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guishably with the pitcny darkness of the night. Finally, I bethought myself to fasten my handkerchief into his collar, and the dim white spot guided me surely, and even swiftly, to my father's door."

"But how," said I, "could Leo have divined that you were in Mr. Delbyn's wagon?"

"Probably he heard the sound of the wheels, in the distance, and reasoned that it was worth while to follow them, not knowing what else to do. Or he may have caught the sound of our voices; his ears are quick, and that corner where we first came to grief, is not far from the depot. Faithful, sagacious fellow! I wonder if Mr. Divine would let me have him, now!—I would give him anything he chooses to ask."

"I think not.

You know Leo once saved Mr. Divine's life. He would sell half his farm before he would consent to part with him.”

"I am afraid so," returned Harry, with a sigh. "But you have not yet told me how you found me out!"

"Leo is responsible for that, too. Do you remember the day he caught you sketching us, in the glen? I was then perfectly well satisfied that you and he were old acquaintances, although you chose to ignore it. And when I learned that Major Burcham had a runaway son,-an artist, and Leo's first master,-the chain of evidence was complete, and the point whither it tended, manifest."

"I wonder, sometimes," said the artist, thoughtfully, "whether my life would not have been better, happier, nobler, even, if I had stayed at home, done my father's will, and made my mother happy! Might I not look back upon it with more satisfaction?"

"You surely do not regret giving your life to Art?” "No, only the manner of doing it. I seem to see that it would have been better to wait for God, who gave the talent, to open a lawful road to its exercise. does not mean, to me, all that it did once.

Besides, Art

I thought it

the regenerator, I find it is but the refiner and polisher, of mankind. And a great deal of outward fineness and finish may co-exist with inward foulness and turpitude. Those wonderful, mutilated fragments of Greek sculpture, which no modern art can rival, were wrought in days of such social depravity as is almost unmentionable, in our times. I have long since been convinced of the utter futility of that gospel of beauty, which so many preach, at the present day, and upon which so many others rest their hopes for the regeneration of mankind! Art, alone, is impotent to that end! Only the Gospel of Christ can purify the heart and ennoble the character. But, as soon as we admit that, a new standard of life rises before us. We see that it is not so much its outward form and object, as its spirit, which makes it beautiful and noble. I seem to catch, dimly, glimpses of a life of obedience, patience, humility, self-sacrifice, of outward narrowness, even,-lived here in Shiloh; which, in its spirit and aim, would be loftier and lovelier than any artist's life in Rome. Ah! if I had only been strong enough, and patient enough, and noble enough, to have lived it!"

"Go back to your studio," said I, "and paint the Wise Virgin! I am sure you can do it, now! And so painted, it will serve to show that if Art, of herself, cannot purify the heart nor ennoble the life, she may be one of God's blessed instruments for doing both."

"Do you think so?" he exclaimed, his face lighting up with all an artist's fire and fervor 66 do you really think

so?"

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XLI.

THE EMPTY CHAIR.

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LL this time, the fever spread. It was creating something like a panic, in Shiloh. Many persons avoided the houses where it had entered. Watchers were hard to find. Aunt Vin's good offices were in constant demand, either for the sick or the dead. She gave them freely; yet she was looking much worn. Alice, Ruth, and I, constituted ourselves her corps of assistants, and helped her as we could. But there was work enough for all,-it grew continually on our hands.

Coming home after a morning spent with one of the sick ones, I noticed Uncle True at the woodpile, leaning his head on his hand, in an attitude of weariness unusual to him.

66

'Wall, I don't feel reel smart," said he, in answer to my hurried inquiry if anything was amiss. "There's a singin' in my head that ain't birds; and once in a while the woodpile trots round me like a horse round a cider-press. I hope it's agrindin' out suthin' that's worth while! Some on us takes lots o' grindin' before the reel good juice gits squoze out, ready to be cleared by the blood o' Christ and stored in the kingdom o' God. They used to clear wine. with blood, sometimes, ye know. I guess it had a meanin', most things do have, if you only know how to find it." I took his hand. The quick pulse, the dry, hot touch,I was getting to understand these symptoms only too well!

"Is't the fever?" he asked, simply.

No need to deceive the good old man, with his guilcless, trustful face,-so childlike through all its wrinkles! "I am afraid it is," I answered, gravely.

"I kinder thought so. You see that holler in Hart's rock, thar, 's run dry this two days. And though I ain't superstitious, I know the Lord made the rock, and takes count o' the water, and He might mean it marcifully as a hint to me that my spring o' life's arunnin' dry, too, without goin' out o' His way, partic❜larly, to do it. I've allers found His ways and works full o' signs for my good or my comfort, when I looked arter 'em. This woodpile, now, it's pooty considerable of a world itself. It's got crooked sticks and straight uns, little uns and big uns, green uns and dry uns, sound uns and holler uns, hard uns and soft uns. And they all have to take their turn in the fire of affliction. But see how different they act thar! Some on 'em begin to give out light and heat right off; it does you good to see 'em burn, they take it so cheerful like, as if they meant to find out the good in it; but there's others that does nothin' but fizzle an' sizzle, an' sug an' smoke, an' try not to stay put, you may poke 'em an' stir 'em an' turn 'em over, jest as much as you like, but you can't coax a good blaze an' a revivin' warmth out on 'em, an' do yer best! Howsomever, they all go to ashes, at the last."

"Is not that rather a sad conclusion?" I asked.

"Not a mite of it. We don't throw away our ashes, you know; they're good for manure, or lye, or suthin'. And the Lord don't throw away His'n, no more, I guess. They're safe enough in His hands." Then he took up the axe, and drew his finger lightly along its edge. "I'm glad I give it a good grindin' up yisterday," said he. "I allers like to leave my tools in good order. It's tryin' to human natur to have to stop and sharpen up tools that somebody else has dulled, before you can go to work yourself. Many

a good mind for work's been sp'iled that way. Wall, p'raps I'd better be agittin' into the house, while I can."

At the gate, he paused and looked round on the familiar landscape, rich with its autumnal glory.

"It's a pooty world,” said he, “and a good world, for the Lord made it. And, seems to me, it never looked pootier than it does now. But I guess 'taint the best He can turn out. And His will be done!"

And thus Uncle True quitted the scene of his active labors.

The fever wrought very gently with him. He was not tortured with thirst nor pain; much of the time he slept quietly, or lay in a kind of misty stupor that had the appearance of sleep. Six days of care and watching, on our part; six days of patient waiting upon the Lord, on his; and the watching and the waiting were both over.

The morning before he died, he said to me, while his eyes rested lovingly on his old arm-chair, the faithful companion of so many years, now standing empty by his bed,— "You wouldn't think it, would ye, now, Miss Frost? but that old chair thar's been the greatest blessin' the Lord ever give me. I had suthin' of a wild turn in my young days, and if He hadn't fust thrown me out of a wagon, and then sot me down in that chair for the rest o' my life, thar's no tellin' how swift to do evil my feet might have got to be! That chair's been the Hand o' Providence restrainin' me, and the Everlastin' Arms round me, all my days, though I never see it quite so clear afore. If you've got any cross to bear-and sometimes I've kinder suspected you had, though you've allers done your best to show a bright face and not shadder other folks with your troubles; but if you've got any, take my word for't, the time'll come when you'll thank the Lord more for that cross than for all the pleasant things that ever He poured into your bosom."

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Shortly after, he turned his face to the wall, "I feel as

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