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and shakes the window-bars; but they are of iron, and firmly fastened, and his strength is slight and soon exhausted. He must submit to abide within these gloomy walls; then be it so, for, alas ! there is no help.

But as days and years glide away, they gradually leave deep marks upon his soul. Often from the church beyond the walls, hymns reach his ear, extolling the mercy and goodness of God. Once upon a time he, too, had been piously disposed, and joined in such hymns without a misgiving ; but now he is haunted by distracting thoughts. The man from whom such praise alone can flow must experience the goodness in his own person; it would sound like mockery for a wretched prisoner like himself to render thanks, and none but fools could expect it of him. He begins to hate the Being who has left him to pine in this lonely cell, and he ends with

denying the existence of God. What to put in the place of a God he does not know, neither, indeed, does he care. In his desolation he draws inferences from his own life, and applies them to all other lives; then, having lost belief in heaven, he believes no longer in things of earth. Love, gratitude, hope, consolation, and joy have ceased to exist ; he finds no trace of them within his own heart—they can be nothing but the delusions of brain-sick men. His own desire for them has passed away. He cannot understand that it can exist in other hearts. His eye still perceives the sunny streaks on the green landscape beyond the walls, but he has ceased to long for sunshine, or even to care for any change in his lot. He has become accustomed to the dull walls and the wan north light. He feels no cold; he only hungers for his daily prison fare in order to preserve a life which he is quite ready to renounce, and it is only from the pangs of death that he recoils. In utter apathy he lets the days come and go; he looks with cold indifference upon the bright green world outside, upon the objects in his gloomy cell, and can see nothing but the utter emptiness of human hope and love.

CHAPTER XIV.

THE COTTAGE CHILD.

The time at last arrived when the islanders began actually to use the names Teda and Freda, because they saw and heard the girls who bore them, as they passed to and fro. Freda, indeed, but seldom, as she did not often come into the village ; but when she did come, every eye was at once fixed upon her. No evidence existed as to the nationality of her parents, but that she must belong to some kindred race was incontestable. Her fair complexion and light eyes might indicate an East Frisian origin, but her hair gleamed with a richer hue of gold, and her eyes were of a deeper blue, differing altogether from the greenish hue of the eyes of the native children.

She was always bright and blooming. On a gloomy day she glided over the dusky ground like a stray sunbeam, while her voice resounded musical and clear as the ceaseless warbling of the little redbreast. This bird was not, in fact, known upon the island, but Walmot Tyamen had often watched it in the meadows where she had spent her youthful days, and she was wont to compare her little Datya with the pretty, bright-eyed creature. She was just as chirpy, sprightly, and trustful, and whilst merrily hopping about, always observant of the things that were around her, whether they were alive or dead. There was no cause for fear on the island, so when Walmot sailed forth with Roeluf Hemmen to fish, she laid the little one upon the downs, and left her to learn of her own accord the free use of her limbs. The sea-gulls and swallows, flitting to and fro, hovered high above her in the air, as they gave forth their shrill cry; the waves surged below, the white sands rustled around her, and the wind whistled through the sedges, and fanned her with the pale-green blades. Such were Freda's earliest cradle-songs. There she lay, her eyes wide open, gazing around-often she nodded, smiling and crowing to her playfellows, the birds, the waves, the sun, and the breeze; but her look turned ever again and again towards a dark spot, far away out at sea, the spot to which Walmot's boat had dwindled. The child's eyes expressed a silent longing after the distant object, until at last they once more beamed with joy, for the little point was growing bigger and bigger, and coming ever nearer and nearer to the shore. She generally waited until she could clearly discern the faces in the boat; then she impatiently rolled down the soft incline, and ran with tottering feet to meet them, crying out joyfully, “Moder! my dear moder! as she saw them land. Her voice told them that it was a daily grief for her to see the boat go out afar, but also a daily joy to welcome its return.

Walmot would lift the child in her arms, and carry her into the cottage ; both had longed all day for this moment, and to both it came as a precious reward for the separation. In her rude fisherman's attire Walmot was like the rugged trunk of a tree out of which had sprung a fair, tender blossom. But the little one pressed her golden locks and her soft cheeks against the rugged, weather-beaten face, as though it was the most beautiful that her fancy could depict.

In time Freda grew bigger, and her feet carried her safely and easily in every direction. When the spring came on, she knew every flower that bloomed upon the isle, and every seabird's nest upon the downs. She took her daily walks to visit them each and all. Everything belonged to her, and she was seized with an ardent passion for collecting things. From morning until night she was busy heaping together pretty and strangely-shaped pebbles and shells, but she never plucked a flower nor took away any of the speckled eggs. She longed for them intensely, but her fingers shyly hesitated to touch them. She was afraid of hurting them. Walmot had once told her that the flowers were alive, and that they loved the sunshine ; so Freda restrained her childlike desire for posies and garlands. She heroically contented herself with the sight of the variegated blossoms, as they danced in the sunshine, and mourned over them when they faded away. Still more tenderly did she cherish every animal near her, even the tiniest insect that came in her path. This, too, was the result of one of Walmot's speeches. She had said that these creatures, like Datya, were all glad to be alive, and that they felt any pain just as much as she did. And so the little one never passed by a poor beetle lying on its back without helping it on to its legs again. Her every act showed the tenderest interest in all living things, but at the same time she regarded each with serious, childlike awe.

For many a day she had longed to go out in the fishing

a

boat. One calm day, when there was no possible risk, Walmot consented to take her. The net was cast, drawn in again, and the shoal of fish was emptied into a tub. Suddenly Walmot was aware of a splashing behind her. She turned round, and there was Freda, clasping with difficulty the broad plaice, and lifting them over the edge of the boat back into the water again.

'What’s Datya about ?' asked the astonished Walmot in her Frisian dialect, and the child responded in like manner :

*They don't like being in the tub. Now I have put them into the water, they are quite merry again !' and she tried with her little hands to lift out another fish.

'If Datya does so, she will have no dinner to-day, and I suppose she is hungry, is she not?'

At these words the child looked up with alarm. For the first time she understood the object of fishing, and its connection with her daily food. Tears started to her eyes, for she much enjoyed the evening meal when the fishing-boat returned. The struggle lasted but for a moment, then, shaking her head, she exclaimed, 'I am not at all hungry to-day, and I don't want any dinner!' and she hastily tossed into the water after the others the plaice which she had generously resigned, and which she thought she had therefore a right to free from their prison.

Thereupon Walmot explained to her that the people on the island could not live without killing the fish. Freda listened attentively, understood it all, and made no reply, but gazed upon the waters, silent and sad. But with this first trial she had lost all pleasure in putting out to sea, and would never again join the fishing expeditions. Instead of this, she now made it her constant business to ramble over the broad sands, and to look after the little helpless fishes that had been left ashore by the retreating waves - crabs, starfish, mussels, she collected them all, and carefully placed them in the little runnels, which were still filled with water even at the lowest tide. With her little bare shining legs, she might be seen from afar, like some big gold-crested bird hopping about the dark, moist sands, until the first waves of the returning tide began to roll in. They came dancing forwards, and for awhile Freda's nimble little feet danced splashing about to meet them. Then all at once a great foam-crested wave would dart up out of the shallow trough, and strike her gently, but in an ominous way,

seen.

above the knee, like the soft, sly pawing of some beast of prey. Then, mindful of the warning and commands of her mother, she would run with all her might towards the nearest ridge, and, clambering over the downs with the agility of a kitten, seek her home.

The dwelling, with its low thatched roof of grayish reeds, and the small glass panes in its little windows, stood scarcely visible on the barren sands. Not a tree, not a bush, not a stunted vegetable, or so much as a weed, was anywhere to be

And yet the low rooms beyond the narrow latch-door made for Freda a truly happy home.

On the further side of the hard clay floor, a cheerful fire blazed upon the hearth ; alongside to the left was the little parlour ; it was without ornament, just like the other fishermen's huts on the island; but the walls were spotlessly clean, as were also the sand-strewn floor, the tables, the chairs, and every household article. With all its humble simplicity, the whole dwelling gave proofs of the housewife's care for the daily comforts of its inmates, and of her constant efforts to exclude every unsightly object. During the summer time, indeed, the family only sought the shelter of their cottage for the few hours of the night, but, as soon as autumn came on, it served them as a strong fort against the attacks of the wild wintry spirits that were warring on the waters, in the firmament, and amidst the murky gloom. No less did the abode offer welcome resources against the wearisome monotony of the slowlypassing hours. Through the whole day Walmot's hands never lay idle in her lap, and Freda's little fingers learned from them to be busy and useful. At an early age she was accustomed to help in all the household work, to make the nets, to cut out wooden spoons, to darn a rent, or to put in a patch where it might be needed. Such labours were no penance to her ; they were a necessity, and they were a pleasure. But the happiest time, the chief joy of the day, was at nightfall

. Then they gathered together in the cosy little room that was lighted up by the small lamp, or else—and this the child loved better still—the lamp was not used, but the fire burned brightly on the hearth to smoke-dry the fish, and they sat down on the low deal bench side by side before the ruddy flames, that cast such wondrous shadows in their flickering dance.

Sometimes the storm raged furiously around the little hut on the sandy sea-beach, howling down the chimney and blowing

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