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the crackling sparks over the hearthstone. But Freda knew naught of the gloomy night and dreary downs without ; Walmot's lips enveloped all in sunshine and fresh new life. Her words created all around what the barren isle had never actually possessed : wood and meadow, fields of waving corn, and gardens gay with flowers, things Freda had never known; but she learned to see them through her mother's eyes, just as though she herself had played and run about among them.
Books there were none, but Walmot's memory retained a store of tales, heard in her own childhood-Frisian legends and droll rhymes, with which she gave life to the unfamiliar scenes of the neighbouring continent, and presented to the child's mind pictures of the world, but only in its more beautiful and happy aspects. By true and simple accounts of what she herself had seen in her travels on the other side of the water, she opened Freda's mind to a wider view, and to some comprehension of the wide, wide world in which men live, and come and go, for the purpose of enjoying life awhile, and mutually helping one another.
Roeluf Hemmen always sat listening beside them. He never spoke, but it was easy to see that not a word escaped him, more especially when Walmot described the cities and places of America which they had formerly visited together. Then came a gleam of intelligence into his dull eyes, and it grew still brighter when she turned towards him, and asked, Do you remember, Roeluf, our living there?' She noticed that it was like a ray of light to his dulled brain, and so she often put to him such questions. As she thus trained the mind of her child, she gradually aroused in his also the power of consecutive thought, a glimmer of reason, and a hopeful self-consciousness. But his progress was indescribably slow, whilst Freda grasped everything with wonderful quickness and intelligence. With her it was not a mere mental quickness, it was rather the result of her loving disposition, and her intense desire to please her mother by her readiness of comprehension. She called her mother,' and, in fact, she was ignorant of the truth, for Walmot carefully avoided all mention of the shipwreck, which had, in so remarkable a way, cast the child ashore on this little barren isle.
It was, indeed, an effort of memory to recall the event to her own mind, for she always felt as if she were really the mother of Datya, even as she had formerly felt towards the young girl
who had previously borne that name. The appearance of Freda, however, would have made such a relationship very doubtful in the eyes of strangers. Limbs of a more delicate mould, and features more refined, showed that she could scarcely be of the same blood as these Frisian pe fisher-folk. Clasped in the arms of Walmot Tyamen she resembled a tender exotic grafted on to a vigorous stem, from which she drew the rich nourishing sap that contributed to the development of her own natural powers.
THE PASTOR'S CHILD.
The parsonage, on the further side of the island, was built after the style of the other dwellings, only it was larger and of a more imposing appearance. In front, after the Frisian fashion, was a low projecting gable. Within were many low rooms, not large indeed, but yet not really small, and such as could be made into most comfortable sitting-rooms in the winter-time. In comparison with the fishermen's dwellings around, it might be regarded as a comfortable farmhouse in the midst of poor little hovels.
It was probably of the same age as the church, which stood near it.
Storms and showers of rain had for centuries battered its thatched roof, which had only been repaired so far as was absolutely necessary. Thus it had long stood, sadly weatherworn, and showing signs of age more evidently since Remmert Meynolt had been its occupant. In many places the walls, strained by alternate rain and sunshine, presented crevices that were as broad as a man's finger, and no attempt had been made to stop them up. The previous incumbent had tried to cultivate a little garden on the side of the house that was sheltered from the north and west winds, but with no very satisfactory results ; still, when Remmert took possession, the little strip of garden was enclosed by a neat wooden paling. This had, however, been blown down by the wind some two years previously, and the laths lay rotting on the ground; drift-sand had blown
over the few stunted plants that still remained, and these, after a few summers' struggle for existence, had lain helplessly smothered. And so the parsonage stood out, a bare cube on the flat surface, like all the other dwellings of the isle. These were scattered about at the distance of a stone's-throw or a gunshot from one another, and between them lay the plain, covered with a thin film of grass scarcely an inch in height. Here and there near a house might be seen a pile of broken up shiptimber; nets, hung out on posts either for drying or for repair, formed dark and more or less ragged festoons that gave forth a strong salt-sea smell. Enclosing all, here in a nearer and there in a more distant curve, stretched the white sandy downs, which defended the island from the high-tide floods.
Amid surroundings such as these Teda Remmert grew up, as did Freda Roeluf on her still more solitary side of the island. A glance at Teda was enough to satisfy anyone that she was no mere village fisherman's child. She was of quite a different style; she was remarkably beautiful, and the very picture of her father. Her hair, however, was much darker than his ; indeed, from a distance, it seemed almost black ; the contrasting hue of her delicate, pale features, in tone somewhat like the sandy downs, contributed further to give her an appearance foreign to the island. Beneath eyebrows as dark shone forth Teda's eyes, like two wondrously bright stars, more gleaming than sparkling, but of a singular repose and with a marked indifference towards things immediately around. From her earliest days she had quickly noted every new object, but her interest in it vanished as soon as she understood its nature and the purpose which it served. She was eager to learn about things, but took no lasting interest in them; her fingers mechanically imitated the play of the neighbours' children, but her thoughts were busied with something quite different, and she often put the most extraordinary questions, that were quite beyond her years. She soon acquired a sense of mental superiority over her playmates; it was not so much pride as a dictatorial temper, which required that all should yield to her will. This might account for her unwillingness to remain alone. She liked to teach, to rule, to exercise influence; she usually did so with placid equanimity, but opposition could easily rouse her temper.
She seldom wandered upon the downs alone; she was neither attracted there by the sunshine, nor by the storms that drove the waves mountain-high upon the beach.
The changes of the seasons had no effect upon her; she neither shivered in the cold nor felt parched beneath the summer's heat. The treasures constantly washed ashore, and so precious in other children's eyes, kindled no desire in Teda's breast. She strolled heedless over the shining stones and shells ; shape and colour made no distinct impression upon her mind. On the other hand, obedient to her mother's instructions, she carefully collected the eggs of sea-gulls and other birds for culinary use, and gathered with equal diligence the tiny flowers that grew upon the isle. With these she made wreaths to hang round a picture in the sitting-room which had belonged to the former pastor, and had been left forgotten in the corner. This was a steel engraving of the Sistine Madonna that had been taken out of some art-folio and placed in a brown frame. Teda gazed at it daily with the deepest interest and decorated it, as long as the season permitted. Her side of the island was almost always bare of pretty flowers until spring brought back fresh ones, and these were once again plucked by her with the same eagerness.
To adorn herself with them never once entered her mind. She had no vanity, and never so much as thought of looking into the little mirror that hung in the room. As she grew older, the singular contrast she presented to the little flaxen-haired creatures around often attracted the earnest gaze of her playmates, who generally expressed the liveliest admiration. But Teda was not merely indifferent to any recognition of her beauty: she positively disliked it. External things had no value for her ; she had no thought even for her dress. She displayed a singularly premature mental development, a desire for something beyond the world around her-of course, as yet only glimmering now and then, nevertheless the germ of qualities to be afterwards more fully unfolded.
Taking the usual course of her daily life, it may be said that she did pretty much as the others did, and only the closest observation could discover that she did not join with perfect heartiness in childish play and frolics, and did not really feel a child's natural pleasure in them. But no such observant eye ever fell upon her, her father's least of all.
He had never known the childish love of play, never cared for it, and as far as this went, his daughter could do as she pleased. It would have been quite contrary to his principles to have made any distinction between a higher and a lower grade of society, between his child and those of the villagers, by which he might have been led to guard Teda from daily intercourse with her little neighbours. All were equal in his eyes, as they were in the eye of God; and, with regard to their future destiny, childhood was the brief probation which each soul must pass through, before its awakening to a consciousness of its eternal goal. Pastor Remmert could not, dared not, regard the soul of his daughter as one whit more precious than those of the other lambs committed to his care. It was only a commonplace expression to say that she owed her life to him, and he considered it as one of the peculiar trials and temptations of a pastor's life, that he had to overcome the selfish tendency to place the spiritual welfare of his own child before that of others, and to make her in any way the special object of his pastoral care.
Hence he kept a vigilant watch over himself, that he might treat Teda, in this respect, exactly as he treated the rest of the children ; on the other hand, he took especial pains for the cultivation of her mind, and strove eagerly to raise her in secular knowledge to a higher grade, one more in unison with his own attainments. Not with any design of fitting her by superior acquirements to take a higher position in the social circles of the city on the mainland, but in order that she, like himself, might, amidst her actual surroundings, devote her life solely to the thought of immortality, and accustom her bodily eyes betimes to the reception of the eternal light.
So high a destiny required, indeed, spiritual discipline, but in addition to this, the acquisition of human knowledge could be employed for that glorious end. Her father was an admirable teacher, able exactly to measure her power of comprehension, and to lead her judiciously forward, step by step, without involving her in any undue mental strain. The child, on her side, showed a remarkable love of learning, and possessed rare mental endowments; she never preferred playtime to school hours, and she always had her tasks carefully prepared. But there was a strange coldness in the look which Teda fastened on the face of her teacher. No one could have guessed from it that it was her father before whom she stood. It was no childish dread of a teacher's severity that was to be read in her features ; she had never heard a word of anger, of blame, or even of impatience, from his lips. Her apathetic look sprang from an entirely different cause ; it was the con