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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1889-09-21
Page Number31
Word Count794
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleDark or Fair. A Story of Town and Country
article text


u Dark or Fair."





Paul Fizzele, too, was indulging in happy dreams that afternoon, as he sat in his studio, regarding with earnestness the unfinished picture which stood on the easel before him.

With Nellie for a central figure, her expressive

"On and on went Reuben, through scorching heat and flying sparks." (See tale entitled "Dark or Fair.")

countenance portraying the beauty of her character, written with faultless pencil on those perfect features, what could he not attain ? Surely his ideal would be at last embodied, and repre sented to the world. And then what would follow ? Fame, wealth, and he fondly hoped, love ; for then he could venture to ask Polly to Bhare

his name, and help him to preserve the fame he

had won.

"The Children of the People," represents a shadowed way, beyond which a beautiful light is ming. In the shelter of an arch little children are sitting, huddled together in their tattered garments, arms entwined, as if in mutual sym pathy lay their only comfort. On a parapet of the bridge stands a woman, young and beautiful, clasping a sleeping babe in her arms, and gazing down into the shadowed waters with a look so xpreBSive of sorrow, shame, and misery that one

enters into the mystery of that ruined life at a glance, and feels the silent anguish of that broken


Down the river, athwart the moonlight, comes a little yacht, in which three young men, handsome, wealthy, and reckless, are going to destruction ; for they see not the danger so near their frail vessel; and they feel no fear. The woman's face seems to express a knowledge of this; and she appears to hold her babe's face toward that one who stands bareheaded on the deck, so bold and reckless. A look of mingled reproach and revenge is blended with her own unspeakable misery, as if she realised his danger. And over and above all this there beams the silvery light, piercing the .gloomy cloud in the background ; while through

the soft mist of moonlit fleecy clouds beyond beams the beauty of. an angel's form-the face bearing the impress of the divine motherhood of nature, so loving, pitiful, and kind alike to the suffering, the erring, and the sorrowful.

! With one hand she points heavenward, as if she would speak of hope, pf faith, of purest love. With the other she scatters flowers of Paradise, to gladden life's shadowed paths with their fragrance and beauty. A flower falls upon the bosom'of the sleeping babe, another on the sleep ing form of the little crossing sweeper, another on the head of the ragged city arab, who seems to smile in his sleep as if he heard the angel's blessing. A lily rests upon the dark robe of the weary child of sin, and seems to shed a ray of light upon the . darkened life. And the angel smiles as if some-better, holier thought had entered the poor, demented brain, and softened

the hardened heart] which a villain's crime had


Yes, it was a lovely picture; but it needed another figure, which Nellie was to supply-the earth-angel of blessed Charity, who should rescue the children of the people from sorrow

such as this.

Paul intended to represent a lady, richly clad, lifting the little match-girl from the shadowed archway, where she had fallen asleep-too weary to answer the policeman's summons, " move on," but watched over by the angel's love. The lady's mantle should be of glistening white ; her neck and arms encircled with lovely pearls; her brow crowned with brilliants which sparkled in the soft light of angelic influence, till in letters of beauty

could be traced the words, "all men are brethren." : '

A carriage waiting near suggested the re moval of the little girl to a happier resting place; but tho face of the lady-that should be the crowning glory of the picture ! So beautifully compassionate, so purely womanly; her robes unsullied by contact with earth's sinfulness ; her soul protected by the angel's influence ; the em blem of woman's devotion and unselfish love.

Paul rests his face upon his hand, and looks upon the labor of love he has undertaken. Then he sinks upon his knees, as in the presence of the angels ; his higher, better nature all aglow with holy enthusiasm. And the room seems filled with music, soft and sweet, the low refrain of which appears to re-echo the beautiful prayer of the soul of love ; " Nearer, my God, to thee ;

nearer to thee."