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moved by reason of difficulty in raising panion Cot," from "In memoriam little the necessary funds for keeping him on Regi M., Jersey," which I only received from week to week.
this morning, September 10th, although I beg to acknowledge the following it bears the date of April 7th. It has kind gifts since July, when you last been mislaid and lying at the “Convakindly inserted a list for me : Nell, lescent Home" instead of being imme28. 6d.; Little Amy, 28. ; School Chil- diately forwarded. I should like the dren, Thorpe Malsor, 1s. 6d.; P., 38. 6d.; sender to know that our address is, A. and M. Rayson, 1s. ; M. Whately, “ Seaside Home for Sick Children, 158., and the “Sunday Friend;" Misses Coatham, Redcar, Yorkshire," and that D., C. C., and L., Parcel of Clothes; the $1. so long mislaid shall be specially Thurland Castle, Box of Toys; Lucy applied to buying new blankets for the Hapytton, £1. 58.; Royal Manor, 108., “Churchman's Companion Cot” this several parcels of clothes and books. I winter.-Yours, &c., MARY TERESA B. particularly beg to acknowledge a dona- BEWICKE, Secretary and Treasurer, tion of £1. to the “Churchman's Com- Coulby Manor, Middlesbro'.
Notices to Correspondents. A Lover of Flowers. For Christmas decoration, holly with its symbolical crimson drops among the unfading green leaves, and the pure white snowberry are best; at Easter, nothing can be more lovely than the primroses and violets of the season ; and at Whitsuntide, lilies-of-the-valley and early roses ; but if hothouse flowers are obtainable, the exquisite white camellia must always be the queen of flowers for the altar.
Naomi. Some years since Mr. Paget published a book entitled “The Owlet of Owlstone Edge,” which showed so graphically what clergymen's wives ought not to be, that we think it might be more useful than most others in showing what they ought both to avoid and to do.
M. M. F. Have you forgotten the vision of the prophet Isaiah (vi. 4) when the very posts of the door were moved at the voice of him that cried, “Holy, holy, holy ?" and that of S. John (Rev. iv. 10) when at the same sound the four and twenty elders fell down before Him Who sat upon the throne ? and shall not human beings bow their heads also in acknowledging that God alone is Holy, the Eternal Three in One ?
E. M. We have never heard the name pronounced otherwise than Ēvelyn.
Miss W. is anxious we should inform the author of the two little books “ Precepts of the Church” that absence from home has alone prevented her from acknowledging receipt of them with very grateful thanks—in reply to her query for reward books suitable to choristers.
Agatha. We must be excused from entering into a discussion on such a subject as the lining of stoles.
Letters from M. A. C. and Cyril are too late for this month.
Accepted : “Beneath the shadow of the Pierced Hand;" “ The Tide of Life and Death ;" “ JESUS stood on the shore."
Declined with thanks : “Under the shadow of Thy wing ; " " Rev. vii. 14;" and “ Lines."
(Continued from p. 266.) The bombardment of Strasbourg had begun in earnest, for General Uhrich who had possession of the city refused to surrender. Batteries were raised north and south of the town, and the work of destruction commenced. The dull boom of the cannon was heard at intervals throughout the day, even at the Tannenhaus, and the inhabitants of Nieder Brünnen were constantly on the look-out for messengers bringing intelligence from the besieged city. One morning about this time a message arrived at the Tannenhaus from Hans, who was with his regiment at Strasbourg. He had sustained a wound in the knee which though not serious, quite incapacitated him for military service for a short time. As the temporary hospital was overcrowded, and bis home so near, he had obtained leave to retire there for a few days, in order that he might more speedily recover. They were to expect him that evening, and great was Frau Stürmer's delight. To see Hans again was bliss, even if it were a wound that brought him home. She was occupied the whole morning in preparing remedies for the wound, and dainty dishes to tempt the invalid's appetite. Natalie alone, for reasons of her own, did not rejoice in the anticipation of her cousin's return. Towards evening Hans arrived. He was rather thinner and paler than when he had left them, and looked as if he had passed through some hardships ; he was also very
lame from his wound, but he was cheerful, more lively indeed than his wont, inquiring after all the cows, goats, pigs, and live stock on the farm with the greatest interest. He was not a little surprised at seeing the young French soldier there, and when the whole affair was explained to him, rather apologetically, by his mother and grandfather, he shook his head gravely, pronounced it
a very unwise step, and advised that the fact of Sévier's being in refuge there should be carefully concealed, or he would not answer for the consequences. To the stranger himself Hans was courteous though not very cordial. At supper the war of course became the topic of discussion. Hans related his recent experiences, and gave a detailed account of what was then taking place at Strasbourg, when he suddenly seemed to feel that much of his conversation must necessarily be repugnant to the French soldier, and he came to rather an abrupt standstill. Sévier, on the other hand, knowing that his presence must be a restraint on the family party, strolled out into the orchard with his pipe as soon as he had finished his supper, with a wistful glance at Natalie, as if half inviting her to follow. It was of no use, to-night Natalie had other claims upon her time. No sooner was the meal over, and Hans laid upon the sofa in the sitting-room, (the elders being still in the kitchen,) than he called her to him.
Now then, cousin dear, come and sit here on the footstool by the side of the sofa, and hear how glad I am to see your dear little face
Natalie brought the footstool, sat down obediently, and smiledrather a lame smile it was though. Hans stroked her head paternally.
“ And what has my little Mädchen been doing with herself all these weeks? I loved to have your letters, and read them so often. Why did you not write again, dear one ?”
The first question was easy to answer, not so the latter. Natalie chose the former.
“Doing !" she replied, "oh, ever so many things, Hans. Poor little Kraus the sick calf, you remember, died, but the black and white goat that was hurt so, soon got well. The cows are all right, I think, and there are two new calves since you were here. I don't think the poultry have been doing quite so well; they have been in the stubble you know, and I fancy some of them must have had more grain than is good for them. We have been lucky with the butter and cheeses lately, and I have helped Aunt Gretchen as much as I could.”
“ Bravo,” said Hans, patting her shoulder. “Why what a famous little Hausfrau you are getting—you will rival the 'Mutterchen' herself in time.”
“I hope not,” thought Natalie, suppressing a yawn, “surely I can't be growing much like her, or Louis would not care to be with me.”
Silence for a moment or two, broken again by Hans.
“Are you glad to see your lover back again, Natalie ? I have been so reckoning on this meeting, dear, haven't you one kiss for me ?”
Natalie rose and kissed him twice or three times as calmly and composedly as possible. “Dear Hans,” she said, you know how glad I am to see you
back again,” then rather shocked at the falseness of her words, she became suddenly silent and resumed her seat.
If only she and Hans could have been merely cousins as they used to be, how warmly she could have greeted him, how affectionate and natural her manner would have been! If that fatal promise had never been given, or more strictly speaking, acquiesced in by her. Now there was a chill, a restraint in her demeanour, quite unnatural to her, which Hans could not but observe, and which he did not understand. Presently he continued,
“I am just the same as I was when I went away, cousin. I have thought only of you, and loved no one but you. You believe me, cousin, you know I am faithful, don't you ?”
Yes," murmured Natalie faintly. She felt that she could not answer him, as he so unconsciously reproached her. Oh, if she could but get away, if some one would only come into the room to put an end to this dreadful interview !
Hans continued slowly, and looking narrowly at his cousin, “I hope you have not had, I hope you never will have cause to regret the promise you made to me the night before I went away when we were looking at your favourite view, dearest ?”
This was worst of all-Natalie was in despair. She blushed, stammered, and I do not know what she would have disclosed in her confusion if rescue had not appeared in the shape of old Jacob, who suddenly threw open the door ushering in his friend and crony Franz Kehler, and exclaiming with conscious pride
“Here he is, Franz, here he is, here is our boy Hans, fresh from the seat of war; we shall hear all the news from him. Come, Natalie, girl, light our pipes for us, and bring us our beer—we'll sit in here to-night and have a chat with Hans.”
Natalie, delighted at being thus unexpectedly set free, hastened to supply the old men with what they wanted, and then she rushed away eager to give vent to the feelings she had been repressing for so long. Where could she take refuge ? Her own little room had been given up to the use of Louis Sévier, whilst she shared one with her aunt. She could not go there. No one in the house could be long safe from the intrusion of Aunt Gretchen's busy footstep, so Natalie escaped into the orchard regardless of the gathering twilight and the falling dew, (for the September evenings closed in quickly,) and retreating to the furthest corner under the shadow of the plantation, she gave way to an outburst of bitter tears. She felt so base and treacherous. Hans was lavishing upon her heart the best of earthly treasures, the love of a good man, and yet she could not return it. She, naturally so open and ingenuous, was acting a dishonourable part. What to do she knew not-she was pledged to Hans, but how could she ask him to release her from her promise without confessing her love for one who as yet had not spoken of love to her. This was impossible. She could not go on living here in the same house with two young men, bound for life to the one, and passionately fond of the other. Well, that would not last long, Louis must leave them soon at any rateshe ought to find comfort in the thought, but did it bring her comfort ? No, only a sense of overwhelming desolation-she did so wish to do what was right, poor little thing, but everything seemed so confused and inextricable that she knew not how to act, and so she indulged in that feminine luxury, “a good cry,” and wept on until the stars began to twinkle in the evening sky, and silence reigned around, broken only by the occasional dismal boom from the batteries at Strasbourg. There was a footfall, a rustling in the wood behind her, and Louis Sévier emerged. His footsteps paused, then went on-paused again for a moment-finally approached her, whilst he exclaimed in astonishment,
“Ciel! who is it? you, Nata? why, you little fairy, I could not imagine what it was so white curled up in the corner. You'll catch cold, mon enfant, the dew is falling. I thought you were indoors, waiting on the wounded hero No. 2. What are you doing here, and crying too ?” said the young man, putting his hand on her shoulder and looking into her face, “why, darling, what is the matter?”
Natalie jumped up immediately, and murmured something about returning to the house.
“Not just yet," said Louis, drawing her towards the low stone stile which divided the orchard from the pine wood, “sit down there a minute, one word first, Nata—is there anything between you and that fellow yonder,” pointing to the house, “is he anything to you-anything beyond a cousin I mean ?”