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sility of keeping two fires lighted when through the crowded streets, where she had brought up the last scuttle- from the shop-windows, resplendent ful of coals; but she answered cheer- with all their Christmas decorations, fully, “I have been busy, and did not floods of light poured down upon the want a fire. No, indeed, I can't let passers-by, all of whom the young wife you cut the bread-and-butter; you are thought looked so eager, so happy, as much too lavish with the butter." if the gladness of the morrow had

“Why, what a little screw you are already thrown its halo around them ; growing !” laughed John; and then he and a group of noisy children standing added, more seriously, "you are right to around a toyshop window, discussing be careful, darling; but there can be the various attractions it contained, no harm in being happy on Christmas recalled bitterly to her mind her inEve. I am so thankful to have my ability to buy any of the little presents health again, and I feel so much better that had always been spread out by her now (almost as well as I have ever bedside on Christmas morning; whilst been), that I shall be quite glad to a feeling of bitter repugnance to the begin work again. I can't think what execution of her errand, made her has made you such a tyrant as to keep pause irresolutely at the pawnbroker's me upstairs all this time.”

door. When, however, at last, she “Because you would have been in had summoned up her courage, and my way,” she replied; "there, now, entered the shop, she could have

know my reason. Amy, I am snatched the mug from the man's going to leave you to wait on papa, for hands when he roughly removed the there are some things I want to buy." paper in which it was wrapped, turned

"I thought you had done all that it round and round, and finally held it this morning,” said John, “so that we up to the light, so that Amy's initials, might have spent this evening together; it seemed to Hester, stood out as and I don't like the idea of your roam- plainly

plainly as though they had been written ing about the streets, alone, after dark." in fire. But there was too much

“Indeed I don't, John," said Hester, business doing that night to allow much smiling, and I shall not be long, dear. time to be wasted, and so poor Amy's Amy will take care of papa till I come mug was soon consigned to a place back; won't you, darling ?”

amongst many another relic of better Before John had recovered from his and happier days. temporary disappointment, Hester had On leaving the shop Hester's face kissed him and the child, had put on grew crimson, for she noticed a man her bonnet and cloak, and with the who stood, as if waiting for her, beside silver mug in her little black bag, had the door, and who, as a sudden gust of gone out, taking with her a remem- wind blew aside her veil, she saw to be brance of the home scene she had just Mr. Dyson. That momentary glance left, that for a time made the present sufficed to convince her that he had seen seem less dreary, the future less uncer- and recognized her; but as much tain; but the memory of her troubles ashamed as though she had been came back she hurried along detected in the commission of some

as

and me.

“Shut the door, my darling, and “Oh no, mamma, I never use it," come here,” said her mother. “I said Amy, “you may have it to keep." want to speak to you.”

“God bless you, darling,” said her Amy obeyed, rather awed by the mother, “I hope you will have it back tone in which the words were spoken. before long. Pray God you may never “I am in sad trouble," continued Hes- know such agony as it has been to ask ter, "and my little daughter is the you this, Amy; I would not have done only one who can help me. You know it had there been anything left of my to-morrow is Christmas Day, Amy, the own.

And now go back to papa, my day on which, above all others, we dear little pet, and tell him tea will should try to make every one happy; soon be ready ; but, remember, that and you and I would like to make poor you must not say anything to him of papa happy, should we not, dear ?" what I have told you. That, for a

“But isn't he happy, mamma?” she little time, must be a secret between asked.

you

Papa is to be happy to“ He will not be when he knows some- morrow, is he not ?” thing I have to tell him, darling," re- For a few moments after Amy had plied her mother; “but that need not left her, Hester sat huddled up in the be till to-morrow, if you will help me. corner of the couch, weeping hot, bitter Listen to me, Amy. I am talking to tears, that would be shed, however she you as if you were much older than might struggle to keep them back by you are; and you will understand me telling herself that she ought to be very better by and by. My trouble is that thankful that John was spared to her I have no money, not. enough to buy and not sit crying there on Christmas our dinner for to-morrow; and I have Eve. However, at last she scolded not even anything for which I could herself into calmness, and then, drying get money. There is something of her eyes, she began the preparations yours, darling, if you would lend it to (such poor little preparations as they me; you shall have it back as soon as had gradually grown to be) for tea ; and, ever I can get it. Oh, Amy, my little her task completed, she carried the one, forgive me !"

tray upstairs. Up there everything “Oh, mamma,” said the child, in

and
cosy ;

there great distress; "please don't cry, bright fire, and John, seated by it in

I will give you everything his easy chair, with Amy standing, I have — only

- only — not Peepy, with her kitten in her arms, beside please," she added, looking half in- him, looked up with a glad smile as clined to cry at the thought of her Hester entered. little black kitten being given in ex- “Why, little wife," he cried, “how change for anything, even a plum- pale and pinched you look !—and you pudding

are as cold as ice! What in the world “It's not Peepy, darling," said her have you been doing? Is there no fire mother. “Do you think you would down stairs? Is that why you brought mind lending me your silver mug, Amy, the kettle up here ” till papa is quite well and busy again ?” Hester thought sadly of the impossi

was

warm

was

a

mamma.

ility of keeping two fires lighted when through the crowded streets, where she had brought up the last scuttle- from the shop-windows, resplendent ful of coals; but she answered cheer- with all their Christmas decorations, fully, “I have been busy, and did not floods of light poured down upon the want a fire. No, indeed, I can't let passers-by, all of whom the young wife you cut the bread-and-butter; you are thought looked so eager, so happy, as much too lavish with the butter." if the gladness of the morrow had

“Why, what a little screw you are already thrown its halo around them ; growing !” laughed John; and then he and a group of noisy children standing added, more seriously, “you are right to around a toyshop window, discussing be careful, darling; but there can be the various attractions it contained, no harm in being happy on Christmas recalled bitterly to her mind her inEve. I am so thankful to have my ability to buy any of the little presents health again, and I feel so much better that had always been spread out by her now almost as well as I have ever bedside on Christmas morning; whilst been), that I shall be quite glad to a feeling of bitter repugnance to the begin work again. I can't think what execution of her errand, made her has made you such a tyrant as to keep pause irresolutely at the pawnbroker's me upstairs all this time.”

door. When, however, at last, she “Because you would have been in had summoned up her courage, and my way,” she replied; "there, now, entered the shop, she could have sir, you know my reason. Amy, I am snatched the mug from the man's going to leave you to wait on papa, for hands when he roughly removed the there are some things I want to buy." paper in which it was wrapped, turned

“I thought you had done all that it round and round, and finally held it this morning,” said John, “so that we up to the light, so that Amy's initials, might have spent this evening together; it seemed to Hester, stood out and I don't like the idea of your roam- plainly as though they had been written ing about the streets, alone, after dark." in fire. But there was too much

“Indeed I don't, John,” said Hester, business doing that night to allow much smiling, "and I shall not be long, dear. time to be wasted, and so poor Amy's Amy will take care of papa till I come mug was soon consigned to a place back; won't you, darling ?”

amongst many another relic of better Before John had recovered from his and happier days. temporary disappointment, Hester had On leaving the shop Hester's face kissed him and the child, had put on grew crimson, for she noticed a man her bonnet and cloak, and with the who stood, as if waiting for her, beside silver mug in her little black bag, had the door, and who, as a sudden gust of gone out, taking with her a remem- wind blew aside her veil, she saw to be brance of the home scene she had just Mr. Dyson. That momentary glance left, that for a time made the present sufficed to convince her that he had seen seem less dreary, the future less uncer- and recognized her; but as much tain; but the memory of her troubles ashamed as though she had been came back as she hurried along detected in the commission of some

as

crime, she hurried past him without | saw me last night, Mr. Dyson. I do speaking to him, feeling thankful when not want him to know it to-day.” her purchases were made, and she had Then, somewhat reassured by his fairly reached her home.

kind nod, she continued, “And if John. As she decorated the sitting-room should speak to you about the music I with the holly and other evergreens on brought you, it would be such a great which that morning she had been happiness to me if you would in some unable to resist the temptation of ex-way keep him from knowing that you pending a few cents, Hester tried hard declined it! The fact is, he was just to banish, for that night at least, all recovering at the time, and I was so thought of gloom or despondency, and afraid that any fresh anxiety would she succeeded so well, that when, half throw him back that I told him you an hour later, she entered her hus- had bought the pieces.” band's room, John inwardly blessed Venturing to look up to see in what the bright, loving presence that was way her confession was received, Hester in spirit and in truth the sunshine of was surprised to find herself patted on his home.

the head and called “Poor child,” just The next morning Hester was up as if she had been Amy; and she betimes, bustling about, like the house- caught herself wondering whether the hold fairy that she was, in order to grave music publisher had taken leave have breakfast over in good time; and of his senses, or whether Christmas when at last it was cleared away, she generally had such a softening effect was so busy and interested in her prep- on him. arations for John's “coming down" John looked surprised when he heard that a double knock at the door had to his visitor's name; and when he entered be repeated before she noticed it, and the sitting-room he was scarcely prethen, wondering who their unexpected pared for the warmth with which Mr. visitor could be, she ran down stairs, Dyson greeted him. and opening the door, started back as “Ah, Carroll !” he exclaimed, “I she let in a gust of cold wind and—Mr. am very glad to see you again. You've Dyson.

had a long bout of it; but perhaps “Good morning, Mrs. Carroll,” he the lesson will be useful, and you'll said. “Of course your husband is at take better care of yourself. You home; can I see him ?"

young men are terribly careless." Dreading that her secret should be “I shall not want another lesson told before the time for its discovery like it in a hurry," returned John, had arrived, Hester felt half inclined smiling. "I don't believe I should to refuse the request; but a moment's have got over it had it not been for thought showed her the folly of doing my wife's good nursing." so, for John would be sure to have “No, I don't expect you would," noticed the knock and inquire who had was the grave reply.

" But I am been calling, so she answered in the come here to tell you a story, John affirmative, and then said, hesitatingly, Carroll. Are you in a patient mood “ You will not tell my husband that you this morning ? Ask your wife to stay,” he added, as Hester, doubtful and much poorer man. Still he had of what was coming, was about to never felt for a moment the slightest leave the room ; and thus detected tinge of resentment toward her or her in her attempt, she was obliged husband; on the contrary, his true to take the chair Mr. Dyson placed heart honored her for her love, that in for her. And then, John saying he its integrity was akin to his own. And was good for any amount of listening, so from his dying lips I learned that from their visitor commenced.

the time of her marriage he had watched “My parents had only two children,” over her, eagerly gleaning from friends he said, “myself and a brother a year and acquaintances every particular reor two my junior; and whether it was lating to her home life, and feeling his because our tastes were alike, or be- own loneliness cheered by the knowlcause we were in a great measure de- edge that she was happy and safe in pendent upon each other for amuse- the keeping of a man who knew how ment and companionship, I know that to prize the treasure given into his from our earliest childhood we were hands, almost as well as he himself more united than brothers generally would have done. “I have watched are; and when we lost our parents the and waited,' he said, almost with his tie between us grew stronger.

last breath, but no need for helping “You will think all this very unin-them has yet arisen, no shade has yet teresting, but I am coming to the part appeared to darken the sunshine of

that concerns you almost directly. their lives, no trial to test the strength • WeH, in course of time, we grew up, of their love. To you, my brother, I

and as no one ever heard a suspicion must leave the fulfilment of the task I of our falling in love, or even thinking had imposed upon myself; for sooner of such a thing as marriage, we came or later sorrow will come upon them, to be looked upon as confirmed old and, somewhere in the future, the danbachelors; and so, though I had no gers that beset every human life must right to entertain such feelings, I was lie in wait for them. So watch for this, both astonished and angry when my and when the hour has come, help them brother told me one day he intended as I had meant some day to do, with making an offer to a young lady whom kindly heart and open hand; and perhe had met a few months before. As it haps, in after-years, if no nearer turned out, I might have saved myself dearer ties are around you, there may and him the pain of such an exhibition be a place reserved for the lonely, of selfishness, for he was refused; but childless old man in the happy home that was his first and last love, and he her presence makes bright.' never forgot it, though until he was on “This, John Carroll, is the first part his death-bed, four years ago to-day, of the story I come to tell you—you, he never, even to me, mentioned it in who were my brother's favored rival, any way. Then he told me the whole whose wife was the girl of whom he story-how the girl he had loved so spoke." truly had refused him, gently, but As Mr. Dyson paused, John put his firmly, in order to marry a youngerl hand on his wife's shoulder, and she

VOL. X.-2.

or

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