“Oh, yes, yes,” they replied eagerly, “never in our lives before have we felt so happy.”
Their father smiled, and added, turning to Madame Tube, “To-morrow a load of wood will arrive for you—I have mentioned your sad story to some of our town’s people, and have already received much help, which I will lay out to the best advantage for your most pressing wants. And now I am sure Madame Tube has need of repose, so we will wish her good night, and a happy New Year.”
Thus in the midst of thanks on one side, and good wishes on the other, they separated.
Shortly afterwards, a young man entered, and advancing to Madame Tube, said, “The auctioneer has sent me to inform you that your old oil painting sold for eight pounds, and he sends you seven pounds which remain for you after paying Mr. Duller his rent.” He handed her the money, and wishing her good night, left the room.
So many unexpected events were almost too much for Madame Tube, she felt overcome, but falling on her knees, “Come, my children,” she said, “let us thank God, for he is good, and his mercy endureth for ever. He hears the young ravens when they cry to him for food, and he has heard our cry and has helped us.” The children joined in her heartfelt thanksgivings, and the Lord made his face to shine upon them and gave them peace. The children soon fell asleep with these happy feelings, but before Madame Tube lay down, she gazed long at her children. Never had she seen her Raphael look so well, a delicate red tinged his cheek, and a happy smile played around his mouth; and kissing him gently she thought how willingly she would give up all else to restore to him his sight.
In the midst of the silence of the night, the cathedral clock struck twelve, the old year with its griefs and sorrows had disappeared. The New Year had commenced, bringing with it joy and hope. “Cast all thy care upon him who careth for thee,” murmured Madame Tube, as she laid her head on her pillow, and slept in peace.
THE WONDERS OF THE EYE.
Madame Tube had been relieved from great suffering, she was now comparatively at her ease; but it was not in the power of her benevolent friends to relieve her from bodily suffering, nor to restore Raphael’s sight. What an inestimable blessing is health, and how seldom is its value acknowledged until it is lost.
As for Madelaine, she enjoyed perfect health, which she chiefly owed to her habits of early rising, cleanliness, and activity. She left nothing undone to comfort her mother in her suffering, and to cheer her brother; and for this she had a constant resource in her Bible, the magnificent promises and heavenly consolations of which, soothed and comforted her mother, while Raphael was edified and delighted by the beautiful histories and parables that were read to him.
One day, when she had just finished reading the miracle of the blind man receiving sight, she said, “Ah! Raphael, I would go to the end of the earth, if I could obtain that blessing for you.”