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as deeply as ever, indeed far more deeply. I know its and your value now-but-"

“I am sure George has not meant

“I don't know what he has meant to be! I know what he really is, -as sound-hearted a fellow as ever lived. It will be a great relief to my own mind when he's ordained next Easter and living here to help you all. No, let me go back and do the little work I'm found as yet worthy to do in God's vast vineyard. And we can all meet so happily now at Saville’s. He seems to enjoy, for a variety, to have an English home, at least so long as it is not only a centre of hospitality, but capable of some still further improvement in luxury and beauty, and he has his chaste Diana, 'pure and bright,' to be its Queen.

“ Sweet Diana! I can never cease to wonder how she ever could

marry him.”

Try marriage yourself, Dulcie, and then you'll be saved a deal of needless pity of us poor married folk !” and he laughed and longed to say a kind word for the Vicar of Burnt Ash, but was truly kind, and refrained.

“I am very grateful personally that she did marry him, and to him for his kindness and ready hospitality to us all. What a wholesome as well as pleasant home it gave Freda all last winter. She cannot call Diana ignorant or old-fashioned, far less narrow-minded and bigoted in her most sweet and practical piety. Who can live with Diana without being the better for it, although all her preaching is by silent example ?”

“ And perhaps she is not the worse example now for having once lived with an elder sister Dulcibella."

Dulcibella met this smile with another.

“Who at Diana's age was sadly too fond of preaching, I fear, and to her eldest brother as well as to her younger sisters.”

“But preaching of all kinds was ten years ago, at least in these remote Herefordshire meadows, far more in vogue than at present. If you were a preacher you were also a doer. I don't mean to say but what I like you better now, dear, for I do; and you, you yourself seem quieter, happier than a year or two ago.”

“Ah, yes, Arthur, life seemed so long, so lonely, and I—1—often so faint by the way.”

“And now that is my turn. May God grant me a like happy issue out of my affliction.”

He kissed her tenderly, gravely; and then, with never a word more, turned back and finished his letter to Mrs. Pflegging, saying that he should be returning on the morrow, although Mrs. Erle and the children would complete their month in the country.

“Going home, and all alone, Arthur ?" said Kathleen that same evening, as her slow mind gathered this fact after a flute and violin duet with this brother which had entranced mischievous Charlie as well as sensitive-natured little Ludovick. You'll be moped to death. Why doesn't Dulcie go with you ? and we are all so happy as we are."

“I have not been asked,” said Dulcibella, with half sad, half amused smile, as Arthur's eyes turned towards her in surprise and grave inquiry. Dare I ask you ?” he said then.

Nonsense, Arthur !-how can you think of such a thing, Kitty ?” interposed Freda in hot displeasure and anxiety. “ How can father do without her—the house full of little children, and our own home from school, of all times ?”

“I! Am I a child ?” asked Charlie, a fair stalwart Erle of fifteen.

“I–I think 'father' will try to do without her," said Mr. Erle, simultaneously, thereby proving himself not asleep, and rising to put his hand on her shoulder, “if she wishes to go. Should you like to

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go, my dear?”

“I–I don't know. Oh, I should like to go! but I could not bear to leave


!“I do perceive here a divided duty,'” quoted merry Charlie, sententiously. “Can't do both, Dulcie ; must make your choice."

Stay,” said Arthur.

Go!” said his father, but a moment behind him in generosity. His prevailed, and she went. Dulcie and Arthur had one very happy week's renewal of “that sweet early love, a sister's for a brother.” Then Margaret Wollaston, in a note about a "Girl Friendly Member," remarked that the heat made Mr. Erle look pale; and neither would his daughter stay, nor his son keep her a day longer than just that her return shouldn't awaken alarm.

Good-bye; it has been delightful to have you all to myself again, but I don't say au revoir. I won't ask you to leave him again,” were Arthur's last words as be leapt out of her carriage on the guard's whistle at Paddington, “and tell Queenie, she must not be tempted to prolong her stay, or I shall be found like that poor delightful mouse of our childhood,-starved in the midst of plenty, dead of a broken heart!”

Aunt Elizabeth had kept on her lodgings at No. 5, and was more and more making it her home. An eastern and a western home she must always have, so long as Adelaide Meyrick lived on, and at Church Street, Kensington, and the Arthur Erles in Bromley Street. Ludovick and Awdrey were her pupils when she was at Stepney, and their mother's for the most part when she was away, for their united humble establishment now boasted what was to be a succession of two good young maidens, under Mrs. Pflegging's training; and Arthur's time was more and more in demand for literary and philanthropic work. Of how many novel forms of good works he had been pioneer, originator, and organiser, and then, (when clergy or others had been ready to step in,) quietly drawn into the background, and taken the lower place of mere lay helper, perhaps only Aunt Elizabeth had any idea : as also of the real reason that, dearly as he had loved to teach his stepchildren, he had felt it right to give up much of this task to others so soon as those others both existed and were ready for the work. And, for herself, occupation of all kinds grew around her; and Stepney, with its prim, clean, little modern streets, and dark, old so-called " gardens" and courts, was growing so dear to her, that her brother and Dulcie sometimes said, half jealously, that it was replacing Brayscombe in her affections.

“No, never,” she answered stoutly, with sweet indignation," but Brayscombe is too sweet, for daily use, to unaccustomed eyes !—and oh there are so few to work in London,-and especially in the vast east end. Even if Arthur left it for any reason, I think I must still stay and make my home there, if only to carry on our new "Reformed School of Cookery.' And she did not read the answering look in Dulcie's eyes

amiss. That if Brayscombe, -still her earthly paradise, and one “ heart's desire” and centre-did cease to be her home before George was ready for it,--or he marry and so cease to need her,—she, too, would cast in her lot in this unromantic, ill-favoured portion of the Great Master's Vineyard ; “content,”-and far more than content,—" to fill a little space so He were glorified.”




All through the darkling wild of life
To hold a golden thread
Of childish innocence, to walk
Where little children tread,
Eyes meekly set on God's blue skies,
Heart with a love uncold,
Who would not copy such a life,
Follow this Saint of old ?

Thus in the dark December days
We keep his feast-day bright,
Who leads a throng innumerable
Of children clad in white,
Far over hill and dale they come
From thorpe and shining sea,
To kneel where shepherds hailed before
A Child's Nativity.
For meet it is that those who fain
Would worship Mary's Child,
Should follow first the saintly steps
Of him who undefiled
All through an evil world kept bright
His childish love for God,
Blessed the pure in heart like him
Shall they not see the LORD ?


And on the troubled wave to-day
His name is whispered still,
Whose chapels lovely in decay
Crown many a sea-girt hill,
Who calmed of old for sailor folk
The tempests of the sea,
For Innocence can always find

A way, dear LORD, to Thee! Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, was remarkable for the childish purity and loveableness of his character. “He kept his child's name through life," says an old writer. He is the patron saint of children, sailors, travellers, and maidens; the stanzas are divided accordingly. (See his “Life” for the reasons of his being patron to such estates of life.)



Or some there are on life's rough way,
Poor pilgrims bound for heaven,
Who long to hear a word of peace,
To whisper sin's forgiven,
O blessed Saint, thy name to such
Speaks of a FATHER's Breast,
Where souls, as weary babes, may find
For all their heart-aches, rest.


And say, beloved, that legend quaint
Of this good bishop told,
Who gave to maidens portionless
His silver and his gold,
Has it for thee no mystery
Of Love's unselfish grace,
She gives to all who lack, yet strives
To hide her generous face?


Wouldst thou, my soul, then join one day
Saint Nicolas above?
Pray thou become like him a child
In purity, in love ;
Ever remembering it was said
By CHRIST the Undefiled,
“None can My heaven enter in
But as a little child.”




WITHIN a mile of a city we have here a lesser town of some 3,000 inhabitants. There is much of the sombre about it,-high grey walls, drab-clothed inhabitants, melancholy circumstances, and sad disease, and yet, viewed all round, as things should be, there are surely silver linings. Residence within these walls is the last resort,often an enforced one,-of despair; to knock at this small gate with its grating above, at midnight, perhaps, as I have heard human beings do, and that urgently,—is an act of direst, mournfulest necessity : but what

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