Full Online Books
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWeighed And Wanting - Chapter 56. The Sick Room
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
Weighed And Wanting - Chapter 56. The Sick Room Post by :voltaire11 Category :Long Stories Author :George Macdonald Date :May 2012 Read :3448

Click below to download : Weighed And Wanting - Chapter 56. The Sick Room (Format : PDF)

Weighed And Wanting - Chapter 56. The Sick Room


At Yrndale things went on in the same dull way, anger burrowing like a devil-mole in the bosom of the father, a dreary spiritual fog hanging over all the souls, and the mother wearying for some glimmer of a heavenly dawn. Hester felt as if she could not endure it much longer--as if the place were forgotten of God, and abandoned to chance. But there was one dayspring in the house yet--Mark's room, where the major sat by the bedside of the boy, now reading to him, now telling him stories, and now and then listening to him as he talked childlike wisdom in childish words. Saffy came and went, by no means so merry now that she was more with Corney. In Mark's room she would at times be her old self again, but nowhere else. Infected by Corney, she had begun to be afraid of her father, and like him watched to keep out of his way. What seemed to add to the misery, though in reality it operated the other way, was that the weather had again put on a wintry temper. Sleet and hail, and even snow fell, alternated with rain and wind, day after day for a week.

One afternoon the wind rose almost to a tempest. The rain drove in sheets, and came against the windows of Mark's room nearly at right angles. It was a cheerful room, though low-pitched and very old, with a great beam across the middle of it. There were coloured prints, mostly of Scripture-subjects, on the walls; and the beautiful fire burning in the bow-fronted grate shone on them. It was reflected also from the brown polished floor. The major sat by it in his easy-chair: he could endure hardship, but saved strength for work, nursing being none of the lightest. A bedroom had been prepared for him next to the boy's: Mark had a string close to his hand whose slightest pull sufficed to ring a bell, which woke the major as if it had been the opening of a cannonade.

This afternoon with the rain-charged wind rushing in fierce gusts every now and then against the windows, and the twilight coming on the sooner because the world was wrapt in blanket upon blanket of wet cloud, the major was reading, by no means sure whether his patient waked or slept, and himself very sleepy, longing indeed for a little nap. A moment and he was far away, following an imaginary tiger, when the voice of Mark woke him with the question:

"What kind of thing do you like best in all the world, majie?--I mean _this world, you know--and of course I don't mean God or any_body_, but things about you, I mean."

The major sat bolt upright, rubbed his eyes, stretched himself, but quietly that Mark might not know he had waked him, pulled down his waistcoat, gave a hem as if deeply pondering, instead of trying hard to gather wits enough to understand the question put to him, and when he thought his voice sufficiently a waking one not to betray him, answered:

"Well, Mark, I don't think we can beat this same--can we? What do you think?"

"Let's see what makes it so nice!" returned Mark. "First of all, you're there, majie!"

"And you're there, Markie," said the major.

"Yes, that's all right! Next there's my bed for me, and your easy-chair for you, and the fire for us both! And the sight of your chair is better to me than the feel of my bed! And the fire is _beautiful_, and though I can't _feel that, because they're not my legs, I know it is making your legs so nice and warm! And then there are the shines of it all about the room!

"What a beautiful thing a shine is, majie! I wish you would put on your grand uniform, and let me see the fire shining on the gold lace and the buttons and the epaulettes and the hilt of your sword!"

"I will, Markie."

"I've seen your sword, you know, majie! and I think it is the beautifullest thing in the world. I wonder why a thing for killing should be so beautiful! Can you tell me, majie?"

The major had to think in order to answer that question, but thinking he hit upon something like the truth of the thing.

"It must be that it is not made for the sake of the killing, but for the sake of the right that would else be trodden down!" he said, "Whatever is on the side of the right ought to be beautiful."

"But ain't a pirate's sword beautiful? I've read of precious stones in the hilt of a pirate's sword! That's not for the right--is it now, majie?"

The boy was gradually educating the man without either of them knowing it--for the major had to _think in order to give reasonable answers to not a few of Mark's questions. The boy was an unconscious Socrates to the soldier; for there is a Teacher who, by fitting them right together, can use two ignorances for two teachings. Here the ostensible master, who was really the principal pupil, had to think hard.

"Anything," he said at last, "may be turned from its right use, and then it goes all wrong."

"But a sword looks all right--it shines--even when it is put to a wrong use!"

"For a while," answered the major. "It takes time for anything that has turned bad to lose its good looks."

"But, majie," said Mark, "how can a sword ever grow ugly?"

Again the major had to think.

"When people put things to a bad use, they are not good themselves," he said; "and when they are not good, they are lazy, and neglect things. When a soldier takes to drinking or cruelty, he neglects his weapons, and the rust begins to eat them, and at last will eat them up."

"What is rust, majie?"

"It is a sword's laziness, making it rot. A sword is a very strong thing, but not taken care of will not last so long as a silk handkerchief."

At this point the major began to fear Mark was about to lead him into depths and contradictions out of which he would hardly emerge.

"Sha'n't we go on with our reading?" he said.

Mark, however, had not lost sight of the subject they had started with, and did not want to leave it yet.

"But, majie," he replied, "we haven't done with what we like best! We hadn't said anything about the thick walls round us--between us and the wide, with the fire-sun shining on their smooth side, while the rain is beating and the wind blowing on their rough side. Then there's the wind and the rain all about us, and can't come at us! I fancy sometimes, as I lie awake in the night, that the wind and the rain are huge packs of wolves howling in a Russian forest, but not able to get into the house to hurt us. Then I feel so safe! And that brings me to the best of all. It is in fancying danger that you know what it is to be safe."

"But, Mark, you know some people are really in danger!"

"Yes, I suppose so--I don't quite know! I know that I am not in danger, because there is the great Think between me and all the danger!"

"How do you know he is between you and _all danger?" asked his friend, willing to draw him out, and with no fear of making him uneasy.

"I don't know how I know it; I only know that I'm not afraid," he answered. "I feel so safe! For you know if God were to go to sleep and forget his little Mark, then he would forget that he was God, and would not wake again; and that could not be! He can't forget me or you, majie, more than any one of the sparrows. Jesus said so. And what Jesus said, lasts forever. His words never wear out, or need to be made over again.--Majie, I do wish everybody was as good as Jesus! He won't be pleased till we all are. Isn't it glad! That's why I feel so safe that I like to hear the wind roaring. If I did not know that he knows all about the wind, and that it is not the bad man's wind, but the good man's wind, I should be unhappy, for it might hurt somebody, and now it cannot. If I thought he did not care whether everybody was good or not, it would make me so miserable that I should like to die and never come to life again!--He will make Corney good--won't he, majie?"

"I hope so, Markie," returned the major.

"But don't you think we ought to do something to help to make Corney good? You help me to be good, majie--every day, and all day long! I know mother teaches him, for he's her first-born! He's like Jesus--he's God's first-born! I'm so glad it was Jesus and not me!"

"Why, Mark?"

"Because if it had been me, I shouldn't have had any Jesus to love.--But I don't think we ought to leave Corney to mother all alone: she's not strong enough! it's too hard for her! Corney never was willing to be good! I can't make it out! Why shouldn't he like to be good? It's surely good to be good!"

"Yes, Mark; but some people like their own way when it's ever so nasty, better than God's way when it's ever so nice!"

"But God must be able to let them know what foolish creatures they are, majie!"

It was on the major's lips to say 'He has sent you to teach it to me, Mark!' but he thought it better not to say it. And indeed it was better the child should not be set thinking about what he could do so much better by not thinking about it!

The major had grown quite knowing in what was lovely in a soul--could see the same thing lovely in the child and the Ancient of days. Some foolishly object that the master taught what others had taught before him, as if he should not be the wise householder with his old things as well as new: these recognize the old things--the new they do not understand, therefore do not consider. Who first taught that the mighty God, the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, was like a child! Who first said, "Love one another as I have loved you"? Who first dared to say "He that overcometh shall sit down with me on my throne even as I overcame and am set down with my father on his throne"?--taught men that the creature who would but be a true creature should share the glory of his creator, sitting with him upon his throne?

"You see, majie," Mark went on, "it won't do for you and me to be so safe from all the storm and wind, wrapped in God's cloak, and poor Corney out in the wind and rain, with the wolves howling after him! You may say it's his own fault--it's because he won't let God take him up and carry him: that's very true, but then that's just the pity of it!--It is so dreadful! I can't understand it!"

The boy could understand good, but was perplexed with evil.

While they talked thus in their nest of comfort there was one out in the wind and rain, all but spent with their buffeting, who hastened with what poor remaining strength she had to the doing of His will. Amy, left at the station with an empty purse, had set out to walk through mire and darkness and storm, up hill and down dale, to find her husband--the man God had given her "to look after."

If you like this book please share to your friends :

Weighed And Wanting - Chapter 57. Vengeance Is Mine Weighed And Wanting - Chapter 57. Vengeance Is Mine

Weighed And Wanting - Chapter 57. Vengeance Is Mine
CHAPTER LVII. VENGEANCE IS MINEThat same morning, Mr. Raymount had found it, or chosen to imagine it necessary--from the instinct, I believe to oppose inner with outer storm, to start pretty early for the county-town, on something he called business, and was not expected home before the next day. Assuming heart in his absence, Cornelius went freely wandering about the house, many parts of which had not yet lost to him the interest of novelty, and lunched with his mother and Hester and Saffy like one of the family. His mother, wisely or not, did her best to prevent his feeling

Weighed And Wanting - Chapter 55. Miss Dasomma And Amy Weighed And Wanting - Chapter 55. Miss Dasomma And Amy

Weighed And Wanting - Chapter 55. Miss Dasomma And Amy
CHAPTER LV. MISS DASOMMA AND AMYMiss Dasomma was quite as much pleased with Amy as she had expected to be, and that was not a little. She found her very ignorant in the regions of what is commonly called education, but very quick in understanding where human relation came in. A point in construction or composition she would forget immediately; but once shown a possibility of misunderstanding avoidable by a certain arrangement, Amy would recall the fact the moment she made again the mistake. Her teachableness, coming largely of her trustfulness, was indeed a remarkable point in her character. It was