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fun of something or somebody, and often did it, out of habit you see, when he hadn't got anything particular in his mind.
"When first they came to the 'Mermaid,' nobody was fonder of him than Shark; he'd stare at him with his goggle eyes and grin with his no-end of a mouth, till you'd think he was going to swallow him clean up; hut before long he took a fancy that Dolphin made game of him, and then his heart got filled with thoughts as black as a storm. When Dolphin found this out, instead of behaving Christian-like, and showing him he didn't turn him into fun, he plagued him dreadfully by lots of little ways of teasing (never meaning him harm, you understand), till Shark grew uglier than you can fancy; for the sin of hatred and revenge got so sweet to him, that it was as plain to "be seen as the skin on his face.
"I was sorry for him; I knew he was kind at heart, and wished I could turn his evil thoughts away. One day I saw him sharpening his pocket-knife, looking as black as midnight. 'Got a job in hand?' I said, for I had uncomfortable feelings when I looked at him. He never answered, but ran his thumb across the edge and scowled and grinned till the ugliest shark wouldn't have said 'Thank ye' for the compliment of being named with him.
"' My lad,' says I (quite careless you see), ' you look like as if you'd got all the cares of life upon you. Why don't you go and listen to them on the deck? there's Dolphin making 'em laugh with all sorts of fun.'
"' I know it,' he said between his teeth.
"' Come along,' says I, ' I've been listening to him this ten minutes.'
"' And you heard plenty about me,' said Shark in a growl.
"' Not a word; I never heard him talk about you except to say what a good fellow you was, and he wondered what made you so awkward with him.'
"' I saw his face as I passed by 'em now,' said Shark, with a grim nod.
"' Never mind that,' I said. 'Come down below the coal sacks, they won't see you there, and I warrant it'll make you laugh like the rest.'
"Now you see, lads, I didn't care about making him laugh. I only wanted to show him that Dolphin wasn't turning him into fun.
"So he followed me, sulky enough, and just as we got to the place and had hid, one of the fellows cried out 'I must go and ask Shark to write a letter to mother for me; I can't stop for the finish of that yarn, Dolphin, without you'll write the letter afterwards.' 'No, boy,' cries Dolphin, 'I'm the one for a bit of fun, but Shark's the one for a real good turn.'
"' Three cheers for Shark,' said another man who had been all the better for his help more than once; and with that up gets Dolphin and leads off the cheer.
"Shark looked like the sun after a storm; I didn't show that I knew what he thought, but I just said it was a pity Dolphin's yarn was cut short. Soon after I saw Dolphin at the ship's head, looking about, 'What's wrong?' I asked, for he wasn't as gay as usual. 'I've lost my knife,' he says, 'and I'm lost without it.' 'Shark's got a good one,' says I, 'borrow it.' 'Shark would as soon throw it into the sea as lend it to me,' he cries. 'Why,' says I. Dolph couldn't tell why, only he'd taken to look as black as a lobster for a long time. 'I take it you don't behave charitable to him,' 1 said, and thereupon I gave him my mind. 'I never made him into fun; if he fancied it, what was that to me?' he says. 'A great deal,' says I; 'you made him miserable and wicked too; you knew he was suspicious, and instead of showing him he was wrong, you made him worse by jibes; he's a good fellow, and if he's not so wise as some folks, he's got a deal more kindness in him.'
"You see, lads, I spoke up for Shark, being sorry for him.
"Dolph looked sorry too. As it happened, Shark came by that minute. 'Here,' says I, 'Dolph has lost his knife; I saw you sharpen yours, perhaps you'd lend it him?'
"Shark knew by my eye what I meant; he held out the knife and Dolph took it, and after that time they were fast friends.
"That night I reminded Shark of what sin he might have got into if he had gone on suspecting, and I showed him that verse, 'Charity thinketh no evii,' and he was thankful enough I can tell you. He now saw how giving way to bad thoughts, ever so little at first, may lead a man on till it brings him to do things at which his hair would have stood on end at first. I had a talk with Dolph too, and tried to make him see that it was Christian-like to bear one another's burdens, and when we saw a fault, in a neighbour we ought to try and mend it for their good and not make it worse for our pleasure. Years after I met with Shark in another ship, and he told me plain out, that if it hadn't been for my speaking to him he would have sent that knife into Dolph's heart the first chance he had.
"So, boys, see what a fine thing it was that my poor mother taught me the Bible: now do you remember to learn it—you have better chances now than I had when I was a youngster; and then instead of fighting and harming one another in body and soul, you'll do your best to make peace wherever you go,"—as old Daddy Ben did.
Parts of this story I overheard the old man tell the boys as he sat on the side of his boat on the beach. Going up to him I began to talk about his past life. He told me his history, for he had all an old sailor's love for a long gossip. I was curious to know whether the part of peacemaker, which he always played in the village, sprang from a naturally kind disposition, or whether it was brought about by the grace of God. I asked him the question. Taking a well-thumbed Testament from his jacket-pocket he turned to two verses which he read as his answer, "Blessed are the peacemakers; for they thall be called the children of God." "And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." He added, "Since God has become my Father in Christ I must try to live like his child, and if he has forgiven me, the least I can do is to forgive all the world beside."
A TRUE STORY.
The following narrative of the conversion of a poor Breton peasant, who had lived for more than fifty years in subjection to the false doctrines and superstitious practices of the church of Bome, is strictly true. The details were communicated to the writer by a friend to whom the subject of it was intimately known. It affords a striking illustration of the promise, "I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight." God grant that it may be the means of leading others to search for themselves
those Scriptures which are able, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to make them "wise unto salvation."
Julian Sauve was the son of poor parents, of whom little more is known than that they lived at Vitree in Brittany, and were, like most of the inhabitants of that locality, members of the Eomish church. His mother died while the youngest of her two sons was yet in his infancy; but it pleased God, even at that early period, to manifest his gracious purposes towards him by directing the means that were to be used for his first instruction; for his father, in spite of the prohibition of the papal church, which denies the use of the Bible to the laity, and especially to the poor, had obtained possession of a New Testament, and, in the absence of any other suitable book, it was from its pages that Sauv£ the elder taught his boys to read.
How eagerly children listen to, and how truly many of
them love "the sweet story of old," is well known to
those who have had opportunities of watching its effect
upon them; and Julian, if we may judge from after events,
was no exception to this rule. An incident of his early
life, which he was fond of relating, proves that at least
one of its promises had fixed itself upon his memory, and
that it rose up to comfort and support him in a time of need.
During the reign of terror in France, when men's minds
were everywhere failing them for fear of the dangers
that might be coming upon them, Julian, then a lad of
ten or twelve years old, had been sent into the fields to
keep cows. As he lay stretched out upon the grass, his
thoughts probably wandering far from the scenes that
surrounded him, he was suddenly startled by seeing in the
distance a band of armed men, whose appearance and
gestures showed that they were bound upon anything rather
than a peaceful errand. Jumping up in alarm he looked
anxiously towards them, and his dismay, when he saw that
they had noticed him and were turning in his direction,
may be imagined. In the extremity of his terror he began
to invoke the aid of St. Ann, the patron saint of Brittany,
and then of all the other saints whose names he could
remember; for Julian, although he had been taught to
read in the Testament, had been brought up a strict Koman
Catholic. It was in vain, however, that he ran over name
after name as fast as his tongue could utter them; those
upon whom he called heard him not, and therefore no sense of safety fell upon his heart; yet the soldiers were drawing every moment nearer. What was to be done? there seemed no way of escape, and the poor boy gave himself up for lost; when suddenly there flashed across his mind some words he had read in his father's book: "All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." They seemed to possess a meaning which he had never understood before, and falling on his knees he prayed earnestly, believingly, and in the name of Christ, that God would protect him.
Scarcely had he finished his prayer and risen from his knees when the soldiers came up and roughly seized him. But whatever might have been their savage purpose, One mightier far than they overruled it.
"Bah! 'tis but a wretched cow-boy after all," said the leader, casting a look of contempt on the tattered blouse and rough wooden shoes which formed the ordinary dress of Breton peasant boys; "'twould be hardly worth while to dirty our hands with blood so mean as his; we've set his teeth chattering, so that he won't forget us in a hurry. There, let him go!" and as he spoke Julian was again at liberty.
"Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee." He had called, and was delivered. That deliverance was never forgotten, and it was the earnest of one far greater of which he was hereafter to be the subject. But many vears of darkness and doubt were to intervene before the light of Divine truth was to shine into his heart and free him from the bondage of sin and death.
The young Julian did not long continue to keep cows, for he somehow managed to gain a sufficient knowledge of carpentering to be able to repair the spinning-wheels which were then, as they still are, in such common use among the women of Brittany, and this occupation he continued to follow through the rest of his life. Before he had quite reached manhood he lost his father, and in the division of the little family property between the two brothers the Testament fell to the lot of Julian, by whom it was very much valued, although it was yet but a sealed book to his understanding. He was not, however, long permitted to retain his treasure; for having, after much solicitation, lent it to an intimate friend, it was never returned to him. This loss caused him much sorrow, and all the more that he could remember but very few of the contents.