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seen, and whispered, 'I shall know you there."

It was characteristic of Julia Haviland that mingled with the grief and the loneliness which she felt was a keen exultation in the successful steadiness of purpose with which she had adhered to her first resolution. I made up my mind to do one good thing in my life, and I did it,' she said, as she stood beside the closed coffin in the night when the Havilands proper had retired decorously to their rooms, satisfied when the professional watching had been duly ordered; and there is not much now, good or evil, worth my making up my mind about. It's well for her, at any rate."

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dom. The curate was a capital fellow, but somehow he was more capital out of doors than in; and whenever the rector was ill, and consequently irritable, he was seized with a sudden conviction, requiring to be instantly acted on, that the parish required additional supervision, and that sick-calls and other incidental duties needed to be attended to, especially at places a good way from the rectory. On the present occasion this state of things had culminated in Hugh's being sent for by his mother, and desired to keep his father company, and amuse him to the best of his ability, but also counselled to avoid worrying him with any of his notions.' Hugh Gaynor was patiently and perseveringly endeavouring to Hugh Gaynor understood some, if not all, carry out these rather conflicting instruc- the feelings which agitated Julia Haviland tions, with many a regretful vision of weav- on this occasion; and she was glad to know ers at once consumptive and sceptical, to how thoroughly he esteemed her conduct. whom he was in the habit of administering suit- But since then they had rarely met; and able diet and consolatory doctrine, when now Stephen Haviland's visits to Burnham the Havilands arrived at Meriton for the Rectory were tolerably frequent, but Hugh early winter season. Stephen Haviland Gaynor did not go to Meriton. He had and Hugh Gaynor had met very rarely of come to look after his father and be with late years, but when they did meet, they him, and neighbourly hospitalities tempted were as good, if not as closely confidential, him not. Thus it fell out that he talked to friends as in the days of their boyish inti- Stephen Haviland about his work at Beckmacy. Of Julia Haviland, Hugh Gaynor thorpe, and about the boy who showed such had seen even less than of her husband, unusual artistic ability, and his singular and this by an unexplained, unacknowl- history, and told him how Henry Hurst had edged feeling on his part that there was a gone to the lawyer, who knew all about him, twist, which his straightforward mind did and failed to acquire any information. To not like, in their relations. He had a gene- all this Stephen Haviland listened with the ral knowledge of the progress of affairs in philosophical absence of interest in his felthe family, but had been closely associated | low-creatures which was one of the Haviwith them only on one occasion, that of the land characteristics, and had no doubt condeath of old Mrs. Haviland, which had taken | tributed to the general Haviland prosperity place two years before the period at which this narrative has arrived. Then Hugh Gaynor had seen much of Julia, and though he clearly perceived that her marriage was not a success, according to his ideas of what constituted a success in that portentous and difficult human relation, he was well aware of the blessing it had proved to the blind old lady, and felt that in all that concerned her Julia had the answer of a good conscience. The Havilands proper had all been at their post on that occasion, as became persons bound not only to live up to the standard of their own traditional perfection, but to set a bright example to less highly-endowed humanity; but the stranger in blood was the one who trod most closely by the side of the gentle lady who had the honour of being the mother of the Havilands the shadowed path to the Silent Land. With almost her last breath she put up her feeble hand to touch the face she had never

and content, contrasting, as almost every peculiarity of the two men did contrast, with the earnest sympathy and solicitude of Hugh Gaynor. But when mention was made of the lawyer's name, Stephen Haviland listened with more attention and interest, but without betraying to the speaker that he knew anything of Mr. Eliot Foster. His face was dark and thoughtful as he rode back to Meriton that day, and he pondered on Hugh Gaynor's communication in pleasant mood.

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'I shall say nothing about this to Julia,' he thought; there's no knowing, women are so uncertain, how she might take it. It might lead to some cursed folly, though she never alludes to the boy, and I fancy knows nothing more about him than that he is not dead, or Foster would have told her. Who the deuce would have thought of that old story cropping up again, and in Gaynor's way too?"



and sufficiently-poetical effusions of love
for herself. He wrote very pretty love-let-
ters, that was undeniable love-letters
which might not have sounded utterly ridic-
ulous if read by a third party, the severest
test to which that order of composition can
be subjected. They sufficed for the girl's
mental food, and made her quite happy. If
she ever formed a wish or conceived an idea
which implied that Henry Hurst could be
ever so little wrong, or susceptible of im-
provement, it was when she felt a timid
wish that he would write more gratefully,
more kindly of Hugh Gaynor; that he would
not dwell so much on the pleasures of per-
fect independence in the

"I care for nobody, no, not I,
For nobody cares me

style, to which her sensitive feelings could
not be entirely reconciled, even by the
knowledge that she was the one great and
glorious exception.

A YEAR has elapsed since Henry Hurst and Alice Wood had parted in the solemn yet bright churchyard. A year, during which the words then spoken had never ceased to sound in the girl's ears, and the hopes then acknowledged and discussed had become more and more precious to her. A year, during which she had lived the tranquil, useful, dream-adorned life to which she was accustomed, with one addition to its duties, with one new element of care in it. Her mother's health was declining, more rapidly than Alice knew, though she was aware of the decrease of strength and energy, and though she tended her with untiring diligence and affection, and acquitted herself of the increased duties which devolved upon her to the satisfaction of the Board. A year, during which she corresponded with her lover, not frequently, according to the notions now prevalent, but It was not an uncommon event for Mrs. sufficiently often to feel that, in their know- Wood and her daughter to have to receive ledge of the daily life and surroundings of visits from strangers, attracted partly by each other, there was strong consolation and the quaint beauty of the ancient building in support. Day by day the girl's fancy in- which they lived, and partly by the local vested the object of her love with those at- reports of the institution. Such visits caused tributes which in its purity and romantic Alice no embarrassment. With her usual fervour it held most beautiful and grand. quiet, self-possessed manner, she would The knights, the saints, the heroes, the conduct the strangers through the building, poets, and the chivalrous lovers of the past, explain the rules and practice of the house, of whose vanished daring, gallantry, grace, and leave on the minds of the least comsanctity, and fidelity, the storied stones monplace of the visitors an impression of around her seemed to speak, contributed her beauty, grace, and simplicity, which asof their ideal best to the phantom idol of sociated itself pleasantly with the stately Alice's pure worship. No human being solemnity of the old churches and their ever could have been all that she believed tree-shadowed precincts. It chanced that her young lover; hers was a nature on when a second year after Henry Hurst's dewhich disappointment was as inevitably des- parture was passing away, the gray-headed tined to fall, as was the touch of time upon her sunny golden head. How infinitely short of her ideal standard her lover must come, how entirely opposed to the truth was her estimate of him, she was also destined never to comprehend, for her faith was as boundless as her fancy, the vitality of her love was equal to its credulity.

curate of Beckthorpe came to the school with a party of ladies, and this visit made a deeper impression on Alice's mind than any which had preceded it. Hugh Gaynor and his friends had been received by Mrs. Wood, but he had left the ladies in the pretty, cool, oak-paneled parlour, where sycamore branches softly tapped the windows, and roses in the summer shed their leaves upon the wide window-sills, and gone to look for Alice in her accustomed place. She was reading a letter as he drew near and called to her, and she placed it between the leaves of a book, and rose up with a sweet smile and blush of welcome on her face.

"The accounts of himself and his doings which Henry Hurst sent her were satisfactory. He was studying and working, and the arrangements made for him through Hugh Gaynor's influence had proved most beneficial. He was already getting employment of a superior order and better paid than many of his companions of longer standing could procure, and his progress I have brought you some visitors, Alice,' altogether was such as to justify to a certain he said; but friends of mine this time, and extent Alice's estimate of his talent. He come to see you quite as much as told her little of the society he kept, but Gift" (this was the name by which the limited his letters to the facts of his career, school was most commonly known).




are Mrs. Haviland and her adopted daughter; they are staying at Whitley Abbey, and came into town with me to-day to see the churches.'

the introduction, and declared her eagerness to see all that Alice would undertake to show her. The third lady remained standing by the window, took no notice of They had walked on together, and neared Alice Wood beyond a stare, and did not afthe house. Alice could see through the feet to feel any interest in the object of their window the bright dresses of the ladies. visit to the school. When Mrs. Haviland She paused for a moment to take off her and her niece left the parlour, guided by straw bonnet and hang it on a hook in the Alice and accompanied by Hugh Gaynor, passage, and then presented herself to Hugh this lady-who was Mrs. Fanshaw - deGaynor's friends, of whom two were stand-clared her inability to do any more sighting in a window, and the third was seated seeing. near her mother. The girl's glance fell first on this lady, and it was to her Hugh Gay-old churches,' said Mrs. Fanshaw, who adnor addressed himself, naming Alice to her. mired nothing old except old lace, old china, Mrs. Haviland took the girl's hand with and old families; and I really cannot climb easy grace, and said a few words to her of any more stairs. I shall remain here, if this her wish to see the old buildings, and Mr. good person does not object.' Gaynor's assurance that she could find no such cicerone as Alice.

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And your mother has been telling me,' she said with a smile, and a bend of her stately head towards Mrs. Wood, that you know all the other antiquities as well as those among which you live. Madeleine, come here. This is Miss Wood; she will tell you all about the ruined cloisters we see from hence, and the story of the Charter House.'

You have made me explore two dreadful

The good person,' Mrs. Wood, did not object, and Mrs. Fanshaw had rather a long and silent tête-à-tête with her, for Mrs. Wood's cold propriety was fully equal to her visitor's nonchalance. The interest displayed by Mrs. Haviland, her niece, and Hugh Gaynor, in the institution, animated Alice to more than her usual efforts to please visitors, and the two young girls talked long and eagerly in Alice's quaint old room in the ancient tower, leaning on The young girl whom she addressed came the massive stone window-sill, and lookout of the embrasure of the window, from ing out over the leafy tide of greenery' whence she had been looking at the solemn to the majestic spire with its glittering vane grandeur of the ancient church of Holy beyond. Probably the old stone casement Trinity, and turned on Alice a face which had never before framed such fair faces as the girl instantly made up her mind must be the two which it now enclosed, so different unsurpassed in beauty anywhere in the in their beauty, but both full of the unsulworld; a face which she did not know, and lied glory of youth. The elegance and reyet had a vague feeling that she had seen or finement of wealth, the habit of luxury, of dreamed of before. Madeleine Burdett's superb dress, unthought of, of having every girlhood more than fulfilled the promise of want anticipated, of life so easy and adorned her childhood; she retained all the bright- that its externals hardly caught her attenness, all the sunny, winning, frank, and gay tion, had given to Madeleine Burdett the beauty which had set her apart even among perfect ease, polish, and suavity of manner pretty children, and had acquired in addi- which are not found out of similar positions; tion a perfection of feature, form, and col- but if that peculiar kind of grace was wantouring, which made her a very delightful ing to Alice Wood, she was richly endowed creature to look upon. In her air and car- with another kind, which made her suggesriage, in her smile, in the tones of her voice, tive to observers of the light-limbed sculpin every expression, she conveyed to the tured saints with folded hands and virginal beholder the impression of a perfectly hap- faces which had once filled the niches in the py human being, a favourite of nature and ancient fane, in whose shadow she had lived of fate, the idol of a household, for whom and grown into such meek and spiritual everything was ordained to be smooth and lovelinesss. The beauty of the two girls pleasant, who never was to be reached by harmonised in its contrast; Madeleine's the wind of adversity, or taught any of that rich, rippling, bright brown ringlets and rosesad wisdom which is learned through the experience of evil, and the convincing grip of disappointment. She came forward with a light, graceful step, and smiling at Alice with a brilliancy which surprised her into a long look, at whose boldness she afterwards blushed, made an easy acknowledgment of

bud cheeks lending some of their brightness to the smooth, soft golden hair and delicate waxen skin of Alice. Mrs. Haviland and Hugh Gaynor looked at the group with pleased interest.

'Your young friend is a real lover of books,' said the lady; 'see, she carries one

about with her mechanically, sign.'

'Yes,' said Hugh, she is a great reader.' But Alice carried the book not for its own sake, but for the sake of the precious letter which lay within its leaves, whose words were making music in her heart while she talked and listened.

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-a sure were few indeed. Mr. Eliot Foster had gone abroad in the autumn on important business, which was probably among the last affairs he would personally attend to. The shabby chambers in Gray's Inn were destined to a grand renovation before long, and the occupancy of a gentleman of quite another way of thinking, in matters of business and pleasure, than the staid lawyer who had tenanted them for so long.

A kind and cordial leave-taking took place between the visitors and Mrs. Wood and Alice, and the girl lingered at the end of the long gallery above the cloisters, to catch the last glimpse of Madeleine's graceful figure, and the last tones of her gleeful voice. I wonder whether I shall ever see her again,' she thought; or whether our ways in life are too widely separated for any chance of that." And then she wondered how she should ever find words in which to describe to Henry Hurst the beautiful vision which had delighted her eyes for a while. When she returned to her mother she found her quite enthusiastic, for her, about Mr. Gaynor's friends.

What a beautiful woman that Mrs. Haviland is!' she said. Did you ever see any one at her age so handsome?-but no, how could you! for I surely never did.'

She is very handsome and grand-looking indeed, mother,' replied Alice. I wonder how old she is.'

A year or two over forty, I should think; but it's wonderful how these fine ladies who have nothing to do, and nothing to fret them, and heaps of money, and plenty of servants to wait on them, and nothing to think of but their looks and their dress, wear their years. Their years don't wear them, at all events, that's certain.'

Henry Hurst's letters continued to be satisfactory. He had made a good connection among engravers, and foresaw its extension. He had the great quality of indefatigable industry, and really loved his work.. What pure, unspeakable joy Alice felt in thinking of the efforts he was making, of the steadiness and energy with which he was labouring for her! She was not above the feminine weakness of believing this, and dwelling rapturously upon it, though she had little power of appreciating the meaning of a really struggling life and would have unhesitatingly plunged into any extent of poverty with him, if he had called upon her to do so. Henry Hurst did indeed work hard, and did indeed wish and intend to marry her, but the other circumstances being identical, he would have done as he was now doing if she had not been in existence. Not that his letters to her were mere lies and hypocrisy - by no means but they were the productions of his imagination rather than of his heart; very clever and artistic, and adapted almost unconsciously to the girl's character and disposition; such letters as, if he had been writing a novel, of which an imaginary Alice was the heroine, he would have made her imagi

Alice had a notion that her mother's gen-nary lover indite to her. eralisation was rather trenchant, but her knowledge of life was too limited to enable her to estimate its erroneousness quite rightly. They talked for a long time about Madeleine, and Mrs. Fanshaw would have been much scandalised by the ignorance of the claims of the Havilands to general admiration, on the part of insignificant people, had she known that they never once mentioned or remembered her.

For some time after this little incident nothing occurred to interrupt the quiet and monotony of the life of Mrs. Wood and her daughter. They ceased to see the elderly curate of Beckthorpe after a while, for he was forced, by his father's state of health, to take long leave, providing a substitute. The rector of Burnham was now evidently, though not rapidly, dying, and his son was not expected to return into Warwickshire until after the event. The communications of the little family with the outer world


Time passed. It was late in an unusually severe winter when Mrs. Wood, who had been obliged to acknowledge much-increased feebleness of late, became alarmingly ill. Then Alice keenly felt the loneliness of her position. Not that the widow and her daughter were friendless among the small circle of their acquaintances, but that Alice's habitual reserve, and the singularity of her character and tastes, rendered it difficult for her to break through the barriers of custom, and admit others to a participation in her cares and duties. She was frightened about her mother from the first, and the doctor confirmed her fears. For a while she tried to tend her mother unaided, but she was obliged to relinquish the effort and accept the assistance of some neighbours, who proved kind and useful to her. Terror and bewilderment made dreadful items in the sum of Alice's grief, though she had hardly enough worldly wisdom to speculate upon her own

when at length she felt that she could not endure that her mother should die unconscious of the future which lay before her, Alice found that she had hesitated too long. The girl's story, told, with her fair head laid upon the pillow, beside the face touched already by the mysterious separating hand, which transfigures while it leads the dying through the shadowy gates with much striving for composure, and an earnest appeal that her mother would be satisfied to know that she was leaving her in safety, and to such happiness as she could have without her-fell upon senses so near the end of their term of service that it made no impression. The widow looked at her child with a smile, feebly touched the golden head, and whispered, Yes, yes, it will all be right. You'll be well here, and they'll lay you beside me in the end.' Then she fell asleep, and never again spoke intelligibly, though she lived until late on the following day.

position. But the idea, the actual, inevit- | introduction of an agitating subject; and able, near approach of death frightened her. She was sitting by her mother now, seeing, hearing, touching her, watching illness and suffering, whose constant struggle and unrest made the everlasting stirlessness of death more inexplicable, more awful, more seemingly impossible, than it appeared in the equable flow and motion of everyday healthful life. She could not realise, she could not believe, she could not bear it. In the night when her watch was taken by one of her neighbours, a good, kind-hearted soul, who saw no contradiction between the struggle and its inevitable result, and was the most practically-useful person possible, under the circumstances, Alice would open the window of her tower-room widely, and lean out of it, gasping, terrified, striving to gain calm in looking at the expanse of still white snow, and the leafless branches of the trees, gaunt and quiet under their white garment. There was the churchyard which she loved, and the tall ash, which would be full of leaves again next summer, bare and ghostly as it was now. In a little time they would make a grave for her mother near its roots; for her mother, whose flushed face she had kissed just now, whose laboured breathing she could hear at this moment, if she set the door open and listened with attention. She knew it; but no, she could not, she did not believe it; and in a moment the churchyard which she loved became horrible to her, and she shut the window and threw herself on her bed, with her hands over her eyes, and her heart beating violently. Then she would rise and steal down to her mother's room and listen, to be quite sure that what was to come had not come yet, and returning, tranquil and weary, would find herself overpowered by the blessed influence of sleep, so benignly tyrannous in youth.

With her increased illness a kind of dulness, not insensibility, but indifference, fell upon Mrs. Wood's mind. She could understand anything she was told, but she could not care about it. Happily for her, she had drifted rapidly out of the reach of anxiety and mental disturbance. The greatest of her daughter's perplexities was whether to tell her of her own prospects or not. She shrunk from the idea of leaving her mother in ignorance; she cherished the hope that the knowledge would bring happiness and peace to her; she longed to have her sanction and her blessing, and the feeling that through all her future life there would be an association between her dead mother and herself, on that material point also. But she hesitated, naturally dreading the

When the thing in which she had not been able to force herself to believe, had been done before her eyes; when the snow-laden branches of the ash shivered, and shook down light showers of their feathery burden of snow upon the brown sods which covered in her mother's grave; when the dreadful time of leisure, secured to her by the thoughtful kindness of persons who had esteemed her mother, and sincerely desired to befriend the little-understood girl, had arrived, Alice Wood was frightened in and by her solitude. Then she learned how complete, how protecting had been her sense of her mother's presence, notwithstanding her own strange lonely ways. All the past and present were changed; in her former beloved occupations she could no more take delight. One real, searching, actual grief of her own, one irreparable, terrible bereavement, had depopulated her phantom world and laid it desolate. No troop of knights and ladies, no solemn procession of monks, no stately train of kings and nobles, trod the ancient cloisters now, or entered, by the western doorway, the church of the great Archangel. No vision of the historic past was borne to her upon the pealing music of the organ, or by the sweet voices of the choristers. She only heard the echo of the step which was never to move about the old house again; she only saw the vision of her vanished childhood, and the vacant place where her mother was not. Then the fear which had come to her so often before her mother died came and stayed; and Alice, terrified in her loneliness, and yet unable to feel that any of

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