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'What is the meaning of this bold intrusion? After the manner you have behaved, how dare you come hither to bring disgrace on your family?'
"Paul looked up in my face with a calm, though melancholy smile, and pointing to the uniform of the garde mobile, which he still wore, said modestly: Believe me, uncle, I have not disgraced the division of the army in which I have served, and can produce satisfactory testimonials to that effect. I am now on leave solely on account of bad health, and can assure you my character as a soldier is not a bad one. As to my former conduct, no one can reflect upon it with greater detestation than I myself do.'
"All very fine talking,' interrupted I, with impatience; 'your illness is, doubtless, the result of intemperance; your pockets are empty; and so you find it convenient to palm yourself on me, until you can retrieve health and purse; when you will, doubtless, begin a new score of misdeeds.' "Paul hung down his head as I thus spoke; and then replied in a low voice, that he had indeed feared I should be harder to convince than others had been, and yet, uncle,' he continued, 'I am indeed changed. This is neither the time nor the place to enter into details; but though it is true I now come to you seeking refuge and help, I well know it would be labour lost to try to purchase your benefits by hypocritical professions. All I now ask of you is to believe I am no longer the daring offender you once knew, and let time tell the rest.' 'So be it,' retorted I, not in the most friendly tone; and taking the poor boy by the arm, I led him into my house.
"From the very first hour I could not conceal from myself that Paul was undoubtedly changed, and that essentially to his advantage. So far from boasting of his exploits, it was not without difficulty that I could draw from him any particulars of his military career; and yet my questions elicited many a trait of daring courage; while all was told with modest reserve, and an evident desire to extol his comrades above himself.
"But the evening was destined to surprise me most of all. I had put up a bed for him in my own room; and before lying down he asked my permission to say his evening prayer.
"Your evening prayer!' echoed I, with a loud laugh, (for I was then a scorner of all religion-a regular heathen;) 'the prayer of a garde mobile, or rather of a Parisian street jackanapes, commonly called un enfant de Paris, must be something worth hearing; and so, prithee, boy, make haste,
and give us thy prayer to the best advantage.' I spoke bitterly, for I felt indignant at the part I supposed him to be acting; but Paul looked at me more in sorrow than in anger, as he replied, with deep earnestness: 'Do not, I entreat you, dear uncle, make a jest of this matter. There is no need for me to speak aloud when I pour out my heart before God; and soon, I trust, you will judge differently, not only of me, but of prayer, and learn by your own experience that it is no mere matter of form.'
"From this time forth I watched my nephew most narrowly, and that with much still remaining suspicion; for I could not banish from my mind the idea, that some sly design or unworthy motive lay at the root of his religious profession. Ere long, however, I was compelled to acknowledge the injustice of this judgment.
"Paul's state of health grew daily worse; and the pulmonary affection, which had been the cause of his leaving the army, made such rapid progress as to excite the most serious apprehensions of even a speedy termination of his life. In moments of intense suffering, which were, indeed, of frequent occurrence, he would clasp his hands, and with an upward look of filial submission, murmur out: 'Have pity, O my Father! and help me; yet not my will, but thine be done!' or, 'Precious Saviour! I know and am sure that all things must work together for good to them who love thee.'
"But what most of all affected me was his unchanging meekness and contentment. He was satisfied with every arrangement, and grateful for the most trifling attention to his comfort, so that we were all struck with it; and I one day observed to my wife, that Paul's change of character was the most extraordinary thing I had ever met with; more especially the manner in which he spoke of God's goodness towards him, at the very time he was enduring such agony of body, and anticipating death, filled me, I said, with astonishment.
"True,' replied my wife; 'but I'll tell you a secret which accounts for it-Paul is a Christian, a true Christian.'
"What do you mean by that?' retorted I; 'neither you nor I are heathens, I hope.'
“Ah! my dear husband,' replied she, 'not quite heathens, perhaps; and yet, not real Christians. For, I put it to yourself, has God been hitherto the chief subject of our thoughts, or His law the rule of our actions? We scarcely knew the name of Jesus formerly; or, at all events, when
we did pronounce it, no sense of benefit derived from Him, or dependence on Him for salvation, accompanied the word. But in my conversation with Paul I have learned things which constitute my deepest joy.'
"In your intercourse with Paul you have learned new things! and, pray, what are they?'
"Listen,' said she. 'Some little time ago, as I was one day trying to prop up the poor boy, in one of his sad fits of suffocation, a little book fell out from beneath his pillow; I afterwards picked it up from the floor, and saw it was a New Testament; of which I had indeed heard, but had never before seen one. The following day I mentioned my discovery to Paul. He then related to me that a soldier, who had been mortally wounded close beside him, had given him this book, and expired immediately afterwards, that the dying man had bade him read it,-that he had done so, and that this legacy had proved to him the treasure of all treasures, the source of his change of character, his peace and his joy.
'Every day since, when he and I have been alone, Paul has looked out passages of the Testament for me to read to him; and he has given me such plain and simple explanations of what I did not understand, that I soon began to believe and to love the great good news;-that God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Paul is anxious to speak to you also of these things, but he is afraid; and, indeed, the poor boy blames himself much for this coward fear, which he calls treachery towards his Saviour, and is constantly praying that he may be strengthened to confess HIM, not only before you, but before the whole world.'
"This communication of my wife's," said the landlord, with deep feeling, "made a great impression on me. I went oftener than before to my nephew's sick-bed, and, blessed be God, he soon began to tell me also of the Gospel of Christ; and God, who is rich in mercy, bestowed His effectual blessing on Paul's instructions, so that not only my wife, my son and daughter, but my own hardened self, received the truth, and are able to testify, as the Samaritans did of old: 'Now we believe, not because of his saying; for we ourselves know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
"Paul is no longer among us," continued the host, with a trembling voice; "the Lord has called him home. But," said he, as he laid his hand on the New Testament, which
had first attracted the traveller's attention, "this is the dumb, and yet most eloquent witness of the immeasurable goodness of God, and the instrument of conveying that goodness to us. From this precious volume, read with attention and prayer, we have learned the testimony of God concerning His Son; and the written Word being engraven in our hearts by the power of the Spirit, has become to us the source of unvarying peace, and of a calm happiness, for which we have cause to bless God both in time and eternity."-Tract Magazine.
PEEPS AT FOREIGN LANDS.
CONSTANTINOPLE; OR, THE CITY OF THE SULTAN. "UNCLE," said Percy, as the young people seated themselves around a cheerful fire to hear from him some further account of his travels, "when you left us yesterday, you promised to tell us something about Constantinople the next time we met."
"I did, my boy; and I am now quite prepared to fulfil that promise. Were we all at this moment seated in a boat on the Bosphorus,* we should have the city of Constantinople before us, with its high and beautiful mosques and pointed minarets, its walls, towers, and houses; some stretching along the shores, and reflecting their shapes on the bosom of the glassy deep; others creeping up the hills upon which the city is built, rising higher and higher from the silvery waters till they seem almost to reach the sky. On both sides of us we should have the green and fruitful shores of Europe and Asia. On our right would be the harbour of the Golden Horn, full of large ships at anchor, and swarming with small vessels sailing about in all directions; and behind us would be the porpoises tumbling about in the water. The whole scene forms one of the most delightful pictures I ever beheld."
"Indeed it must be a picture!" said Mary. "You have given us such a nice account of it, that I seem to see it."
"Yes," added Richard, "and I think I could make a drawing of it:" and, taking a piece of paper, he began to make a number of lines. "I should put the Bosphorus here, and the hills of Europe and Asia on each side of us, and the Golden Horn on that side of the city, with the sea
• A channel leading from Constantinople into the Black Sea.
on the other side; and"- Richard hesitated, and then asked: "But, uncle, what shall I put on the other two sides ?"
Constantinople has only three sides. The city comes to a point opposite the Bosphorus. On the side which joins the continent of Europe, it is bounded by three walls, with towers for its defence. There are also some towards the harbour. But, before we enter the city, I must tell you, or, perhaps, you can tell me, what was its name before it was called Constantinople?"
Mary shook her head; and Percy doubted whether even Richard, who was now reading ancient history, could answer the question. Richard, however, after thinking a moment or two, remembered that he had been told that some Greek emigrants formed a settlement there, and called it Byzantium; but that it was taken from them by the Romans, who destroyed it some hundreds of years afterwards.
"Very true," observed their uncle. "It was rebuilt, however, by Constantine the Great, who gave it the name of New Rome; but it was afterwards called Constantinople, or the City of Constantine, in honour of its founder."
"But," inquired Mary, "how came the Turks to live there?"
"About the middle of the fifteenth century they besieged it, under their leader, Mohammed the Second, and took it. The gap in the wall through which the Turks entered the city has never been repaired, and is now full of trees and shrubs.
"Could we now enter the city, we should find the streets very badly paved, narrow, dark, and steep; there are no names to them, and no lamps, for the people are generally in doors after sunset; and those who want to go anywhere at night must take a lantern with them, to prevent their stumbling over the dogs which prowl about the city without masters. The houses are built chiefly of wood."
"Then Constantinople, after all, is not such a fine place inside as it looks outside," said Percy, who had been hoping to hear of beautiful houses, and splendid streets, and fine squares.
"Most persons are a little disappointed on entering the city; yet there are, in all parts, handsome, and even splendid buildings; and the houses of the rich, though there is nothing very attractive about them outside, are nevertheless very tastefully and comfortably fitted up within. They do not have fire-places like ours; but they are warmed in winter by hot pans placed under a kind of table. These are some