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The whole of the Poem is too long to be “ English Catholic's Vade-mecum," are quoted.
good books, but should like to have Queries.
the opinion of Churchman's Companion
before purchasing either of them. Will CHURCH TEACHING FOR SUNDAY
you also tell me whether it is right to SCHOOLS. SIR,—Would you kindly tell a Sub
kneel, as some people do, at the words scriber who greatly appreciates your
“O come let us worship,” in the Venite ?
-Yours, &c., AGATHA. Magazine (in your next issue if possible) the names of some books containing INSTRUCTION FOR THE FAMILIES OF thorough Church principles suitable for
THE CLERGY. reading to Sunday School Children,
SIR,-Will you, or some of your corages from seven to twelve; likewise names of Church Papers and Magazines
respondents, kindly recommend me a
good book of instruction or hints for of the same principles as your own, but suitable for children.
clergymen's wives? also what is the Having lived
tradition connected with the words eight years abroad, I feel at a loss in
“Jesu Mercy ?"-Yours, &c., NAOMI. supplying myself with the right kind. The Churchman's Companion I have
THE SANCTUS. taken many years.-Yours, &c., M.C.M.
SIR,- Would you or any of your cor
respondents kindly inform me why peoCHURCH DECORATION.
ple bow the head at the words “Holy, A LOVER OF FLOWERS will be glad Holy, Holy?” —Yours, &c., M. M. F. to learn in the next number of the Churchman's Companion, what are the PRONUNCIATION OF THE NAME EVELYN, best flowers to cultivate for Church SIR-I presume on being an old Decorations in the country for the sea- though not regular subscriber to trouble sons of Christmas, Easter, and Whit- you on the following point: We have suntide.
just christened our little girl Evelyn, the name of the heroine of Everley, a
tale published by Mr. Masters, but find SIR,–Will you or a correspondent there is a difference of opinion as recommend me a book of Private Prayers, to whether it should be pronounced stating publisher and price? I have the Evelyn or Ēvelyn. If you would not “Narrow Way,” but want something mind giving your opinion in the next rather fuller than that. I bave heard notices it would greatly oblige,-Yours, that the “Treasury of Devotion," and &c., E. M.
BOOK OF PRIVATE DEVOTION.
Notices to Correspondents. M. J. A Priest has a perfect right to separate the Celebration of the Holy Communion from the Morning Service, but not to omit the latter altogether ; nor is he justified in omitting the Athanasian Creed.
G. H. had better apply to the Sisters of S. Margaret's, East Grinstead, who are experts in all that concerns Church Embroidery; or to the Sisters of 8. Thomas the Martyr, Oxford.
Claribel. A letter will be forwarded to you when you send your address.
In the north-west of Germany, very near the north-eastern frontier of France, and not far from the town of Strasbourg, stands the picturesque little village of Nieder Brünnen. Situated in a fertile valley, surrounded by richly wooded slopes, and watered by the river Rhine, it is indeed a lovely spot, and has always attracted the admiration of the tourists who frequent this part of the continent in the summer season. The village itself is all that a picturesque village of this nineteenth century ought to be, lying as it does in its little nest of woods and hills.
The neat cottages clustered in groups here and there, each with its porch of trained grape vine and little plot of garden ground, the homely little chapel with its picturesque graveyard, the well ordered “ Wirthshaus," from which no sound of broil or tumult was ever known to proceed, all at the time of which we speak, bore testimony to the spirit of contented industry which prevailed amongst the inhabitants. Nearly all the latter were peasants engaged in agriculture, but there were also amongst them several small land-owners, men who lived on little farms which had descended to them from their fathers, and who devoted their whole lives to cultivating their few acres of ground without much thought or care for anything beyond. They were a simple unsophisticated race of men, generally reserved and tenacious as to character, but withal happy and contented, for they easily managed to earn enough for the supply of their very moderate wants; they were fond of home and domestic life, had for the most part sound religious principles, and were deeply interested in anything that affected the honour or dishonour of their beloved “ Vaterland.”
These little farms or homesteads, as we might call them in England, are not situated in the village itself, but on the slopes which sur
round it. The meadows, fertilized by the Rhine, are covered with rich verdure, and afford abundant pasturage to large numbers of sheep and cattle. Cheese and butter making is carried on largely at these farms, and is indeed almost the daily occupation of the farmers' wives. It is however to one of these homesteads in particular that I would now direct your attention, for it is on such humble ground that the scene of this little sketch is laid. This farm has long been known as the “Tannenhaus,” probably on account of a thick plantation of fir trees which is situated just behind it. The house is a large, low, oldfashioned-looking place, completely covered with vines and luxuriant creepers. In front of the house is a little paved courtyard surrounded by a low stone wall and shaded with poplar trees. Behind the house is a luxuriant and rather overgrown garden, and beyond this an orchard, full of fruit trees of various kinds. Behind this orchard, and separated from it only by a low stone stile, is the dark pine wood before mentioned, which stretches up to the top of the slope, and forms a fitting background for the rural picture.
The Tannenhaus was occupied by a man named Jacob Stürmer, whose ancestors had held the farm for many successive generations. Though now getting into years, Jacob was a hale, industrious man, and his working powers were by no means impaired. With the assistance of his grandson Hans and two or three peasants from the village, he cultivated his little farm, whilst his daughter-in-law and Natalie his granddaughter milked the cows, made the butter and cheese, and performed the domestic duties in the household. In time gone by old Jacob Stürmer had had two stalwart sons to assist him in his labours. Both had died early in life, the elder from the effects of an accident, leaving one son, the aforesaid Hans, who with his mother had since then found a home at the Tannenhaus. Jacob's younger son Christian, wearying of the dull laborious life at home, had gone to Paris, where he became apprentice to a carver and gilder. He married in the course of a few years a young French girl, an orphan, whose father had fought in the Revolution of 1848, and whose grandfather had fallen at Waterloo. This marriage was for some time a source of great vexation to old Jacob. “Were there not enough trades at home,” he would grumble," for my boy to follow, without his going to Paris for a livelihood; and were there not many maidens to choose from in his own Fatherland, that he must needs marry a Frenchwoman?”
Poor Christian's married happiness was, however, but of short duration. He died of typhus fever about three years after his marriage, and his widow went to keep the house of an invalid relative residing in Paris, taking with her her only child, the little Natalie. When the latter was about ten years old, her mother died, and the little girl was left totally unprovided for. It was then that Jacob Stürmer, forgetting all real or imagined causes of annoyance, proved himself a true friend to the little orphan. He started at once for Paris, a formidable journey to the home-loving old man, and brought back with him a little darkeyed lively French girl, as a welcome, though rather incongruous, addition to his family circle. She was like a small sunbeam brightening the dull every-day life at the Tannenhaus, and her grandfather, Aunt Gretchen, and Cousin Hans vied with each other in petting the little orphan. She had been well and carefully educated by her mother, and was a thoughtful intelligent child in spite of her vivacious temperament. Although she was obliged to take her share of the daily work, and to assist her aunt in domestic matters, she did not give up intellectual pursuits, and ber grandfather, finding at one time that she pined for books and instruction, sent her for a few hours every day to an old French Abbé in reduced circumstances who was passing the evening of his days at Nieder Brünnen, and who was only too glad to instruct little Natalie for a slight remuneration.
By this means the French tastes and characteristics which appeared inherent in Natalie as a child were fostered and increased. As she advanced towards womanhood they developed more and more. At the time of which I am now speaking she was in her twentieth year, nearly ten years having elapsed since she first came to the “ Tannenhaus,” and in mind and character she was far above most girls of her class and age. She was so different from her grandfather and her aunt and cousin, so essentially unlike them in mind and disposition, that although they loved her thoroughly, I doubt whether they could understand her nature at all, even if they had tried to do so.
The other Stürmers were all cast in the same mould, so to speak. Old Jacob was of a silent, reticent nature, hard-working, and plodding almost to a fault, a Lutheran in his religion, and little given to demonstrations of any kind; but beneath all this he had a warm heart, and a great affection for both his grandchildren. Aunt Gretchen was a thorough-going "Hausfrau," wrapped up in her pickles and preserves, in her dairy and poultry-yard. Though also quiet and reserved, she was charitable and warm-hearted ; she was fond of Natalie, but
her real affection was centred in her only son Hans, to whom she was devoted, her devotion being however of a very undemonstrative nature. As for Hans he closely resembled his grandfather. Of the same quiet undemonstrative nature, he was content to go on day after day occupied in directing, or often in assisting, in the work of the farm, anxious only to fulfil his daily duties to the best of his abilities. Upright and honest in his dealings, prompt in attention to his religious duties, kind and charitable to the poor, Hans was universally esteemed in the village and neighbourhood. There were, however, in spite of his quiet exterior, two feelings hidden in the inmost recesses of Hans's heart, of which none but himself were conscious. The first was an intense love of his Fatherland, and an ever-increasing desire for the day when all Saxons, Bavarians, Würtemburgers, and even Austrians should be one —“Ein einziges Deutschland.” His second and still stronger feeling was the desire to gain the love of his cousin Natalie. He had loved her from her childhood with the firm enduring devotion of a strong nature, but the cousins were so diametrically opposite in tastes and feelings that there was but little in common between them. Their political opinions alone formed a fertile ground for disagreement and argument. Hans had an almost bigoted dislike to France and everything French, whilst Natalie's prejudices were all on the other side. Her early life in Paris had had a deep and lasting influence on her character; she had been accustomed to hear from her mother, history after history of the Peninsular War, in which her grandfather had taken part. In her youthful enthusiasm she had dreamed night and day of the glories of the Empire, and raised Napoleon and his soldiers to a pinnacle of almost superhuman glory. Much of her girlish admiration she had transferred to the then reigning Emperor Louis Napoleon. The character, actions, and political prestige of the latter was the theme on which Natalie loved to expatiate, and many an argument she held with Cousin Hans in consequence. She had not the least idea of the feeling Hans entertained for her ; she loved him as a cousin, but nothing beyond. She teased him constantly, laughed at his slowness of apprehension and dull plodding ways, as she called them, but despite all this Hans's love for her grew stronger day by day, and he felt that he could not keep it concealed from her much longer.
Such was the state of the family affairs at the Tannenhaus of Nieder Brünnen in the beginning of August, 1870, when universal excitement was caused in Germany by the outbreak of war with France.