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given for some fine specimens, and some few in the Royal Treasuries of Russia, Portugal, Spain, England, and Austria, being valued by the £100,000. I cannot conclude this brief sketch better than by referring anyone who may like to go further into the subject to the treatises of Harry Emanuel, 1866; Mr. King, 1867; Mme. Barrera, A. Caire La Science des pierres precieuses, Paris, 1833; and W. Cole, Diamonds,' 1861 ; and generally to the transactions of the Royal Society.
(To be continued.)
THE CHRISTIAN MAIDEN AND THE HOSPITABLE
CHILD OF THE DESERT.
BY THE AUTHOR OF "HAREEM LIFE IN TURKEY AND EGYPT,' ETC.
Not long ago, I was introduced to a French physician at Nizza, of the name of Dubois. He had arrived from Algeria, accompanied by the daughter of his soul, an orphan maiden whom he had adopted. I felt much interested to learn what events had produced the melancholy impression which her countenance always assumed. One evening, when we were seated in the balcony of the pretty villa, which he had rented for the season in the Promenade des Anglais, which commanded a fine coup d'ail of the Baie-des-Anges, and sipping our café after dinner, Dr. Dubois related to me the antecedents of Mademoiselle Natalie, who had on that evening gone to visit soine friends, who had arrived from Corsica.
Natalie's father,' said the worthy physician, was a sutler, attached to the French army; and being in the rear of the column, was slain by the Arabs, together with his amiable wife. She was their only child, and being about twelve years old, accompanied her parents in the same vehicle. After their death, the adjutant of the corps caused active search to be made for the hapless girl, but no traces of her could be discovered: it was conjectured, that her tender age had excited commiseration in the hearts of Arabs, and that they had carried her off to their mountain fortresses. But such was afterwards found not to have been the case ; for it was entirely owing to her courage and presence of mind that she owed her safety. The leader of those bold marauders, as soon as her parents had been sent “ to certainty," raised his yatagan for the purpose of dealing the poor orphan nusranee a mortal blow, when suddenly the scout of the plunderers, who had kept watch, perceived a troop of cavalry approaching, gave the alarm, and hurried away in another direction.
Natalie, profiting by that propitious circumstance, hastily concealed herself in the morass; and there snugly ensconced in her hiding-place, kept her eyes fixed upon the Arabs, and watched them dart off into the wood, in search of the driver of the vehicle which her parents had occupied, thinking to rob him of his hard
CHRISTIAN MAIDEN AND CHILD OF THE DESERT.
earned pittance. As soon as they had disappeared, she rallied her spirits, hastened from the morass, and throwing herself upon the bodies of her murdered parents, took a last embrace ; her courage, notwithstanding the imminent danger to which she thus exposed herself, did not forsake her, neither were the mutilated bodies of her unfortunate parents revolting in her sight. There she remained for some time, by the side of her parents, alternately covering them with kisses, and breathing forth prayers to the Almighty to protect her in her lonely
Suddenly, a slight noise aroused the poor orphan from her orisons, and warned her to think of her own safety: once again she returned with the fleetness of a fawn to the morass; and after wandering about for several hours, she sank down upon the ground, exhausted with fatigue, close to an Arab's mud hut. She had not remained there long, before a little boy in nature's full dress came to the door ; and Natalie, taking courage from the appearance of the little dark-skinned urchin, who was much younger than herself, approached him, and embraced him. The young descendant of Ishmael returned the salutation, and thus took the little Christian maiden under his protection. Ali, for so was he called, clapped his hands, at which signal his nina (mother) issued from the hut, and Natalie soon found herself in the company of a host of Arab women, who, to their honour be it recorded, made her break bread and eat salt with them, for their feeling hearts being moved by her tears, took compassion on her sad kismet. (fate.) They resolved, with true parental feeling, to conceal her for some time: soon, however, their babas, (fathers,) as they called their aghas, (lords,) returned from their plundering expedition, which obliged them to reveal the poor orphan's hiding-place.
“Those hard-hearted marauders reproached the daughters of the Prophet with affording hospitality to the unbelieving daughter of a Nusranee. One, by far a greater barbarian than the others, perceiving that Natalie was satisfying the cravings of hunger with two boiled eggs, hurled his matchlock at the head of the kind-hearted nina. Poor Natalie was compelled to remain the guest of the assassins of her parents for several days, during which she had to subsist upon dourra; (bread ;) nevertheless, she bore all the bardships and privation of her position with most exemplary patience and resignation, her principal object being to gain as much time as possible. The Arabs, knowing full well that the French would not long permit those two murders to go unpunished, were in hourly expectation that a strong military force would be despatched against that tribe that had been guilty of them; consequently, they determined to preserve poor Natalie as a means of justification. The father of the kind-hearted Ali, who had so hospitably protected the Christian orphan, took advantage of the Kabaïles being encamped in the plain, hastily saddled his mule, and conveyed her in safety to the barracks at Algiers, where she was receired by the commandant, who treated her with the greatest kindness.'
Dr. Dubois, who was at that time the director of the military hospital, and had known her parents, took compassion on the poor orphan, and adopted her as his daughter.
The hospitable child of the desert who had so nobly conveyed the Christian maiden to her compatriots, was rewarded by the commandant with a purse of twenty napoleons, a superb rifle, an excellent mule, with panniers laden with two bales of sundry articles of clothing, suitable for the little good-hearted Ali and his exemplary nina.
ST. STEPHEN'S MISSION, CLEWER FIELDS. Many of those who so kindly and liberally responded to the appeal made on behalf of the Clewer Fields Mission, may be interested in hearing a little of the progress the work has made since the opening of the Mission House and Schools.
A site very near to the cottage, in which the Sisters commenced their ragged school, together with the funds for building, having been kindly given by two individuals, the house and schools have been erected, and were opened on the 29th of October last.
St. Stephen's Schools are now divided into two distinct classes, a poor or ragged’ school, and one for the children of the middle classes. Both of these schools have separate rooms for infants and for older children.
In the Infant Ragged School there are at present eighty children, boys and girls, of ages varying from ten months to six years, who are learning to take a pleasure in coming to school clean and tidy, so that a stranger ..entering the room would be able at a glance to distinguish the fresh comers from those who have been for some time at the school. The average attendance here is seventy. The other school for the same class numbers one hundred and thirty boys and girls; the daily attendance being about one hundred and fifty, from six to fifteen years of age.
A few only of these can pay one penny or twopence a week; indeed, the whole weekly amount is only two shillings and twopence. Here also a great change is observed in the outward appearance; it would hardly be believed from what wretched homes the greater part of the children turn out each morning.
From this school five girls and one boy have been confirmed, and have become communicants, and several more are preparing for Confirmation.
The school for the middle class is in a different part of the house. The charge is sixpence a week for children under eight, and one shilling and a penny for older ones. For this they receive a plain English education ; music and French being an extra charge. There is here also a separate room for infants ; but no boys are taken over ten years of age. This school has been but lately commenced, and numbers at present thirty-six boys and girls. It is hoped it may in time help to support the poor school.
It is most earnestly to be wished that funds may be forthcoming to build a church, attached to the Mission; but in the meantime, a room in the house has been fitted up as a temporary chapel. The daily evensong at five is well attended; and on Wednesday evenings when the service is at seven, the room has been so crowded with the parents of the school children, that it has been impossible to seat them all.
There is a celebration of the Holy Communion every Thursday morning at half-past seven, and the number present has been twenty-five.
The Mother's Meetings also continue to be held, and the women gladly avail themselves of them.
Many other works connected with St. Stephen's Mission are contemplated, and the Sisters earnestly hope that funds may be forthcoming to enable them to carry them out. But at present the whole income of the Mission consists of £8 a year annual subscriptions, about £l a week from the payments of the children of the upper school, and what the Sisters can collect from week to week, with an occasional donation.
Besides this, four persons send each one loaf of bread weekly, and a butcher contributes bones for soup.
It will be seen that this is totally inadequate to support the Sisters and four teachers in the house; and their being unable to live entirely on the spot, is a great cause of hindrance to the work. Much time is lost in going to and from the school, and it renders the commencement of night schools almost impossible, although these are greatly needed, and of great importance.
Thus help is much needed. Until aid is given, it will be impossible to place the Mission in anything like working order. So much haying by God's blessing been accomplished, it is earnestly hoped St. Stephen's Mission will not be suffered to languish for want of funds.
Any subscriptions, donations of money, new or old clothes, Scripture prints, school books, would be most thankfully received, addressed to
HOUSE OF MERCY, CLEWER, WINDSOR. *For Clewer Fields Mission.'
THE BROCKHAM ORPHAN HOME, REIGATE.
In The Monthly Packet for February, 1867, an account was given of * The Brockham Home and Industrial Training School for Orphan Girls. This excellent institution has now been carrying on its useful work for nearly ten years; but it is, we regret to say, greatly in need VOL. 7.
of funds—so much so, that it is feared it may be necessary to lessen the number of girls admitted.
Perhaps our readers may remember that the girls are maintained in the Home partly by parochial, partly by charitable means. According to the Act of Parliament under which this and other similar institutions is certified, a fixed sum-generally, we believe, four shillings a weekis paid by the Poor Law Guardians of any parish sending an orphan girl to be trained in the Home. This sum is, however, inadequate to meet all the expenses of a Home in which training for each branch of domestic service is so carefully carried out. The remainder, therefore, is derived from the donations and subscriptions which are given to the funds of the Institution.
Of the usefulness of these institutions we may form some estimate from the great number of applications received at the Home, for servants. So numerous have these been at Brockham, that it has been found necessary to make a rule that all letters requiring an answer must enclose a stamp.
There is scarcely any way in which we can confer a more permanent benefit upon girls who have become orphans, than by assisting to maintain them in such homes as these, where they receive all the instructions requisite to qualify them to fulfil their duties as servants, and where they are watched over with tender care by those who take a real loving interest in their moral and spiritual welfare.
Donations and subscriptions are earnestly requested, and will be thankfully received by
or by the Matron at the Home; and we hope that this excellent Institution, which, as far as means will permit, is ready to open its doors to any orphan girl for whom the guardians of her parish or friends who are charitably disposed to help in this way will pay the required four shillings a week, may not be suffered to languish for want of funds.
MANY MANSIONS. My dear L
I feel very grateful to you and W—for telling me what you miss in the little paper called 'Many Mansions.'
I fully meant that every word should imply, if it did not express, the great truth that
that Heavenly Love,
Which knows no end in depth or height,' must be to us 'Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,' of all our happiness.