BLTC Press Titles

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The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

The Bhagavad Gita


Ethel's book; or, Tales of the angels

by Frederick William Faber






How merrily the birds sing! How wildly the fishes jump in the clear black river! How happily the flowers nod their heads, as if approvingly! How blithely the clouds in the blue sky play at hare and hounds with each other! How pleasantly the sea smacks his great foaming lips on the sloping sand! How slyly the sunbeams peep through the green leaves, and run like lizards down the bark of the trees, and jump into the eyes of children and sparkle there! How the cows lie down on the soft grass, and look so wonderfully contented, that we cannot help laughing at them! No wonder the girls on the village green are singing. The beautiful evening has got into their heads, and made them dance on the green, as the gnats are dancing in tbe air. The very gnats blow their trumpets, like the proud boys in the village band, because they are so self-satisfied. Nature always looks most pleased with herself in the evening.

All this made Rosamond frown, as she sat by herself on the common. The golden gorse smelled like pine-apples, or apricots, or nectarines, she could not tell which. But even the sweet smell made her cross. Rosamond was not a nice child. But, like all children, she only wanted a very little to make her nice. If we could have got into her heart, we should have seen that it was not quite the right shape. It was deep enough; but too narrow at the bottom. We should have seen a black streak also running across it. She was a melancholy child.

Her father had been a soldier, and had spent most of his life in foreign lands. Her mother was almost always with him. So Rosamond had been put to board at a school, when she was too young to have left the shelter of home. She hardly remembered her father and mother; and now they were both dead. Nobody had ever loved Rosamond, and Rosamond had never loved anybody.

I was very wrong to say that; for God loved

her most tenderly; and her Guardian Angel

loved her also, as our tale will show. Indeed

her Guardian Angel was the only creature who 5

could ever keep his temper with her. She had once had a little dog, and he used to wag his tail, and frisk round her, and fetch sticks and stones to her. But she was so snappish with him, that he gave it all up as useless, and took to getting into a corner, out of her way, and sleeping all the day long. It always tells well for children, when animals are fond of them.

Have you begun already to hate little Rosamond? Well then, you are just doing what her good Angel did not do. You will be lucky if your Angel does for you what Rosamond's Angel did for her.

0 how those sea-birds are shrieking round the ship, and how cold and gray the dreadful water looks, and the sun has set in horrible black clouds with edges as if they had been stained with blood! Thump come the great waves against the side of the ship. The wind wails with piteous shrill cries among the ropes, as if they were murdering babies up at the top of the masts. Mutter, mutter, mutter, growls the distant thunder. Wash, wash, wash, sounds the ship as it staggers among the great, cold, lead-coloured billows.

Poor Rosamond! her cousins were tired enough of the disagreeable orphan j and so tbey had shipped her off to an aunt in Australia, without any notice but the letter which went by the same ship. They had put her under the care of the captain. It was an unmerciful thing to do, and they wul never hare a blessing again as long as they lire. Nevertheless they did it When men are impatient with children, it is extremely displeasing to the Angels; and the best thing that can happen to a man when he has offended the Angels is either to make peace with them, or to lie down and die; for no good comes of a man who is not friends with the Angels. Do not think it strange if I say, that the dear Angels sometimes remind us of those glorious great dogs, who are so rough with men and so gentle with children.

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