come out here, to this very place, and quite sure footing, just there.
play ducks and drakes. He would "Mr. Pen gives us lessons," said make them go half across the water. Nello. “I have a book all to myself. You should have seen them skimming. It is Latin, it is more easy than As far out as that boat. Do you see English. But it takes a great deal of that boattime; it does not leave so much for “When he was no bigger than me? play."
And what did you do? were you little " How long have you been at your too? did you play against him ? did lessons, my little man ?”
he beat you? I wish I had a brother," The Squire's eyes began to soften, a said Nello. “But you can't have quite: smile came into them. His heart was forgotten, though you are an old gentlemelting He gave a furtive glance
Try now! There are capital round, and there was nobody near to stones here. I wish I could send one make him afraid, not even the little out as far as that boat. Come, come! girl.
won't you come and try?" "Oh, a long, long time," said Nello. The Squire gave another searching "One whole hour, it was as much as look round. He had a sort of shamethat, or perhaps six hours. I did not faced smile on his face. He was a little think anything could be so long." shy of himself in this new development.
“One whole hour !” the Squire said But there was no one near, not so in a voice of awe; and his eyes melted much as a squirrel or a rabbit, whicks altogether into smiling, and his voice could watch and tell. The birds were into a mellow softness which it had singing high up in the tree-tops, quite not known for years.
Ah ! this was absorbed in their own business: nothing the kind of son for an old man to was taking any notice. And the
And the child have, not such as Randolph. Randolph had come close to him, quite confiding
a hard, disagreeable equal, and fearless, with eager little eyes, superior in so much as he had, or waiting for his decision. He was the thought he had, so many more years very image of that little brother so before him ; but this child was delight long lost. The Squire seemed to lose ful. He did the Squire good. “Or himself for a moment in a vague haze perhaps six hours ! And when did of personal uncertainty whether all this long spell of study happen ? Is this harsh, hard life had not been a it long ago ?
delusion, and himself still a child. "There was no spell,” said Nello. “Come and try," cried Nello, more “And it was to-day. I readed in and more emboldened, and catching my book, and so did Lily; but as at his coat. When the old man felt she is a girl it was different from the touch, it was all he could do to mine. Girls are not clever, Martuccia suppress a cry. It was strange to