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yard there is a tombstone with the fol.
Will you, sir, or any of your correspondents be so kind as to inform me of the meaning of chimney-money ? Yours, &c., IGNORAMUS.
churches it is the custom for the whole congregation to join the Priest in saying the General Thanksgiving. Will you, or a correspondent, kindly tell me whether this is correct?-Yours, &c., AGATHA.
MARGARET ALASOQUES. SIR,—Can any of your readers tell me who Margaret Alasoques was? May I further ask if any one who has them would give the volumes of the 1st Series of the Churchman's Companion containing “The Daughters of the Fair Elms” to a Guild Library, in a poor part of London Address H. L., Oak Lodge, Croydon, Surrey.
THE GENERAL THANKSGIVING.
Notices to Correspondents. Mary. Your question is one for which a solution has been sought by every Christian who has ever seen a beloved friend pass away from this visible sphere—but it is one to which no positive answer can be returned, although the universal consent of the Church in all ages has been given to the belief that there will be complete recognition in the future state. The history of Lazarus and Dives of course strongly corroborates this view, as well as the striking account of the scene in Hades, given in the 14th chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.
Aubrey and Inquirer. There is no other authority for the practice, but the general custom of the Church, which has been in abeyance amongst us for some time, and is now revived.
Mabel. Mrs. B. Bewicke, Coulby Manor, Middlesbro', will answer any letters relative to the “ Seaside Home for Sick Children and the Free Cot."
L. W. Two excellent little books for choristers have been sent to us by the author to be forwarded to you, which will reach you in due course.
L. Gulley. We have already printed the hymn “One by One" you have kindly sent us.
Nyta. The mistake arose from the fact of Mr. Lumley having moved to Gower Street, but Mr. Masters will supply you with a copy of “ Sintram" if you address to him at 78, New Bond Street.
Mina. We regret that we cannot insert your appeal, because we find that orders for work given to amateurs interferes with the trade of those whose livelihood depends on their labour.
Accepted, “The Spirit’s under chiming;” “The Holy Cross ;” and “Olden Times,” if the author does not object to some delay before we are likely to find room for the poem.
It was so late when Virginia returned from her walk, that she had barely time to make the necessary change in her dress before dinner. Nina was already arrayed, and sitting in the drawing-room ready to welcome Joan Staley and her brother, who were coming to dine and spend the evening. Never very quick in her movements at any time, Virginia was slower than ever over her toilette to-day, for her conversation with Evered was foremost in her mind, and it was not till a casual glance at her watch showed her that she had but ten minutes in which to finish adorning herself, that she woke to common life. Then she remembered that Reginald was coming to dinner, and with the thought came so much pleasure, that other feelings were forgotten in the delight she anticipated at being able, once more, to spend the best part of one evening in his company. Since Evered had been better he had insisted on her spending her evenings with the others, instead of remaining with him, so with heightened colour at the pleasant prospect before her, she descended to the drawing-room. Joan Staley advanced eagerly to meet her, exclaiming, "Well met, friend," but the "friend looked in vain for a similar greeting from Reginald, who it appeared had not noticed her entrance, for he was talking vehemently to Nina, at the further end of the room. Virginia felt grieved and slighted, she was at a loss to understand his conduct, while Joan, evidently noticing her brother's manque de politesse, said rather wildly,
“Come, Sir Reginald Staley, is this the way courteous knights treat fair ladies ? you've left your manners at home, I think, be a good boy and welcome an old friend back to the family circle.”
At this attack Reginald half turned towards Virginia and Joan, who were walking arm in arm to the sofa where Nina was seated, but he finished the sentence which was on his lips ere he turned to perform the necessary greeting. Then it was with a half guilty look that he shook hands with Virginia, meanwhile studiously averting his eyes from her face, nor did his hand bestow the kindly pressure with which he was generally wont to greet her. Still more at a loss to interpret his behaviour Virginia thought, "what Joan said was true; he has certainly left his manners behind him,” but she made some common-place remark about the heat, &c., and the four fell into an unsatisfactory conversation, in which Nina took the lead. The only other guests were two old lawyers, great friends of Miss Brereton's, who were busily engaged in talking politics to that lady round a table in the middle of the apartment, so that when dinner was announced, one of the two advocates was favoured with Aunt Isabelle, while the other offered his arm to Joan. “ You will have to frolic down alone,” said Miss Brereton to Nina,“ being such a lambkin you must put up with being companionless sometimes," and the visible look of disappointment on Reginald's face as she said these words, was the first sign to Virginia's heart, that all was not as usual between herself and Reginald. She was turning over and over in her own mind the possible meaning of his strange behaviour, and wondering if it could be that the long expected mail had at last come in, so making him serious, when she found that soup was being taken away, and she had not exchanged one word with her companion. Joan from the other side of the table, rallied her on her preoccupied looks, and Miss Brereton with a fond look at her niece, sighed, and declared she was afraid “ dear Virginia had been exerting herself too much during Evered's illness.” This made Reginald ask Virginia how her brother was getting on, and being so small a party, the conversation became general, and continued so throughout the dinner. At the conclusion, when the men were left to their own resources for a time, Virginia escaped to her brother's room, and finding him asleep, sat down by the window for half an hour's meditation. Her thoughts were not of the most agreeable kind—at least those which referred to Reginald, and so absorbed was she in her own reflections that she was not aware Evered was awake till he called her gently by name. She
started, and turning round, disclosed to Evered's sight a face so worn and sorrowful that he exclaimed, with concern,
My dear child, you are not grieving over our conversation, I hope ? is there anything the matter pos
There is nothing the matter, thanks,” said Virginia, shortly, and anxious to turn the conversation from herself she added, “I shall go and get you some tea,” and left the room.
But Virginia was destined to be still more hurt, with regard to Reginald ; that evening, something was said about letters, and Miss Brereton turning to Joan, asked her if “they had received any intelligence from Australia, as she had seen the mail was in."
“Yes, .” Joan answered; “Reginald had a long letter from papa all to himself, but he won't let either mamma or me see it, and will only read us out bits here and there. We both feel very much aggrieved, I can assure you."
While Joan was speaking, Reginald was confusedly turning over the leaves of a magazine lying on the table, and once seemed on the point of saying something, when, as his sister ended, Nina exclaimed,
“Let's have some music! I am tired of talking. Come, Reginald, and sing the duet you brought to-day."
Virginia bad watched Reginald narrowly through the preceding little conversation, all Joan's words fell on her ears like lead, and as she saw the readiness with which Reginald complied with Nina's request, a bitter pang of jealousy shot through her heart. “It really looks," she thought, “as if Nina had done it on purpose. She knows I don't care for music; how horrid all this is !”
Then again at the close of the evening, when adieus were being exchanged and Virginia came to say good night to Reginald, while the others were talking to Miss Brereton, she was just on the point of asking him whether he was vexed with her, and so coming to an understanding, when Nina suddenly broke from the group round Aunt Isabelle, and came up to them, saying,
“One word, Reginald, while I remember it. Shall you or I get that song at Novello's ? it would be best that you should, as you are so often in that part of the town, and it is so far for me to go. Then I can come and try it over with you, to-morrow evening. Are you agreed ?”
Utterly exasperated at the conspiracy which seemed formed to prevent her from making peace with Reginald, Virginia left the room and
stairs. Her reflections were by no means enviable that night,
but with the morning came brighter thoughts, and the remembrance that, according to the old proverb, “ the course of true love never did run smooth.” Something no doubt had vexed Reginald—men were so easily put out, lovers often had little disagreements (so she had heard) and ended by being happier after them than they had been before. She would ask Reginald what was all about, and tell him she was sorry for her share in the temporary estrangement, until then she would not trouble herself about him. The thought never entered her head that his father's letter might not have been satisfactory, much less did any idea of the true state of things cross her brain, so that all day she was able to tend her brother as usual, without any more feelings of disquiet. It was nearly time for her to go out, before she remembered that in all probability Mr. Courtenay would call to-day, and then she began to think of what Evered had said about Confirmation—not, it must be owned, with any particular interest.
During the daily constitutional walk or ride on which Miss Brereton insisted, Virginia's place in her brother's room was supplied by Aunt Isabelle herself, who endeavoured by her own presence to make up to her nephew for his sister's absence. To-day as usual, she came and installed herself in a chair by Evered's bed, for the exertion of getting up yesterday had so tired him, that he had not ventured into the dressing-room. Virginia was in the next room, washing with her own hands the wine glasses and tumblers which her brother was continually using; and of course she imagined, as Evered knew she was there, that her aunt did too. The door was open between the two rooms, and though she was making a tolerable amount of noise, she overheard the following conversation.
“ I shall be delighted when you are well enough to come among us down stairs,” Miss Brereton said, “I am anxious to introduce
you the Staleys, whom you have never seen, I think. They are very nice people, the young ones especially, and the father too, a good kind of man, with no pretensions to being anything but what he is—an Australian merchant.”
“I have heard the girls speak of Miss Staley and her brother, very often. I suppose they are great friends ?”
“O yes ! quite intimate. I look upon them almost as members of the family. You know," and here Miss Brereton lowered her voice, so that Virginia, who was paying no particular attention, only caught Nina's name once or twice. Then Evered said, in his usual tone,