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cattle in the fields, been in the habit of sharing the meals she carried out with her with the poor, only begging them to keep the secret. The privations she imposed on herself had a serious effect on her health and growth ; but still, when she grew up, her whole soul was fixed on charity; and though she had to work for her own support, she still contrived to effect marvels for others.
A poor blind widow, with an idiot daughter, lived a mile and a half from her cottage ; but for fifteen years Madeleine never failed to walk to them, to feed them, set their house in order, and cheer them up to wait for her coming the next day. About as far off in another direction was a poor girl in such a horrible state of leprosy, that - shocking to relate — her own family had abandoned her, and for eighteen months she lay in an outhouse, where no one came near her but Madeleine Saunier, who came twice a day to give her the little nourishment she could take, and to dress her frightful wounds; and at last she died in the arms of this her only friend.
In 1840, Madeleine was nearly drowned in trying to cross a swelling torrent that lay between her and one of her daily pensioners, and when she was blamed for the rashness, she only said, “I could not help it ; I could not go yesterday, I was obliged to go to-day.”
In the course of a cold winter, Madeleine was nursing a dying woman named Mancel, who lived on the hillside, in a hovel more like a wild beast's den than the home of a human creature. Towards the end of a long night, Madeleine had lighted a few green sticks to endeavor to lessen the intense cold, when the miserable door, which was only closed by a stone on the floor, was pushed aside, and through the smoke, against the snow, the dark outline of a wolf was seen, ready to leap into the room. All Madeleine could do was to spring to the door, and
hold it fast, pulling up everything she could to keep it shut, as the beast bounded against it, while she shouted and called in all the tones she could assume, in hopes that the wolf would fancy the garrison more
Whether he were thus deceived or not, he was hungry enough to besiege her till her strength was nearly exhausted, and then took himself off at daylight.
A few hours after the sick woman died, but Madeleine could not bear to leave the poor corpse to the mercy of the wolf, and going to the nearest cottage implored permission to place it there till the burial could take place. Then again, over the snow into the wolf-haunted solitude, back she went; she took the body on her shoulders, and, bending under her burthen, she safely brought it to the cottage, where she fell on her knees, and thanked God for her safety. The next day, the wolf's footsteps on the snow showed that he had spent the night in prowling round the hut, and that its frail defence had not excluded him from entering it.
France, with all its faults, has always been distinguished for the pure, disinterested honor it shows to high merit for its own sake, and Madeleine had already received a testimony of respect from good Queen Amélie, before the Monthyon prize was decreed to her.
One of the prizes was given to Étienne Lucas, a little boy of six and a half, who saw a child of two fall into the river Eure. He knew the danger, for one of his sisters had lately been drowned; but running to the spot, he waded about fifteen paces in the stream, caught the little one, and drew him to the bank, keeping his head carefully above water. But the bank was too steep for the little fellow to climb, and he could only stand screaming till a man came and lifted out both. A gold medal was given to him, and a scholarship at an educational establishment. Indeed, the rescuers from water, from fire, and all the accidents to which human life is liable, would be too many to attempt to record, and having described a few, we must leave our readers to seek the rest for themselves in that roll of golden deeds, the records of the Prix de Vertu.
THE LOSS OF THE DRAKE AND THE MAGPIE.
most gallant and self-devoted deeds in the most simple and natural way, we should especially reckon captains in the navy. With them it is an understood rule, that, happen what may, the commanding officer is to be the last to secure his own life, — the last to leave the ship in extremity. Many and many a brave life has thus been given, but the spirit nurtured by such examples is worth infinitely more than even the continued service of the persons concerned could have been. And for themselves, this world is not all, and have we not read, that “ He who will save his life shall lose it, and he who will lose his life shall save it?"
The Newfoundland coast is a peculiarly dangerous one, from the dense fogs that hang over the water, caused by the warm waters of the Gulfstream ; which, rushing up from the equator, here come in contact with the cold currents from the pole, and send up such heavy vapor, that day can sometimes scarcely be discerned from night, and even at little more than arm's length objects cannot be distinguished, while from without the mist looks like a thick sheer precipice of snow.
In such a fearful fog, on the morning of the 20th of June, 1822, the small schooner, Drake, struck suddenly upon a rock, and almost immediately fell over on her side, the waves breaking over her. Her commander, Captain Baker, ordered her masts to be cut away, in hopes of lightening her so that she might right herself, but in vain. One boat was washed away, another upset as soon as she was launched, and there only remained the small boat called the captain's gig. The ship was fast breaking up, and the only hope was that the crew might reach a small rock, the point of which could be seen above the waves, at a distance that the fog made it difficult to calculate, but it was hoped might not be too great. A man named Lennard seized a rope, and sprang into the sea, but the current was too strong for him, he was carried away in an opposite direction, and was obliged to be dragged on board again. Then the boatswain, whose name was Turner, volunteered to make the attempt in the gig, taking a rope fastened round his body. The crew cheered him after the gallant fashion of British seamen, though they were all hanging on by the ropes to the ship, with the sea breaking over them, and threatening every moment to dash the vessel to pieces. Anxiously they watched Turner in his boat, as he made his way to within a few feet of the rock. There it was lifted high and higher by a huge wave, then hurled down on the rock and shattered to pieces; but the brave boatswain was safe, and contrived to keep his hold of the rope and to scramble upon the stone.
Another great wave, almost immediately after, heaved up the remains of the ship, and dashed her down close to this rock of safety, and Captain Baker, giving up the hope of saving her, commanded the crew to leave her and make their way to it. For the first time he met with disobedience. With one voice they refused to leave the wreck unless they saw him before them in safety. Calmly he renewed