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BLIND BOY o I )RIsT o
BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN
AND HIS SISTER.
A STORY FOR THE YOUNG.
BLACKIE & SON, 49 OLD BAILEY, E.C.;
GLASGOW, EDINBURGI, AND DUBLIN.
I. MAGDA AND THE BROKEN CUP, . .. .
II. THE POOR BLIND BOY, .... . 18
III. LITTLE BRIGHT-EYES, . . .32
IV. THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL, . . 40
V. MAGDA IN PRISON, .. . 43
VI. RAPHAEL'S MISFORTUNE, .... .. .. 57
VII. MORE TROUBLES, . . 63
VIII. LITTLE BRIGHT-EYES AGAIN, . . 73
IX. FRIENDS IN NEED,. ... . . 79
X. THE TURN OF THE TIDE, .. . 91
XI. THE WONDERFUL CURE, . ... 97
XII. MORE GOOD FORTUNE, .. . 110
XIII. HOME AGAIN. CONCLUSION. .. . .121
MAGDA AND THE BROKEN CUP.
S LD," says a German proverb, "is gathered
Sin the morning;" and so thought the good
people of Dresden, the chief city in
Saxony, for at all times of the year they were
early astir and hard at work, long before the
people of other places had partaken of their
breakfast. On the morning on which our story
opens Master Tauzer the potter-Dresden was
long famous for its china and earthenware-sat
at breakfast with his men. Having thought
that sufficient time had been spent over the
morning meal, he said:
"Now, my men, let us up and to work; as you
6 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
know there is a great deal to be done to-day;"
and at once all the men rose and proceeded to
the workshop, from which, in a very few minutes,
proceeded the sound of the busy wheels used by
the potters in their work.
During a sudden cessation of the noise a knock
was heard at the door.
"Come in," cried Master Tauzer; and in a
moment the latch was lifted, and a little girl
appeared, looking very much frightened, and
who hesitated to advance beyond the threshold.
Her long fair hair was tidily arranged, her shoes
nicely polished, and her whole appearance be-
tokened that she was well cared for in every
respect. Tauzer observed this with great satis-
faction, for he always liked to see children clean
and well dressed. Observing also the bashful-
ness of the little girl, he spoke kindly to her.
Well, my little lass," said he, "you are out of
bed early this morning" (it was only five o'clock);
"you look as bright as a rosebud in the early
dew. What can I do for you? Have you any-
thing to sell, or do you want to buy something?"
The girl, encouraged by the kindly manner of
the master potter, advanced towards him, and
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 7
opening out her apron, which she had gathered
up before her, took from it a cup which had been
broken into two pieces.
"Please, Master Tauzer," she said, so modestly,
that she appeared to be half-crying, I want you
to mend this cup for me, but in such a way that
Sit will never be known that it has been broken
The potter took the pieces in his hand, and
looked at them carefully. He saw at a glance
that the cup was of first-class ware, and that
the flowers painted upon it were the work of an
Smiling, he said, "I'm afraid, miss, that will
be rather a difficult thing to do; but we'll try
what we can do-we'll try;" and as he said so
he placed the pieces on one side and was about
to resume his work again, when the girl said
anxiously to him:
"But, sir, I want you to do it now-I will wait
for the cup until it is mended!"
"I am afraid, my dear," said Tauzer, "that
you will have to wait longer than you think.
It will be at least a week before I can have it
done. I only bake on Thursday, and that is
8 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
three days hence, and it will take at least two
days more to do what is necessary."
The eyes of the little girl filled with tears
when she heard this, and as she faltered in what
she was about to say, Master Tauzer interrupted
her by remarking:
"Ah! my little lass, now I can understand why
you have got up so early this morning. You
have broken the cup yourself, and you want to
have it mended before your mother finds it out.
That's the reason, is it not? But don't distress
yourself about it-say it was the cat, or the dog,
or that it was knocked off the table accidentally;
and I warrant your mother or father will say no
more about it. Such accidents occur very fre-
quently, you know. There, don't cry-it will
come all right."
When the potter had finished speaking the
girl turned up her full, fair face, with such an
astonished expression upon it, that he was fairly
Nay, nay, my child," said he, I did not mean
that. God forbid I should teach any boy or girl
to deceive their parents. I was only joking.
Tell your mother how it happened, and also tell
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 9
her that I will mend it in such a manner that it
will be as good as ever. So good morning, miss,
for I am very busy to-day."
The girl now seemed quite satisfied, and with
a curtsey she returned the good morning, and
withdrew from the potter's workshop.
To Tauzer's surprise, however, she came again
the very next morning about the same hour. As
he was still very much engaged he naturally felt
a little annoyed at being troubled so soon.
"I told you, miss, that your cup would not be
ready for a week, nor can I do it sooner. If you
cannot wait that time you had better take it
"Oh! sir," said the little girl, smiling, "I have
not come for the cup. I don't expect it before
Saturday; but I have brought you something
else to mend;" and she took from her apron a
brown jug which had been broken into a number
of pieces. After looking at them the potter
smiled and shook his head.
"I am afraid, my dear," said he, "that this is
beyond any skill of mine. Besides, it is not
worth mending; it is only a piece of common
earthenware, and would cost more money to
10 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
repair it than it would to buy a new one. Why,
all the potters in Dresden would be ruined if
such common vessels as this could be mended
The child suddenly turned quite pale, and was
evidently greatly frightened. But, Master Tau-
zer," she said, "the reason we want it mended is
because it does not belong to us. It was sent
to us by a kind lady, full of soup, and we were
to return the jug when it was empty."
"Well, that's a pity," said Tauzer; "but you
ought to take more care with articles which
belong to other people. How did you do it?"
"It was not I who broke it, sir," said the little
girl, beginning to cry, "but mother. She is so ill
with rheumatism that she has no strength in her
hands, and in attempting to lift it from one table
to another she let it drop, and not only broke
the jug, but spilt all the good soup as well; and
we did want the soup so much! But if you
cannot mend this, Master Tauzer, have you any
jugs like it, that you can sell, and what will the
price of it be?"
The good potter began to feel a strange sen-
sation rising within him, which he could scarcely
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 11
understand. "Oh! yes," said he, "I have some
jugs of the very same pattern as this, but as they
are made of finer ware they are, of course, rather
more expensive." He went into an adjoining
room, and returned with a jug exactly resem-
bling the broken one, but of superior quality.
He was just going to make the little girl a
present of it, when he observed the end of a
small paper parcel sticking out of her pocket.
What good thing have you got there, so care-
fully wrapped up?" said he, more from idle
curiosity than from any real desire to know.
"It is only some bird-seed, sir, for our canary,
little Bright-eyes," said the child innocently, never
dreaming of harm.
"Oh, only bird-seed!" said he, and he hastily
returned to the room and replaced the jug on
the shelf from which he had taken it; and he
then sat down to his work without saying an-
other word. The girl observing that he had
suddenly fallen into an ill mood, after standing
for a few moments picked up the fragments of
her jug, and walked silently away.
"Bird-seed, indeed!" muttered the potter to
himself after she had gone. "What a fool I was
12 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
nearly making of myself! If people can afford
to keep birds, then they ought to pay for what
they break, more particularly if it belongs to
other persons. I don't get -my jugs and jars for
nothing-neither should they. If I had not
observed that parcel she would have had that
jug for nothing, and that would have been a nice
thing. No, no, it is wrong to encourage such
beggars!" And Tauzer the potter continued in
a temper all that day, ay, and for four days
afterwards, all because he had observed a parcel
of bird-seed in the little girl's pocket.
Well, Saturday came at last, and with it came
the little girl for her cup. It was ready for her,
and very nicely done it was. Tauzer, being still
in a sulky humour, simply said his charge was
sixpence. At mention of this sum a shadow of
disappointment passed over the face of the girl.
She had only fourpence! What was to be done?
At length she found courage to mention the fact
that she had not enough by twopence to pay for
the cup, and was about to stammer out something
about going home to get the rest of the money,
when Tauzer, who was not willing to be, as he
thought, annoyed any more by her, said hastily:
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 13
"Well, well, take the cup home with you, and
pay the twopence some other time."
In a moment the girl laid down the fourpence,
picked up the cup, and dropping a curtsey and
thanking him, was out of the potter's workshop
as fast as her little feet could carry her. As
Tauzer saw the door close behind her he said to
"There! I have done with that troublesome
monkey, I hope." But he was mistaken, for in
two days afterwards, this time in the afternoon,
there was the little girl again, prepared to pay
the balance of her account! The potter was
surprised, and somehow or other the strange
sensation he had before experienced came over
him again, and his ill-humour suddenly left him.
"Why, you are an honest little girl after all,"
said he; "but you need not have brought the two-
pence. I did not expect it, and I won't take it
now, so put it in your pocket. But what is your
name, and where do you live?"
"My name is Magda Tube, and I live with my
mother in Weaver Lane. My father was a
painter, but he is dead," said the girl, blushing
14 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
"Oh, indeed!" said Tauzer, beginning to feel
interested; "so your father was a painter, was
he? I daresay, now, you can do a little with the
pencil and brush yourself-you seem to say so
with your eyes! Now, there's my apprentice,
Franz, there, who, if he was not always thinking
of his stomach and what he could get to put
into it, might make a very good painter in the
course of time; but in addition to being a glutton
he is also very lazy, and is either eating or
sleeping when he ought to be either painting
mugs or writing rhymes for them;" and Tauzer
beckoned Magda to the table where the maligned
apprentice was sitting at work. "Let us see
what he has been doing to-day," he continued,
as he took up a plate which the boy had just
finished. "Can you read?" said he to the girl,
who, having nodded assent, Tauzer handed the
plate to her, on which she read:
"Apple puffs, pancakes, and pasties,
Well we know how good their taste is!"
"That's just like yourself, Franz," said the potter,
"always thinking of your belly. What's next,
Magda?" Magda took up another plate and
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 15
"With a new-laid egg, and a slice of ham,
No one can tell how happy I am."
"About eating again, I declare!" said Tauzer,
laughing. "I'll stake my life, the third is on the
same subject. Read another, Magda. Again the
girl took up a plate, and while poor Franz
blushed as deeply as the scarlet comforter he
wore round his neck, Magda read aloud:
"Come all you pretty birds and fishes,
Come and make us dainty dishes."
"I told you so," exclaimed Tauzer good-hum-
ouredly; "the stupid boy thinks that because the
plates are to be used solely for the table they
must needs speak of nothing but eating and
drinking. Now let me see that one, Franz,"
said the potter quickly, as he observed the
shame-stricken apprentice eagerly trying to hide
a .plate under his table. Reluctantly the boy
handed it to Magda, who read:
"When for myself I can forage,
I'll say farewell to coarse meal porridge."
At this the master, and a number of the
workmen who had gathered round, fairly laughed
outright; and the poor apprentice, who had been
16 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
the unwitting cause of their mirth, was fairly
overcome with shame, and began to cry.
"Never mind, Franz, my lad," said the good-
hearted Tauzer," as he slipped a penny into his
hand, "let us hope you will do better by and
by; but in the meantime you must not begin to
quarrel with your porridge! Now Magda, let
me see what you can do. I am sure you can
put this young glutton in the shade completely."
Blushing deeply, Magda took a brush and sat
down at the same table, where a plate was placed
before her. Greatly to the surprise of Tauzer
and his men, he observed the girl take hold of
the brush in a manner which at once denoted
that she had great experience; and without
exhibiting any appearance of tremulousness or
alarm, she immediately proceeded to paint a
floral design in blue on the plate. Master and
men were delighted; and when she added, as a
rhyme, the lines:
"He who feeds the ravens when they cry
Will ever all my wants supply,"
Tauzer could not contain himself.
"Capital, Magda, capital!" he exclaimed; "now
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 17
you shall have the best jug in the workshop, for
you have well earned it. And more than that,
if you will come and paint mugs and plates, and
write rhymes for me, I will pay you so well that
your mother will not require to ask soup for
charity, and you can keep as many bright-eyed
canaries as ever you please!"
Of course it will readily be understood that
such a piece of unexpected good fortune quite
took Magda by surprise; but she at once said
that if her mother would permit her she would
gladly do as Tauzer desired; and off she ran
home, the happiest girl that night in the good
city of Dresden!
THE POOR BLIND BOY.
HEN Magda arrived at home she found
I' that her mother, who had suffered severely
eJ' from rheumatism all day, had fallen into
a deep refreshing sleep, so she at once re-
solved not to disturb her, but to keep her
good news until the morning. As the mother
continued to sleep the girl went to bed, but it
was some time before she fell into the arms of
the drowsy god, being so much elated with the
great good fortune which had befallen her. In
the morning she was up betimes; indeed she was
up before it was daylight, and before the time
for breakfast had arrived she had said her
prayers, washed and dressed herself, and knitted
a considerable portion of a stocking on which she
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 19
As soon as daylight began to peep in at the
little window she proceeded to prepare breakfast.
To do this she had to light a fire in a small stove,
which unfortunately smoked considerably. This
annoyance caused her mother to awake, and also
set her coughing with great violence, so that the
poor woman, between the pains of her rheuma-
tism and the convulsions of the cough, suffered
"Come, Magda," said she fretfully, "come and
assist me to sit up, or this cough will kill me."
The child immediately hastened to the bed-
side, and speedily propped her invalid mother up
with pillows, &c., and put a warm shawl over her
shoulders; but the poor old woman was very
Magda," she said, "there is a fearful draught
which catches me on the back of the neck; the
window must be open, so close it, my dear."
"But, mother, the window is closed already,
and so is the door. I can't think where the
draught comes from," replied the poor girl; but
after looking round a moment, she said, "Ah! I
see where it comes from now-the brown paper
has been blown from the broken pane in the
20 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
corner, but I'll soon put that right;" and in a
few minutes she had closed up the troublesome
aperture with an old oil painting which exactly
fitted it, and which seemed to have been placed
there for the very purpose.
"Magda," said her mother, a little less fret-
fully, "I should like a nice cup of coffee; can
you let me have one?"
I'll try what I can do, mother. But you must
first hear of my good fortune. Do you know
that I have got a large jar full of the very best
of beef bones, which will make the finest soup in
the world; and Mrs. Fuch, who is cook at the
hotel, has promised to give me all the tea-leaves
and coffee-grounds which the customers leave, if
I only wash out a few jugs and basins for her;
and you must know, mother, that the gentle-folks
who live at the hotel do not brew their tea and
coffee over and over again, the same as poor
people have to do, so the leaves and grounds are
almost as good as new. So this afternoon Ralph
and you and I shall. have a cup of real coffee,
and I am sure it will do us all good."
"You are a good girl, Magda," said Mrs. Tube,
"and I hope God will reward you for your kind-
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 21
ness; but what are you going about in your
bare feet for? You will certainly catch cold if
you do not put on your shoes."
Oh, mother, don't be angry with me," said
Magda anxiously. My shoes are so much worn
that I must wear them only when I go out. If
I put them on when I am indoors I shall have
the soles off altogether, and then I shall not be
able to go down the street at all."
"Why, child," replied her mother, "it is not
many weeks since you got them; to be sure, even
then they were poor things at the best, but how
can I hope to get you another pair, or even to
get these ones mended?"
"Don't trouble yourself about that just now,
mother," said Magda, cheerfully; I have not told
you all my good fortune yet. There is great
fortune in store for us, if you will only take my
word for it. Do you know, mother," she added,
mysteriously, "that I am going to work for Mr.
Tauzer, the potter, and that I hope to earn a
great deal of money? I feel that God will not
forsake us altogether."
"Magda," said the poor old suffering woman,
"I have sometimes thought that the Almighty
22 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
had forgotten us entirely; but if what you say
is true He may still remember us after all."
"Mother, the proverb says, 'When need is
sorest, help is surest;' so do not fret any more
this morning. Here, take this cup of coffee, it
will refresh you," said the girl to her mother, as
she handed her a cupful of a very weak decoction
of the Arabian berry.
"Is not Raphael very long in rising this
morning, Magda?" said Mrs. Tube, after a short
She had no sooner uttered the words than a
shuffling or rather scrambling movement was
heard to proceed from an adjoining apartment,
and presently there entered a poorly clad blind
boy. Indeed he crept rather than entered, and,
carefully groping his way to where Magda was
sitting, she caught hold of his hand and assisted
him to rise, kissed him, and wished him good-
"Magda," said the boy, eagerly, what is the
matter with Bright-eyes this morning? I have
not heard him sing a single note."
"Oh, Bright-eyes is all right enough, Raphael;
only it is too dark for him yet, it is still early in
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 23
the morning, and daylight is only making its
The boy is always bothering about that noisy
bird; but he has not even a 'good-morning' for
his poor suffering mother," said the old woman in
a tone of ill-nature.
"Why, mother," said the poor blind boy, "I
did not know you were awake, as you generally
wish me 'good morning,' because you know," he
added in a melancholy accent, "you can see me,
mother, but I cannot see you! But I must have
been dreaming. I thought that some one had
taken Bright-eyes away, and when I awoke and
did not hear his song as usual I thought it was
true; and I would almost sooner die myself than
Magda, meanwhile, had been preparing the
humble repast which she dignified by the name
of breakfast, and when everything was ready
she assisted her invalid mother and poor blind
brother to their morning meal, but partook very
scantily of it herself. She was in excellent
spirits that morning, and chatted away so
merrily and pleasantly that even the sick
mother half forgot her pain, and little Raphael
24 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
was trying to smile and make himself cheerful,
when a brilliant outpour of song from a canary
in a cage which hung by the window fairly elated
him with joy.
"Ah! there is my Bright-eyes!" he cried rap-
turously, "then I must have been dreaming in-
deed. Why, Magda, the song of Bright-eyes
does me more good than the richest banquet ever
did to a hungry man."
By this time daylight had fully developed, and
after Magda had cleared away the breakfast
things she sat down to her usual work of darn-
ing and mending, for having few garments, and
those not of the newest materials, they stood
constantly in need of repair; while poor blind
Raphael also applied himself to his task, which
was the uninteresting and tedious one of un-
ravelling silk threads. The children worked on
in silence; the invalid mother opened the large
Bible, and while she read portions of it canary
Bright-eyes busied himself with singing in a
cheerful and happy manner; so that thus the
whole family were engaged.
Suddenly Magda was startled by the sound of
a heavy foot crossing the yard, and as this was
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 25
such anunusual occurrence in their humble locality
at that time of the morning she listened with
surprise. This increased when the sound of the
feet ceased at her door, and were presently
followed by a knock which startled Bright-eyes
out of his song.
Before Magda could say, Come in," the latch
was lifted, and a man entered, who said, with
a puzzled expression, as if afraid that he
had made a mistake and entered the wrong
"Does Mrs. Tube and her daughter Magda live
"Why, mother," exclaimed the girl, as she
rose to meet the visitor, it is Master Tauzer, the
potter, who was so kind as promise to give me
work in painting mugs for him."
The old lady bade him welcome as well as her
rheumatism would permit; while poor Raphael
crept as usual into a corner of the room, so as to
be out of the way, taking, however, his work with
"I have come, Magda," said the potter, "to see
why you have not kept your promise. You said
you would be with me before this, and I was
26 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
afraid something might have happened to you; I
hope there is nothing wrong."
"Oh! no, sir," said Magda, "there is nothing the
matter with me, but mother has been very bad,
and I have not been able to leave her. But I
left word with Franz, the apprentice, that I
could not come for a short time, and also told him
to tell you the reason."
"The young rascal never mentioned a word to
me about your having called; but I'll talk to him
when I get back to the shop. Ah! poor old
woman," said he, turning to poor bedridden
Mrs. Tube, "you must suffer greatly; but I am
sure your good daughter will do everything she
can to make you as comfortable as possible.
We potters know too well what rheumatism is, as
from the damp nature of our work few of us are
long without it. But surely you will never get
better so long as you stay in such a hovel as this.
Excuse me, Mrs. Tube," said he, in a somewhat
apologetic manner, "at calling your house a
hovel, but it is really nothing else-a hovel, a
regular dog-kennel. Why, a man in the healthiest
condition of life could not exist a month without
catching rheumatism; why, the walls are actually
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 27
wet, the draught is very bad, and even the very
fireplace helps to make the place still more
disagreeable, by reason of its smoking;" and
here Mr. Tauzer turned to look at the stove,
while Mrs. Tube and Magda were at a loss what
to say in reply to the remark of the potter.
"That thing," continued Mr. Tauzer, pointing to
the stove, "is not fit to be in a house: I must
speak to the landlord about it. I know him well
enough, and I think he is making a very fine
thing out of his old rickety property. It is a
downright sin to let out such a place as this for
human beings to live in; and I'll tell him that,
too!" and as the indignant potter went up to the
stove to examine it he nearly stumbled over
poor Raphael, who was crouched up in a corner,
busily engaged in unravelling the entangled
"Hollo!" said he, who is this? Why, it's a
boy, I declare: I'll tell you what it is, my lad,
you will hurt your eyes if you sit in a dark
corner and work at such labour as this-why,
you'll be blind before you are a year older. Who
is this boy, Magda?" he asked, as he turned to the
28 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
"He is my brother, Raphael, sir," replied
Magda, sadly; and before she could say another
word Mrs. Tube interposed from her bed and
"Ah! Master Tauzer, your prophecy comes too
late-poor Raphael is blind already!"
"Blind!" said the potter. "Surely you don't
mean to say that. Come here, boy, and look at
me;" and he took hold of the boy's hand and
led him towards the window. "Look at me,
"I cannot see you, sir," said the poor blind
youth, as he turned his sightless eyes into the
face of the potter.
Tauzer was greatly affected. He had not
expected to find such a person in the house; and
in his anxiety to hide his emotion he turned, as
if again to look at the stove, but really to conceal
the tears which were rapidly swelling into his
Magda," said he, after a pause, why did you
not tell me of this? How long has this poor boy
"Ever since he was two years of age, sir,"
replied his sister.
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 29
"And how did it happen?" further inquired the
To this question Mrs. Tube replied: "We really
do not know, Master Tauzer. It came upon him
gradually, and as he was only an infant he could
not tell us how he was affected. We found it
out, however, when it was too late; but the sight
had entirely gone."
"Poor boy," said the potter kindly, patting
Raphael gently on the head; "but you will be
able to remember the beautiful flowers, and the
blue sky, and the bright shining sun; and the
kind, smiling faces of your father and mother."
But Raphael only shook his head slowly and
sadly, as if all such things were entirely strange
to him, and totally beyond his comprehension.
"What!" continued the astonished potter, "do
you know nothing of the green fields,-and the
broad flowing river which bears great ships upon
its bosom to and from all parts of the world; the
spring blossoms, and the dazzling white snow?"
But again the poor blind boy shook his head in
a strange and melancholy manner, which, on his
mother observing, she made a sign to the potter,
plainly signifyino- that he should ask no more
30 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
questions, as they only tended to force painful
reflections upon the mind of poor Raphael.
Tauzer at once understood the hint, and quickly
changing the subject he remarked in a more
"But I am sure, my poor boy, that the world
is not without some things which tend to make
you happy; many things which, although you
cannot see them, still afford you delight and
A cheerful smile flitted across the countenance
of the boy at this remark, and he answered
"Oh! yes, sir, I love to hear Magda singing, and
when my mother and sister speak kindly to me,
when I get good food when I am hungry; but
perhaps what I like most is the cheerful song of
mybeautiful little canary Bright-eyes, for, although
[ have never seen it, I am quite certain that its
body is quite as pretty as its music is."
Tauzer was surprised at this answer, and as he
was a man possessed of no great gift of speech
he felt himself quite at a loss what to say further
He thought he had better take leave quietly and
quickly, so slipping a substantial piece of silver
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 31
into the hand of the poor blind boy he took a
friendly farewell of Magda and her mother, and
took his departure, amid expressions of gratitude
from the whole family, including Bright-eyes,
who sang a pleasant adieu as he walked out of
SHE master potter had not long left the
house of the widow Tube when the land-
S lord of the latter knocked at her door, and
on ascertaining that she was at home he entered.
Magda saw at once that he was in an angry
mood, and told him that her mother was ill; but
the rude man paid no attention to what she
said. Seeing Mrs. Tube sitting up in bed, he
said to her:
"How comes it, Mrs. Tube, that you sent that
ill-bred, vulgar potter Tauzer to me, to make
complaints about your house. If the house is
not good enough for you, you can leave it at a
moment's notice; and there are dozens of people
who would jump at it in a moment, aye, and
pay more money for it than you do, by a long
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 33
way. Houses like this, at such a price as you
pay for it, are not so easily got in Dresden, I can
tell you, Mrs. Tube, and as I have said, if you do
not like it you can leave it; but do not send
that blustering potter to me again."
The poor woman was frightened at such rough
language, and both Magda and Raphael were
ready to burst into tears, as they thought of the
possibility of being turned out of their home,
for miserable as the place was, it was the only
home they had.
"As for the stove," continued the tyrannical
landlord, "I see nothing the matter with it: it
has served well enough for the last thirty years,
and is good for thirty years more. What if it
does smoke a little, that is the fault of your fuel,
and not of the stove."
"But, Mr. Duller," interposed Mrs. Tube, "I
can assure you that I have no hand in any
annoyance Mr. Tauzer may have caused you. I
never thought of complaining of my room;
indeed, I am too glad to be allowed to remain in
it, for Heaven only knows where I could go to if
I were to leave it. Mr. Tauzer came here to see
Magda about some work he is going to give her;
34 TIE BLIND EOY OF DRESDEN.
and I suppose, as he is accustomed to live in a
better place than this, he thought all houses
should be alike. For my part I shall be glad
to remain here until the roof falls about my
This statement rather softened the temper of
the irate landlord, so he said:
"Well, Mrs. Tube, if what you say is correct,
and that Tauzer has come to me and made a
noise about your house on his responsibility, I
shall say nothing more about it to you; but this
brawling, quarrelsome potter must be taught to
mind his own business. Why, he has talked to
me as if I were a pickpocket, and almost blaming
me for your miserable condition, and saying that
by my charging you rent double what the house
is worth that I am robbing you, and keeping you
poor; and other lots of nonsense about my duty
to my tenants, and so forth, as if I did not know
all that myself better than he can do. A landlord's
first duty is to get his rent from his tenants by
any means he can, and if he cannot do that, his
next duty is to turn them out and get better
paying ones: that's my view of the matter!"
Mrs. Tube sighed deeply as she listened to this
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 35
one-sided definition of the duties of a landlord;
but she said nothing.
"By the way, Mrs. Tube," continued Mr.
Duller, "Tauzer says you ought to have some
relief; and for myself, I have no objection to
your having it-it will make my rent all the
more secure. So I shall send the inspector to
inquire into your circumstances, and you had
better make up your mind what to say to him
quickly, as he shall very likely call upon you
to-morrow. By-the-way, I would advise you not
to let him see that canary-bird, as he will think,
if you can indulge in such luxuries, you cannot
be very much in need of parish relief. It seems
to be a good bird, and sings well-come, if you
like I will give you three shillings for it, and
then you will have no further trouble."
When poor Raphael heard these words his
heart leaped into his mouth, and he burst into
tears; while the heart of Magda was like to
break between grief and indignation.
The inhuman landlord had already raised his
hand to take down the cage, as if the bargain were
already concluded, when the poor woman, overcome
by the distress of her blind boy, said decidedly:
36 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
"I am very sorry, Mr. Duller, but I cannot
sell the bird. It is the principal friend that my
poor blind Raphael has in this world; and if it
were taken from him he would die for want of
it. No, sir, it is my poor child's only delight,
and I cannot part with it, no, not for its weight
in gold! Hush! Raphael, my son, Bright-eyes and
you will not be parted."
"Oh! very well, Mrs. Tube," said the landlord,
in a sarcastic manner, "if you do not choose to
take advantage of my liberal offer, it is no fault
of mine. Perhaps some day you will be sorry
for having refused it. Good day."
And so saying, he angrily left the room,
muttering something to himself as he strode
across the yard.
Next morning the widow was called upon by
the inspector of the poor for the district. His
inquiries revealed the fact that the family were
in very straitened circumstances, and also that
it was through no fault of their own that they
were so; and he was quite prepared to recom-
mend their case as one requiring immediate at-
tention. However, he caught sight of canary
Bright-eyes, and it immediately proved, as the
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 37
landlord prophesied it would do, a stumbling-
"People," said the inspector, "who apply for
parish relief are supposed to have enough to do
to keep themselves, and the guardians do not
encourage the keeping of pets out of the public
money; and therefore you must sell this canary
before I can do anything more in the matter."
This, as before, the widow firmly declined to
do, and the relief she had expected was withheld,
only, however, to make little Bright-eyes dearer
to all the family than ever.
The inspector, however, undertook to get
Magda into a free school; and as she had not
been to school since the death of her father, on
account of her mother being unable to pay for
her, the offer was gladly accepted. From that
time Magda attended school regularly in the
early part of the day, and in the afternoon and
evening worked as regularly for Master Tauzer,
But when Christmas was approaching fresh
troubles began to overtake the family. Continual
illness had prevented the widow from doing
anything towards the support of the house, and
38 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
the little that Magda was able to earn was
barely sufficient to keep the wolf from the
door, as the saying goes; while to make matters
worse, the winter was a very severe one. When
rent-day came round the poor woman had not
sufficient money to meet the demands of the
landlord, and she had every reason to fear that
he would grant her no indulgence. Everything
that could be sold had been disposed of, and the
old woman began to grumble and grieve in a
manner which greatly harassed poor Magda.
Tauzer, as usual at this season of the year, was
very busy, and so great was the demand for his
famous mugs and jars that all his hands, includ-
ing Magda, were kept hard at work at all hours.
Magda was delighted at this, and she turned out
her portion in the very best style--she thought
that as the money she would get for her work
would be a pleasure to her, so should her work
be a pleasure to those who bought it. By
working hard she felt she could earn the
quarter's rent, and what a welcome Christmas
present that would be for her mother! But to
do this she would have to cease attending school
during the mornings. She felt sure the teacher
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 39
would readily excuse her if she explained all
the circumstances, more especially as she had
only hitherto absented herself when she could
not possibly leave her mother. But she very
foolishly began to stay from school without first
consulting the master. First for a day or two,
and then for another day or two, did she remain
away, without giving any reason for her absence;
and by and by she forgot the necessity and
importance of doing so at all. If she did happen
to think of it, she calmed her conscience by
-aying to herself, "Oh, I will be able to explain
it all better afterwards." Whether she was
right or wrong in thus procrastinating, we shall
very soon discover.
TIE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL.
S0WO days before Christmas, Tauzer the
*.. potter had completed all the orders lie
J had in hands, and Magda's work, there-
fore, came to an end for the season; but she was
not to receive her wages till Christmas eve, when
the master had invited her and some others of
the workers to a party at his house.
Now it so happened, that the best behaved and
most diligent scholars of the free school were
also invited to a party in the school-house on the
evening before Christmas-eve, where, in addition
to a substantial meal, they also received pretty
presents. The wealthy people of the town
contributed towards the expenses of this en-
tertainment, and most of them were generally
present for a short time during the proceedings;
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 41
and on looking at the smiling faces of the holi-
day dressed children they felt the full force of
the words of our Saviour, It is more blessed to
give than to receive."
MAagda had heard all about this party from some
of her fellow-scholars, and never thinking of the
fact that her attendance had been very irregular,
she fancied she was entitled to attend and also to
receive a prize. For, had not the master com-
plimented her on her diligence, and said to her
that if she continued as she had been doing she
would be certain of a reward next (Clu.-ti :.-, as
she had not as yet attended school for many
months? So she was perfectly content to wait
till her turn came; but was anxious to be present
at the meeting which was about to be held, both
to witness the formal proceedings and to take
part in the fun which was sure to follow.
So on the afternoon of the appointed day she
said to her blind brother, Come, Raphael, let me
dress you up as nicely as I can, and we will try
and get into the hall of the school and see the
prizes presented. Although you can't see, it will
be better than sitting moping here alone all day,
which only makes you melancholy. You can
42 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
hear the joyous hum of the children, the singing,
and the beautiful music of the organ and the
military band; and I will tell you all about every-
thing I see around me. Come, Raphael, come, and
enjoy yourself once in a long time!"
The mother of the blind boy also pressed him
to go, and at last he placed his hands in those of
his sister, and it was arranged they should go
together. What a strange effect the fresh open
air had upon the countenance of the poor unfor-
tunate youth! No sooner had he got into the
street than his pale cheeks were enlivened by a
tinge of red-not deep, but deep enough to remove
the sickly wan-like expression which constantly
hung over them, and to indicate how much he
would be improved in health if he only had a
little more open-air exercise, or even a few days
amid the woods and green fields of the country.
As Magda and Raphael walked through the
market-place she explained the decorations and
contents of the various stalls as they passed-
the stalls, of course, being gorgeously got up in
honour of the natal day of our Saviour. She then
led him towards the school-house. Here they
found troops of children, divided into classes, and
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 43
headed by their teachers, all marching into their
appointed places, each one looking happier than
another. Presently Magda's own class passed
along, and not a few of the girls nodded to her in
a friendly and kindly manner; but as the last of
them were about to enter the door of the hall,
one little girl stepped out of her place and
hurriedly said to Magda:
"Oh, Magda, one of the boys has told the
master that you have wilfully stopped away
from school for more than a week, and he is very,
very angry. I hope it is not true;" and before
the alarmed Magda could say Yes" or No" the
little girl was back to her place. This accusation
cut Magda to the very heart. Who could have
been wicked enough to have fabricated such a
cruel falsehood? She had no enemies that she
knew of, forgetting the fact that there are always
those who are envious of others, and whose eyes
are always evil because those of others are good.
True, she had been absent from school for more
than a week; but it was not wilfully, oh no! it
was to assist her mother to make up the quarter's
rent: surely that could not be such a very great
crime! She suddenly remembered, however, that
44 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
she had not applied to the teacher for permission
to remain away, and immediately became anxious
to go to him and clear herself, feeling certain that
her explanation would be satisfactory. So taking
Raphael by the hand she endeavoured to enter
the hall, but the man at the door stopped her,
and would not allow her to enter. However,
Magda thought that she would be able to get in
after all the scholars and visitors had been
accommodated, so she waited on.
To poor blind Raphael, who could see nothing,
this waiting was very tedious, and he perfectly
shivered from the effects of the cold, as he was
quite unaccustomed to being out in the open air.
He stamped his feet and blew his fingers to warm
them, until at last Magda took off her woollen
apron and wrapped it round him, in such a way
that he could place his hands in it as in a muff.
A woman who kept a fruit-stall observed this
kindly action, and said to them both:
"You appear to be very cold, children; 'tis a
pity you can't get into the hall at once, but if
you like you can warm yourselves at this charcoal
fire in the meantime. The poor boy seems very
cold; he ought to have a pair of nice comfortable
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 45
gloves." Magda gladly accepted the good woman's
kind invitation, and taking Raphael by the hand,
gently led him to the fire and placed him in a
safe position before it.
"Is the little boy's eyesight bad, miss?" said the
"He is totally blind, ma'am," answered Magda,
The stall-keeper immediately felt for the poor
blind boy, and with that true sympathy which is
ever to be found among the honest poor she
looked over her stall for something to give him.
Selecting a nice large roasted apple, she placed
it in the hands of Raphael, exclaiming as she
"Poor child! poor child! Here, take this, my
boy, it will be both fire and food for a time; and
may God grant thee and thy good sister both a
Thanking the good woman for her kindness,
Magda was again refused admittance to the hall,
this time on the plea that it was already full,
and that there was not room "to drop a shilling
on the floor." As there were a great many other
persons standing about outside, Magda and Ra-
46 THE BLIND BUY OF DRESDEN.
phael waited on also. Presently through the open
windows of the hall came the melodious sounds
of soft heavenly music, which instantly after-
wards broke into a magnificent chorus sung by
five hundred children, and accompanied by the
swelling sounds of the organ. Raphael stood as
if entranced; such music he had never heard
before, and in his enthusiasm he forgot cold, home,
mother, Magda, everything-even Bright-eyes! in
his wonderment at the soul-inspiring music.
When, shortly afterwards, the choir began to sing
the song of the angels: "Glory to God in the
highest, on earth peace, good-will towards men,"
the eyes of the poor blind youth filled with
tears, as he whispered to his sister:
"Hark, Magda, hark to the voices of the
angels! They are singing their hallelujah, and
heaven is open to all who will listen to it. Oh
that I had wings to fly, I would join them, and
again behold the glorious sunshine! Oh that I
could only fly far away above the earth!"
"What!" said Magda, pleasantly, "and leave
mother and me here alone?"
Oh, I could always look upon you from the
windows of heaven, and occasionally fly up and
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 47
down," said the poor boy, strong in his simple
But what about little Bright-eyes, Raphael?"
said Magda, knowing her brother's weakness.
Oh, yes, yes, Magda! I forgot Bright-eyes for
a moment. I shall have to change my plan and
stay at home. No, sister, I shall not fly away."
"That you can't do, even if you wished,
Raphael," replied Magda, laughing; "but I'll tell
you what we must do, we must walk away
home, or mother will be cross at our being away so
long. As soon as the children have finished their
singing we must be off;" and in a few minutes
they were hurrying, hand in hand, through the
snow towards their humble abode. They had
such a story to tell their mother! and what be-
tween the story of what Magda had seen and
Raphael had heard, the old woman soon became
wearied and ordered them off to bed; where
Raphael the whole night did nothing but dream
of heaven and the angels, of flying through the
air, of roasted apples, and of Bright-eyes!
MAGDA IN PRISON.
X :XT morning, being that of Christmas-eve,
M otgda was up betimes, for she had
promised to assist Master Tauzer with
his pottery-stall in the market-place. After
she had been several times backwards and for-
wards from the workshop, the apprentice boy
Franz, whom the reader will remember, said to
her with a malicious smile:
Magda, there has been a town's officer after
you this morning, and he wants to see you very
particularly. I should have felt so frightened if
he had asked for me!"
The girl immediately felt faint; in an instant
she remembered the remark of the girl yesterday,
her absence from school,' the refusal to admit
iIn several parts of Germany children or parents, according
to who is to blame, are still liable to be arrested and imprisoned
for neglecting to attend school.
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 49
her to the hall, and lastly the spiteful utterance
of the apprentice boy; what was going to happen?
"An officer looking after me, Franz, did you
say?" said she.
Yes," replied the boy with a grin, "and he
said he wouldn't be long in finding you too."
Alas! it was too true! When the terrified
girl returned to the market-place with her basket,
there, at Tauzer's stall, stood the officer waiting
for her. In a peremptory manner he ordered her
to set down her basket and come along with him.
Perfectly terrified, Magda was unable to move,
and the officer and a stall-woman had to take
the basket from her and set it on the ground.
What has the girl been doing, that you should
take her off like this? I am sure she has not
been robbing Master Tauzer, for he speaks very
highly of her," said the honest old stall-keeper.
"The child knows well enough what she has
been doing, and you had better attend to your
own business, old woman," replied the officer
sternly; and placing his hand gently on Magda's
shoulder, he led her away, she walking quietly
with him, her head bowed down with shame, and
sobbing as if her very heart would break.
50 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
Of course, as she was conducted through the
streets every one looked at her, and the remarks
passed upon her position were made so loudly
and so rudely, that she could not help hearing
"Dear me," said one, "so young and so inno-
cent-looking, and yet a thief! ah! there is no
trusting to appearances in this world!"
"I suppose she has been trying to pass a bad
piece of money," said another and a more imag-
"Broken a shop-window, I suppose," said one
more charitably disposed.
"Too fond of Christmas sweets, and had not
money to buy them," was the remark of a fourth.
"Ah! you can see by her face that that girl is
a bad character," chimed in a would-be physiog-
nonist; and only one man hazarded a correct
opinion, when he said:
"More than likely she's been playing truant,
or something of that sort-she's no thief!"
Magda heard all these remarks, and they
pained her so much that she was scarcely able
to walk along. Even the officer felt for her, and
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 51
Magda Tube, you know the reason that I am
taking you with me, of course. The teacher of
the free school has reported that you have been
absent from your class for more than a week
without leave. If it is your own fault you will
be punished; but if your mother knows of it, and
allowed you to remain at home without sufficient
excuse, then you will be allowed to go free, and
your mother will be punished instead;" and with
the intention, evidently, of strengthening his
statement, he added on his own responsibility,
the words, "and a very proper thing too!"
"Mr. Officer," said the poor girl, looking up
bravely, "it was no fault of my mother's;" and
indeed it was not; her mother had only given
her consent on hearing that M rt.:t' Tauzer had
consented to her keeping away from school for
a few days only during the busy Christmas
season to give him what assistance she could;
and Mr. Tauzer, on the other hand, had thought
nothing at all about the matter, and gave his
consent without thinking.
The officer conducted Magda to the station-
house, where she was shown into a large room.
There were already in it a large number of loose
52 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
characters, all females, who had been taken up
for stealing, drunkenness, begging, and other
offences, and were indulging in noisy mirth,
blasphemy, and general blackguardism to such
an extent that poor Magda, who was entirely
innocent of all these things, was perfectly
shocked, and crept away into the furthermost
corner of the room, and buried her tearful face
in her hands. Her grief, however, was not for
herself. She thought only of her mother and her
poor blind brother Raphael.
"Oh!" she thought, "what will they do?
Mother cannot do anything for herself-not
even cut herself a piece of bread, or spread a
cover on the bed: she will wonder what has
become of me. Poor Raphael too, he is quite
unable to light a fire, or even if he did, he does
not know where the wood and charcoal are kept.
Oh dear! they will both be so cold. Poor little
Bright-eyes also will have no seed; there is some
in a drawer, but Raphael does not know where
it is, and even if he did he could not reach down
the cage. I have the money which the good
master paid me this morning in my pocket, and
the landlord will be there this afternoon for his
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 53
rent, and if mother has not it ready for him he
perhaps will turn every one of them into the
street. Oh how stupid I must have been not to
have spoken to the teacher first!"
All these and a great many other reflections
passed through the mind of Magda, as she sat,
half ashamed and half frightened, in that dread-
ful chamber, surrounded by so many evil com-
panions. Then she began to think who could
have told the teacher, and asked herself why the
latter should have resorted to such an extreme
measure as to cast her into prison. The school-
master's mind must have been poisoned against
her. Who could be her enemy? All in a moment
she thought of Franz, the apprentice of Tauzer.
She now remembered the fiendish glee with
which he told her in the morning that the officer
had been looking for her; and she also remem-
bered now, how the boy had never been on
friendly terms with her since the day she
showed that she could work better than he
could. It could be no one else. And in truth
Magda was right. It was indeed Franz, who
had misstated the information to the school-
master which had led to her arrest; and he had
54 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
otherwise endeavoured to injure Magda in the
eyes of Master Tauzer, with the expectation of
obtaining a more valuable Christmas-box than
Oh how slowly the hours dragged their weary
length along! It seemed an age. At last it
struck the hour of twelve, and dinner was
brought in for every one in the room, all being
served alike with a basin of hot broth and a
piece of dry bread. The regular frequenters of
the room immediately set to work and devoured
their food with all the ravenousness of hunger,
mingled with jeers about the poorness of the
soup and the sourness of the bread. But poor
Magda could not touch her portion. She was
too sick at heart, and every spoonful she tried to
take seemed to choke her. She therefore set it
aside, to the great amusement of the other pris-
oners, who ridiculed her every movement, and
fairly laughed in her face when she asked a
blessing before touching the food. The soup
was good enough, better, indeed, than they often
had at home, but her aching heart prevented her
partaking of it; but, by the advice of an old
beggar woman, she put the piece of dry bread in
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 55
her pocket, so that if she felt hungry she would
have it by her to relieve her hunger.
The hours of the afternoon passed along as
slowly as those of the morning; but somehow or
other they did not seem so tedious. The reason
of this perhaps was, that by and by her tears
ceased to flow, and she summoned courage enough
to approach a small iron-barred window which
looked into a side street, and from which she
could see the people passing to and fro. Being
Christmas-eve nearly every passenger in the street
carried something in their hand. Some had bas-
kets of apples, oranges, and other fruits; others
carried bunches of mistletoe or boughs of holly;
while some bore little Christmas-trees, or paper
parcels which evidently contained cakes, fruit,
sweets, or other good things. Nor were toys
wanting; gray-haired men and women staggered
along under loads of rocking-horses, Noah's arks,
dolls, hoops, and other articles from the children's
bazaar; while not a few children bore home their
own presents, and that in such a manner that
seemed certain to play havoc among them before
reaching home. Everything told of happy Christ-
mas, and of joyous gifts and gatherings.
56 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
But poor Magda coveted none of these good
and seasonable things. Her heart was too full,
and she thought only of the miserable Christmas-
eve which would be spent by those dearest to her
at her own fireside. Then, as the evening shades
began to fall upon the daylight, she remembered
that now was the time when she should have
been at Mr. Tauzer's party. This set her crying
again, and amid her tears she fell into a deep
-, --C- 7
SIF'FRE daylight next morning the thunder
...- f:. the cannons proclaimed the advent of
(' Christmas:day; and the bells of all the
belfries in Dresden rang out a merry peal, with
such force, that Magda suddenly started from her
slumber on the straw couch on which she had
gone to sleep on the previous evening. At first
she could not realize where she was, but after a
little reflection she gradually remembered; and
as she gazed round her, the heavy snorings of
the dissipated women in the room made the
painful fact that she was still in prison only too
apparent. "Christmas-day," she said in agony,
"and I in such a place as this!" and she gave
vent to a full flood of tears. She had formed
grand plans for the spending of this particular
Christmas. She was to have paid mother's rent,
5S THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
and also provided a nice dinner at home; she
had meant to have the humble room decked up
with holly and misletoe, and even to have had a
small Christmas-tree; she had meant to take
Raphael to church to hear the minister preach
the glad tidings of great joy, and to listen to the
music which so enraptured him. But how had
her fine schemes ended? Here she was, on
Christmas-day, a prisoner in a common jail-
thrown in as one of the outcasts and degraded
characters of society. No wonder the poor girl's
heart was like to break! In her distress a soft
voice whispered in her heart, "Call upon me in
the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and
thou shalt glorify me." Magda instinctively fell
upon her knees and uttered a brief and imploring
appeal to the Almighty to succour her in her
hour of trouble. When she rose she felt con-
siderably relieved, and ate with thankfulness
the piece of dry bread she had saved from the
previous day, after which she went and sat by
the window. She soon began to be weary of
idleness, although her thoughts were busy enough.
Being Christmas-day, she knew that her case
would not be heard until the morrow. When it
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 59
was, she felt sure that she would be able to clear
herself of any charge that might be brought
against her, and be at liberty once. again. That
she had done wrong, she quite admitted; but her
crime was so trifling, and could be so satisfactorily
explained, that her discharge was certain; all
these and other thoughts filled her mind as she
sat gazing out of the prison window. "If I
could only get something to do to pass the time,"
she said to herself, "how much better I should
feel. Something to sew, or knit, or anything-
anything is better than doing nothing."
Christmas-day passed, however, without any
relief, and when night came Magda again retired
to her comfortless couch. All things considered,
she slept very well; and in the morning, when
the matron brought in her breakfast, she found
courage to say to her:
"Oh, ma'am, I am so wearied with doing
nothing. Would you please let me help you
with your work ? I can sew, knit, do housework,
and a lot of other things."
This was language the matron was unaccus-
tomed to, and she looked upon Magda with
surprise. Her customers, as a rule, were rather
60 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
fond of idleness than otherwise, and it was rather
a novelty to hear one asking for work. However,
she was a good-hearted woman, and evidently
felt for the poor girl. So she said:
"Oh, I have plenty of work, and should be
very glad of assistance, but I never care to trust
persons in your condition. How am I to know
that you will not run away if I allow you tW go
into the yard?"
On this Magda told her the whole circum-
stances of her case, and promised faithfully to
remain until it had been decided by the magis-
trate. Her manner was so artless and truthful
that the matron believed her story at once, and
said that as soon as she had taken her breakfast
she would come for her. Accordingly, in a short
time afterwards she returned, and led Magda
out into the yard, greatly, of course, to the
surprise of the other prisoners. She set the girl
to do some cleaning, and she went to her work
with a will. Presently the matron appeared
with a plate of new bread and butter, and a mug
of nice warm milk, which she gave to Magda,
saying to her:
"I can see, my good girl, that you have been
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 01
accustomed to work, and that you can do it well
too. Here sit down and take this; it will do
you more good than the poor stuff you had for
breakfast, and you will be able to work better
afterwards for it. Keep up your heart, Magda,
you will be free again very soon; and then I
hope you and I will be better friends."
These kind words encouraged the girl greatly,
and after a short rest she again resumed work.
But she had scarcely done so when she was
alarmed by a loud noise in the street, and a
crowd of people approached, having, apparently,
some object of interest in their midst.
"The boy has no business to be in the street
by himself," cried one; "he is quite blind, and
he ought to have some one with him, and then
he would not have been run over."
"Blind! run over!" echoed Magda. "What
could it mean?" But she realized everything in
a moment, and rushed to the gate of the yard as
it was opened to admit two men, bearing between
them her brother Raphael! The poor boy's face
was deadly pale; his right arm hung listlessly
from his shoulder, and he was evidently suffering
62 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
"Raphael! Raphael! what has happened ?" cried
Magda in a state of wild excitement.
At the sound of his sister's voice a faint smile
passed over the blind boy's face; and as she ran
to him and kissed him, he exclaimed:
"Oh M.- ,oi: it is dreadful: where have you
been? Mother will die, I will die, and Bright-
eyes will die too!"
"But," answered Magda, not heeding her
brother's question, "how have you met with
"Why, Magda, you must know," said Raphael,
beginning to get a little cooler, "that mother
cried about you all night, and wanted to come to
see you herself, but her rheumatism was so bad
that she could not walk as far as the door; and
Bright-eyes picked up the last of his seed yester-
day morning, and has had nothing to eat since
except a few bread crumbs, and he won't sing,
and he looks just as if he was going to die. I
don't know how it was, but I saw it all, and, as
I could not stand it any longer, I came out to
look for you myself. I kept on the footpath
as far as I could, but as I was crossing a street
to get here, a carriage came along, the horse
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 63
knocked me down, the wheel went over my arm,
and I am afraid it is broken! Mother will be
so angry too, I am almost afraid to go home!"
and the poor boy tried to lift his bruised arm,
"Poor fellow," said Magda, "does it pain you
very much, Raphael?"
"Yes, sister, it does," he replied; "but if you
will only come home, mother will get well, and
I will get well, and Bright-eyes will sing again.
Oh, come away home, Magda, do!" and Raphael
clutched at his sister with his left hand, as if he
would have .i .1- -.. her home by force.
One of the prison officials came up at this mo-
ment, and on looking at Raphael's arm he said:
"Why, this boy's arm is broken; he must be
taken to the hospital at once;" and he gave
orders to some of his men to remove him there
without a moment's delay.
When Raphael heard this he cried, "Oh, no,
no! do not send me there! I want to go home
with Magda to my mother and Bright-eyes;'
and he clung to his sister in a perfect paroxysm
"Hush! Raphael, keep quiet," said Magda, in
G THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
a soothing tone; "it will be best for you to go
there, and I will go with you."
"And that you won't," said the jailer, "until
you have been before the magistrate, and even
then perhaps you won't;" and he tried to free
her from Raphael's grasp; but he cried bitterly
and refused to be separated from his sister.
A feeling of sympathy began to arise among
the crowd; and presently a gentleman stepped
forward, and after a few words aside to the
officer, he said to Raphael:
"Do not be alarmed, my poor boy. They will
not detain you at the hospital very long. They
will very soon set your arm, and then you can
go home; your sister will be at liberty in an
hour or two, and in the meantime I will go to
your mother and tell her all that has happened."
"Ah! sir," said Raphael, ever mindful of his
bird; "but what about Bright-eyes?"
The gentleman, having learned from Magda
who Bright-eyes was, turned to the boy and
said, "I will take him some of the finest seed he
ever picked in his life, and when you come home
in the afternoon you will hear him sing better
than ever;" and the gentleman immediately went
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 65
off to fulfil his promises. A conveyance was
obtained and Raphael was taken to the hospital,
while poor Magda, who was not allowed to go
beyond the gate, burst into tears as she returned
to her work, and wondered what new misfortune
was going to befall her.
r H -EN the strange gentleman, who had so
"~' iii kily interfered, called at the house of
e' widow Tube, he found the old woman
sitting in an arm-chair, weeping and sighing, and
in great grief at the disappearance of her daughter
Magda; but when he told her of the accident
that had befallen Raphael she fairly broke down
altogether. Getting on her feet as well as her
aching limbs would permit her, she groped in
a corner of the room for a staff to assist her;
she crippled out of her room in the direction
of the hospital without even locking the door
after her, for the gentleman had immediately
gone out to purchase the promised seed for
Bright-eyes. When he returned he found the
door open and the room empty, and it struck
him as the best thing he could do was to lock the
TIE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 67
door and take the key to the landlord. On his
way there he overtook poor Mrs. Tube, who was
limping along in great agony, with the assistance
of the staff. As a gentleman, he immediately
offered her his arm, which was gladly accepted;
and he walked with her to the gates of the
hospital, where his influence speedily obtained
Raphael had already arrived, and was sitting
on a couch until the surgeon was disengaged.
But as soon as he heard the voice of his mother
he was afraid she had come to scold him, and
implored her not to do so, promising that he
would never do such again. Her only answer
was to clasp him in her arms and kiss his
white cheeks with fervour. Presently the sur-
geon entered accompanied by his assistants, and
in a very short time they put Raphael's arm
all to rights so far as they could at present; but
his mother was told that he would have to
remain in the hospital for a short time, and in
the meantime she would require to go home; but
she could call again to-morrow and see her son.
Perfectly fatigued from want of food and rest,
and over-exertion, the poor woman almost crawled
68 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
along through the streets until she arrived at her
own door. To her surprise she found it locked,
and only then did she remember that she had
left the door open when she had hurried off to the
hospital. She thought some of her neighbours
had closed the door and taken the key to the
landlord, who lived close by, so she went to him
to get it again. He appeared surprised to see
her, and astonished her by saying that as the
whole family had mysteriously disappeared, one
after another, and the key had been brought to
him by a strange gentleman, he concluded they
had run away to avoid paying the rent, and he
had accordingly let the room to another family;
so Mrs. Tube would simply have to look out for
"But what have you done with my furniture
and other things that were in the room?" anx-
iously inquired the now terror-stricken woman.
"Oh, as for anything that was left in the
house," said the unfeeling landlord, "I have sent
them to the auctioneer to sell, and what little he
gets for them will not be sufficient to pay the
rent that is owing to me, I'll warrant."
The poor woman was now fairly overcome
TIHE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 69
with grief. Magda in prison, Raphael in the
hospital, herself in the street, and all her worldly
goods taken from her. Truly, she thought, God
has forsaken me! As she left the house of the
harsh landlord, to go she knew not whither, for
she had neither money, friends, nor place to lay
her head, and the weather was bitterly cold, she
met Franz, the apprentice of Tauzer, who, as has
already been stated, had laid the information
which led to Magda's arrest.
"Ah! Mrs. Tube," said he impudently, Master
Tauzer won't want to see your daughter any
more, I know. He has been to the court to-day
about her, and he also says that the first of a
matter of that kind is just once too often."
The poor woman's mind was in such a troubled
state that she scarcely understood the meaning
of the vulgar language used by the impudent
apprentice, so she passed on towards the police-
office, where she was informed that Magda would
not be at liberty until the following morning.
What was she to do? The exertion she had
undergone and the cold she had endured had
increased her sufferings to an almost unbearable
extent. In despair she turned in the direction
70 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
of a low lodging-house in the neighbourhood of
her own house, where beds were let for a small
sum per night; and although she had no money,
she thought that, being an old neighbour, the
proprietor of it would not object to trust her for
a night or two. The house was situated in what
was sarcastically called Paradise Row, and was
certainly one of the lowest localities in all
Dresden; and congregated about the door of the
house were a number of low-looking men and
women belonging to the poorest and lowest class
In a few minutes a man, who it appears was
the landlord, appeared, bearing with him a large
lighted lantern and a bunch of keys.
"Come along," said he in a rough voice to the
crowd, as he led the way up a steep, narrow,
ladder-like stair. On reaching the top he stood
upon a small platform, from which rose a stair
similar to the lower one, and as each person paid
the necessary sum for the night's accommodation
he stepped aside and allowed them to pass up-
wards. The poor widow allowed herself to be
the last to approach, and as she did so it was
with fear and trembling, for the appearance of
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 71
the man was repulsive and forbidding in the
"I hope you will trust me, sir; I have no
money, and-," she was about to tell him her
story, when he gruffly cut her short by saying:
"No trust here, old woman; no money, no bed;
so you may as well go down again."
She was turning to go, scarce knowing what
she was doing, when a woman called to her from
"Hollo, mother! have you nothing you can
give him in pledge? He'll take it fast enough,
as there are not many of us to-night."
Hastily untying her clean linen apron, the
widow offered it to the man. He looked at it
with a critical eye by the light of his lantern,
and having satisfied himself that it was worth
more than the favour asked, he sulkily said that
she might go upstairs for to-night at least. She
accordingly ascended the steep stair, and was
surprised to find herself in a room under the
roof of which she could scarcely stand upright.
Here were a number of dirty and dissipated
women sitting upon filthy beds of straw-
indeed, the whole place was in such a miserable
72 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
condition that it was painful to behold, and still
more so to describe; suffice- it to say that widow
Tube was thankful, in her extremity, even for
such accommodation as it afforded.
Thus the Tube family passed the night after
Christmas: MAagda in a prison, Raphael in an
hospital, and their mother in a wretched lodging-
Had Magda's prayer been forgotten?
J,.'*"b~P ~yy'' ~
LITTLE BRIGHT-EYES AGAIN.
T HE scene is an auction-room, crowded with
bargain-hunters, with a sprinkling of
e' people who have more curiosity than
money, and a boy who is the happy possessor of
threepence! The auctioneer is in his rostrum,
and in the exercise of his vocation he says:
Now, gentlemen, lot 27, a padlock and keys.
Who says two shillings for them? They are in
good order, and well worth more money. Who
says two shillings?"
I'll give threepence," said the boy who owned
"Threepence is offered."
Fourpence!" said a voice in the crowd; and at
fourpence they were knocked down, to the evident
discomfiture of the boy.
As the sale was proceeding Magda entered the
71 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
room, leading Raphael, who carried his arm in
a sling; they hesitated a little within the door,
when Raphael whispered to his sister:
"Magda, lead me close up to Bright-eyes, that
I may say good-bye to him."
She did so, and carefully lifted a corner of the
cover which was over the cage.
"Speak to him, Raphael, speak to him; they
are just going to sell him," said Magda hurriedly.
The blind boy gave a peculiar low sharp
whistle, with which he had formerly been
accustomed to call the bird; and in a moment
little Bright-eyes was in a state of wild excite-
ment, and chirriping like a canary demented.
"Leave that bird alone," cried the auctioneer's
man, angrily, and of course Magda dropped the
cover at once; but poor Raphael kept feeling the
cage with his fingers, and seemed to experience a
certain pleasure in so doing.
Presently the bird and cage were put up for
"Lot 42. A capital canary, and a good cage.
A beautiful specimen, as yellow as gold, and sings
like a nightingale. How much for it, gentlemen?"
said the auctioneer.
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 7.5
With a trembling hand Magda felt hurriedly
in her pocket. "Raphael," she said, "I have a
shilling; do you bid sixpence, and perhaps we
may get it for less than a shilling. Be bold, and
do as I tell you."
Raphael did so, and every person in the room
smiled, and turned to see who the adventurous
"Sevenpence," said a voice from the other
"Eigltpence, cried Raphael.
"Tenpence was offered by a person near the
A shilling," said Raphael in an effort between
hope and fear. His eagerness to possess the bird
was so apparent, that even the auctioneer paused
for a little, while the people turned again to
look at him. There stood the poor youth, a very
picture of trouble and grief. His pale face an-
xiously outstretched to catch every sound, as if
his life depended on the result; his sightless eyes;
his maimed arm slung across his chest; his whole
frame quivering with excitement. Beside him
stood Magda, scarcely less pitiful to look at, and
with her hands clasped, and her blues eyes full of
76 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
tears, ready to burst forth in joy or sorrow, as the
fate of Bright-eyes might be decided.
There was silence in the room for a few mo-
ments. Then people asked questions of one
another as to who the children were, or where
they came from: all pitied the poor boy and his
sister, and no one had the heart to bid against
them, although the bird was honestly worth a
couple of crowns, and under other circumstances
would have fetched that sum.
"Going for a shilling!" said the auctioneer,
evidently anxious to let Raphael have his favourite,
for before any one had time to bid further he
brought down his hammer, and Bright-eyes had
"gone" again into the possession of Raphael and
Magda. While the girl was paying the money
the boy was wild with excitement, and even the
bird appeared to share in the joy of the brother
and sister; indeed, the feeling spread among the
crowd, and the sale could not be proceeded
with until the delighted trio had left the room.
When business was resumed, the first article
put up was an old oil painting, all blackened over
with dirt and smoke, and apparently not worth
the trouble of carrying away; indeed, widow Tube
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 77
-for it was her things that were being sold, as
the reader may have already guessed-had used
it chiefly as a screen for the broken window in
her room; and it had become so obscured by ill-
usage and exposure, that the subject of it was
scarcely discernible, although an extra close
scrutiny revealed the figure of a man's face, with
a long beard.
"Next lot, an old oil-painting, subject unknown.
Who bids for it?" said the auctioneer.
"Threepence," cried the boy who had bid for
"Only threepence bid, gentlemen, for an oil-
painting which may perhaps be a Rubens or
a Rembrandt!" Then, raising his hammer, he
asked, "Who's the bidder?" He was on the
point of knocking it down to the boy, when
a gentleman who had just entered the room
caught sight of the picture, and without knowing
what price had been offered before, said, "I bid
five shillings," to the evident disgust of the boy,
who had made up his mind to carry home a large
picture for little money. The gentleman asked
to be allowed to look at the picture a little more
closely. When it was handed to him, he rubbed
78 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
a corner of it with his handkerchief, and appeared
satisfied that he had not offered too much to
begin with. A picture-dealer, who was present,
had his curiosity aroused, and he also asked to
look at it, when he immediately offered ten
shillings, when to the amazement and amuse-
ment of the crowd, and the profit of the
auctioneer, the two gentlemen began to bid
against each other, until it was finally knocked
down to the gentleman who had bid five shillings,
for the sum of five pounds ten shillings!
"You may congratulate yourself, sir," said the
dealer, as the purchaser walked off with his prize.
"The picture is a good one, and worth more than
double the amount you have paid for it."
FRIENDS IN NEED.
'" I-HIN the children left the auction-room,
w_ ith their beloved Bright-eyes, their
J' prospects were sad enough. Their mother
had succeeded in getting possession of a room
much more miserable even than the one she had
been turned out of; and through the intervention
of a magistrate she had secured a few articles of
furniture, which enabled her to make the place
habitable. The money which Magda had received
from Master Tauzer had all been expended. So
much had gone for the cost of her imprisonment;
the carriage which had conveyed Raphael to the
hospital had been paid for; so also had the rent
of the new room for a week in advance; and
now the last shilling which the family had in
the world had gone for Bright-eyes! But in the
house, when Magda and Raphael arrived. ex-
80 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
ulting over their good-fortune, there was neither
fuel, food, tea or coffee, nor even utensils to
cook them in even if they had had them! There
was not so much as a few seeds for Bright-eyes.
Truly a melancholy state of affairs!
"My dear children," said Mrs. Tube kindly-
late misfortunes had rendered her less irritable-
"I am afraid you have done a very foolish thing
in spending the last shilling we had in purchas-
ing the bird. Not that I am not glad to see
him again; but he will only be starved here.
Raphael," she continued, turning to her son, who,
with his pale face pressed against the cage, was
holding a low whistling conversation with Bright-
eyes, "I am afraid your mind is too much set
upon the canary, and if anything should happen
to him, it might hurt you."
"Oh, mother!" said Magda, "do not blame
Raphael: it was all my fault; but he was so
anxious to have it, that I could not refuse him.
I will go out at once and try and get food some-
how or another, and, as God is good, I am sure I
shall succeed. But I should like to go to school-
master first to explain why I stayed away, and
I am certain he will forgive me. May I, mother?"
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN 81
Mrs. Tube consented, and Magda was off in a
moment. She returned in about half an hour,
her face beaming with pleasure.
"Mother, mother," she exclaimed, "the teacher
believes me, and he is sorry he listened to all
the wicked stories that Franz told him. And
see! he has given me a beautiful present;" and
she undid a small parcel which she had in her
hand, and showed her mother a beautifully bound
pocket Bible. Mrs. Tube admired it very much,
and even moreso,when Magda expressed her inten-
tion to read a portion of it every day to Raphael.
"Mother," said Magda, after a time; "after
what the teacher has told me, I must go and see
Master Tauzer. He does not believe that he
ever said he would not employ me again, nor do
I. I will go at once and ask him for work," and
off she went again. In a short time she returned,
laden this time, like a donkey going to market,
with two large parcels, one under each arm.
"God has heard my prayer at last, mother,"
said the poor girl, in a perfect flutter of excite-
"Blessed be his holy name!"' piously responded
82 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
Magda proceeded to untie the parcels. There
were loaves of home-baked bread, a pound of
butter, a can of beautiful jelly, tea, coffee, sugar,
and a whole lot of other things for the table,
including a good-sized leg of mutton. Then
there were flour, fruit, and the other ingredients
of a pudding. "It can't be a Christmas one,
mother," said Magda, laughing, "so we will have
to make it a New Year's one!"
Then there were some articles of clothing,
stockings, gloves, a knitted woollen jacket, and
other things; but best of all, there were also
three bright new shillings!
"All these are from good Master Tauzer,
mother," said Magda, almost crying for joy,
"and he sends you his compliments, and wishes
you a happy New Year! He denies having said
anything against me; indeed, he has been in the
country for some days, and had no opportunity
of doing so, and he says that if he had been at
home, he would not have allowed me to have
been taken to prison at all; and he is going to
punish Franz for his falsehoods; and I am to go
to work whenever I please; and he is going to
speak to the teacher about me; and, oh, so many
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 83
more things, that I cannot remember any more
just now, I am so glad and happy! Oh, but
Raphael, I nearly forgot the principal present:
here is a packet of the very best seed that can
be bought in Dresden for Bright-eyes; wasn't it
thoughtful of Master Tauzer? Come, brother, let
us have a dance, while mother is preparing some-
thing to eat," and the happy girl seized hold of
the blind boy, and pulled him round the room,
when her mother reminded her that there could
be no tea without a pot, and cups and saucers,
and told her to go and get them. Raphael was
glad to get rid of his exuberant sister, as he was
anxious to attend to Bright-eyes.
When Magda was almost ready to go out, the
family were suddenly surprised by a tapping
sound at the door, which seemed to proceed from
more than one pair of hands. A gleam of fear
passed over Magda's face-she dreaded more bad
news. Her mother, however, told her to open
the door. As dark was just setting in, and the
room was in a close locality, Magda, when she
opened the door, could not at first see clearly
who was outside.
At length, however, the darkness revealed the
84 THE BLIND BOY OF Rl:ESDN.
figures of five children, two boys and three girls,
from four to thirteen years of age, standing in
the doorway, with a tall servant maid behind
them who bore a large basket on her arm. From
their dress, it was evident they were the children
of some person in affluent circumstances; but
who they were Magda had not the least idea.
The children stood shyly backwards, as if afraid
to approach, when the servant urged them
forward, saying to the eldest, who was a boy:
S"Now, Master George, go in quickly. You
know I have to return at once, while you have
to wait for your papa."
At this the boy led the way, and was instantly
followed by the others, the servant and her load
bringing up the rear, to the great surprise of
poor Mrs. Tube, who could not understand what
it all meant. Without saying a word, Master
George went straight to Raphael, who was
whistling to Bright-eyes, and placed a warm fur
cap on his head, and hung a pair of strong winter
boots over the arm which was resting on the
cage. The other boy followed, and placed a full
suit of clothes on the lap of the blind boy. They
were not new, but they were very little
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 85
worn, and were much better than any clothing
Raphael had been in possession of since his
father died; and, what was better, they were
very warm and strong, and fitted him exactly.
The eldest girl next presented Mrs. Tube with a
nice flannel petticoat; while the two younger
ones made their offerings to Magda in the form
of a frock, a cape, and a nice pair of shoes. All
this was done without a single word having
been spoken: the children were shy, and the
family were dumb with surprise and gratitude.
The maid broke the spell, saying:
"Why, what is the matter with you all? You
are all as silent as the dead, and the room is as
dark as a grave! Let us see if I can't make it
any more cheerful, and find some tongues for
She opened her basket and produced a candle
and candlestick from it, which she lighted; and
with it the shyness of the children gradually
The maid then proceeded to unpack her basket
on the table; and it would be hard to say which
were the happiest, the Tubes, the children, or the
maid herself, as she produced one thing after
86 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
another from her truly wonderful basket. It
seemed to contain everything: tea, coffee, rice,
flour, bread, butter, beef; spoons, knives and
forks; plates, cups and saucers, saucepans, a
frying pan, and gridiron; soap-towels, brushes;
and, as the maid said when she was laying them
out, everything else that is not included in what
I have said!"
At length Mrs. Tube found herself able to
"I am afraid, my dear children," she said in a
voice full of emotion, "that you have made a
mistake: these things cannot be meant for me."
"Oh no, Mrs. Tube," said the eldest girl, "there
is no mistake about it; swe never make mistakes,
do we, Mary?" she inquired turning to the maid.
"Oh yes, you do, miss," replied Mary; "but
you have not made one to-day."
Mrs. Tube was about to ask to whom she was
indebted for this great kindness, when a pleasant
voice from the door exclaimed:
"May we come in, Mrs. Tube?" while without
waiting for an answer there entered the room a
tall, handsome-looking gentleman, with a lady
on his arm.
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 87
"Oh," cried the children, gladly, "here comes
papa and mammal"
Mrs. Tube and Magda at once recognized him
as the gentleman they had seen at the hospital and
the police-office. "And how are you to day, Mrs.
Tube, and the blind boy and his sister?" said he
cheerfully, while his wife shook hands with
Magda and her mother. "I am afraid your
Christmas has not been a very merry one; but
we must make up for it by having a happy New
Year." ("The very words I used this morning,"
said Magda to herself.)
Raphael also recognized the voice of the gen-
tleman, and came forward and groped for his"
hand, which when he found it, he grasped fer-
vently. All three expressed their gratitude in
words which were really spoken from the heart.
But the gentleman told them they must thank
others as well as him. He then explained that
he had told the story of Mrs. Tube's misfortunes
in the newspaper, and had asked his fellow-
townsmen to assist him in doing something for
the unfortunate woman .and her children; and
he was glad to say that his appeal had been
liberally responded to, and, said he:
88 TIE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
"1 am now in a position to keep you above
want for some time to come," and with this he
placed a small purse of money in the poor
bewildered widow's hand, while he motioned to
his wife to look at Raphael. The poor blind
boy was rubbing his face with his new fur cap,
next he whistled something to Bright-eyes, who
chirruped something cheerful in response. In
another minute, he was feeling his boots all
over, and again he was holding up his suit of
clothes before his sightless face, as if in admira-
tion of them, while a smile of joyful satisfaction
lightened up the pale colour of his cheeks. The
poor youth was, indeed, truly happy! The
gentleman then announced that it was time for
him and his family to be going, but before doing
so, he said:
"Oh, Mrs. Tube, I nearly forgot to tell you
that you will receive a load of coals and wood
to-morrow, which I hope will keep you and the
children warm all the winter. Now then, my
dears, say good-bye to the family, and you can
come and see them some other day. Good-day,
Mrs. Tube; good-day, Magda, and be a good girl;
and good-day, Raphael, and see and do not forget
rIE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 89
to take care of Bright-eyes! And a happy New
Year to you all!"
As soon as they had departed, the pent-up
feelings of Magda and her mother burst forth,
and they both found relief in a flood of joyful
"I knew, mother," said Magda, "that God would
answer my prayer."
"The Lord is indeed good, and his mercy
endureth for ever! Let us thank him on our
knees." And the widow and her children knelt
down and poured forth their thanks to God for
the kindness he had vouchsafed to the widow
and the fatherless.
After enjoying a hearty meal, and indulging
in a long conversation on the remarkable inci-
dents of the day, the children retired to rest;
but it was some time before their mother could
compose her mind to go to bed. She sat by the
fireside meditating on the strange and unexpected
turn that circumstances had taken. She then
thought of the purse which the gentleman had
given her, and on emptying it in her lap, was
surprised to find that it contained no fewer
than five gold sovereigns! Her first thought,
90 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
however, was not for herself, but for her poor
"Oh, Raphael, my son," said she, "all this and
more-even my own life would I gladly give, if
the Almighty would only restore thy sight."
By and by the fatigues and excitement of the
day began to make her feel drowsy, and she had
just repeated a portion of Scripture to herself-
"Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in
him, and he shall bring it to pass!" when she
THE TURN OF THE TIDE.
EXT morning was the advent of the New
SYear, and with it came another piece of
dren; if, indeed, it can be called good fortune, in
getting her own property back again. The sale
of her effects, in consequence of the unexpected
price brought by the old oil painting, had pro-
duced so much more than the landlord's claim and
the charges of the auctioneer, that there was a
balance of upwards of five pounds to be returned
to her. The landlord had not the courage to
bring the money himself, but he sent it by one of
his clerks, with a note expressing his regret at
having had to resort to such an extreme step,
and a hope that the sum inclosed would be useful
to Mrs. Tube and her family. Poor man! little
92 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN
did he know the real service his harsh conduct
had rendered the widow
But alas, this flood of joy brought its reaction.
The sudden change in her circumstances had
endowed Mrs. Tube with a temporary strength,
which, when the pressure upon it was removed,
completely gave way; a more severe attack of
rheumatism than she had ever experienced came
on, and she was forced to keep her bed in a more
helpless condition than ever. She fretted, too, so
much about the blindness of her boy, and the
apparent hopelessness of its removal, that she
made herself worse than she might otherwise
Of course Magda, having so much to do at
home, could not go to the potter's to work, nor
indeed did she require to do so in the meantime;
but she frequently looked in to see Master Tauzer
and always received a kindly welcome, and an
invitation to come to work whenever she felt so
inclined. But the care of her mother and
brother occupied all her time, so she had to
dismiss all idea of going out to work from her
mind at present. After her home-work was over
for the day, she would make Raphael draw his
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 93
chair towards his mother's bedside, and taking her
own, she would take her Bible and read to them
both from the blessed book.
"Oh, Raphael she would sometimes say, if
Jesus were only here upon earth now, and I
thought he would open your eyes so that you
would once more behold the blessed light of
heaven, I would journey to the end of the world
to implore his assistance!"
"I am afraid that will never be, Magda," said
the poor boy hopelessly. I may say that I do
not know what it is to see, so that I do not
know what it is that I have lost. No, mother," he
continued, this world is one of darkness to me,
and will be as long as I remain in it; and were
it not for you, mother, and Magda, and Bright-
eyes, I really do not care how soon I leave, so
that I can reach the bright world above, where
blindness and other ailments are unknown!-
What is it really, after all; to be able to see?
I can feel and hear, and that is enough for
"Ah, Raphawl," said his mother, who had been
carefully listening to the voice of her son, "if you
only knew what a curious and valuable thing
94 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
sight is, you would not talk in that manner. But
I am not able to explain it to you."
Perhaps I could better explain it to the boy,
MIrs. Tube," said a strange voice which proceeded
from a gentleman, who, with their benefactor,
had entered the room unperceived, and had been
listening to the foregoing conversation.
Poor Raphael was dreadfully frightened when
he heard that all he had said had been listened to
by strangers, and hurriedly endeavoured to escape
into a corner of the room; but Mr. Gloaming-
that was the name of the gentleman-caught him
by the arm, and said kindly to him:
"No, no, my boy, don't run away; this gentle-
man who has come with me is one of the most
eminent physicians in Dresden, and I have
brought him here to see whether he cannot
do something for your mother, and also for your
own eyes. Do not be alarmed, Raphael, I promise
you he won't hurt you."
So, my boy," said the physician kindly, taking
Raphael by the left hand, "you would like to
know what it is to be able to see. Well, even
the wisest men could not answer that ques-
THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN. 95
The physician then explained in a lengthened
and practical manner, the structure and functions
of the eye. It is too long and too scientific for
repetition here, more particularly as he made ex-
periments and observations upon Raphael's in-
dividual case in answer to questions put to him
by Mr. Gloaming,which would be of little interest
to our readers; but the result of his observations
and experiments was, that he entertained strong
hopes of being able to restore Raphael's sight.
He had seen worse cases which had been suc-
cessfully treated, and there were favourable
circumstances in this case, which rendered
success almost certain. He then said:
"The first thing that will require to be done,
Mr. Gloaming, will be to put the boy under a
course of strengthening medicine; you can easily
perceive that he is in a very weak state of health
at present, and of course this closed confined
room and street will not tend to improve his
condition. After that, we must try change of air.
That will be also good for Mrs. Tube, so we will
be able to cure both at once. So as soon as the
weather begins to get warmer, I would recom-
mend them to be taken to the baths at Teplitz,
96 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
the waters of which are an infallible cure for
rheumatism, and of general benefit to almost
every known disease or complaint."
Mr. Gloaming agreed with all his friend had
said, and agreed to perform his share in the
matter, if Mrs. Tube would place herself in his
hands. This the old woman promised to do
without hesitation, and so the matter was settled,
the poor blind boy being perfectly willing to do
anything that was required of him, seeing that he
really had no alternative. The physician then
gave Mrs. Tube prescriptions for herself and
Raphael, to be used in the meantime, and pro-
mised to see them again very soon. Both the
gentlemen then left amid the heartfelt thanks of
the family for their kindness.
: t ,. tt .
THE WONDERFUL CURE.
'T length the weary weeks of winter passed
Saway, and the more genial days of spring
j'- began to put in an appearance. Raphael
and his mother, the former especially, had greatly
improved under the course of medicine they had
taken by order of the physician; and, thanks to
Mr. Gloaming, they had wanted for nothing that
would at all tend to make them comfortable.
The same gentleman had also arranged for their
removal to Teplitz, and he had provided a wagon
for the conveyance of the Tube family to the
baths. The morning of their departure had
arrived. Magda had arranged a mattress and
pillows in the bottom of the cart for the comfort
of her mother, while she had provided chairs for
herself and Raphael. A good stock of provisions
had also been seen to, and altogether the holiday
98 THE BLIND BOY OF DRESDEN.
seemed likely to be a pleasant one; and each one
prayed that it might also be a beneficial and
profitable one. Raphael, of course, took Bright-
eyes with him, covering his cage to a certain
extent with a warm woollen cloth, to shelter him
from the sharp air of the country.
The party started, and as they jogged quietly
along the country roads Magda and Raphael
were delighted, and so well might they be.
Magda had not seen the country for years, and
it now seemed to her nothing less than an earthly
paradise. Raphael was enraptured with the sing--
ing of the birds and the sweet perfume of the
flowers; while the prospect of perhaps recovering
his sight, together with his improved condition
of health, made him enjoy everything with which
he came in contact, Magda, of course, explaining
everything as they passed along. As for Bright-
eyes, he was perfectly beside himself for joy, and
whistled and sung as if his life depended on his
efforts. The poor mother was too prostrate to.
say much, but the air seemed to do her good,
and her spirits rallied wonderfully as she listened
to the conversation and witnessed the delight of