Page images


I have several of Dr. Erskine's works in good condition, and shall be glad to dispose of them at half price, or exchange them for other books suitable for a lending library.—Address, Miss M. G. WARING, Woodlands, Chelsfield, Chislehurst, Kent.

A. HURST, Copt Hewick Hall, Ripon,

A. M. CARR begs to acknowledge with many thanks a parcel of wool from A. F. Glenthorne, one from Ripon, and another, postmark illegible: also a box of wools from C. J. E. and parcel from King's Cross, both most useful.

PALM SUNDAY IN 1699. Can any reader of the Churchman's Companion inform G. A. L. on what day of the month Palm Sunday fell in the year 1699 in Mecklenburg-Schwerin?

G. W. H. begs to thank G. H., A. B., B. G., and E. M. for their kind contributions of Christmas Cards : also several send anonymously.


A. H. begs to offer her sincere thanks to all who have helped her in contributing wool for her children's petticoats, and is glad to say she has made two petticoats, three scarves, four pairs of socks (besides a large sofa cushion and three perambulator rugs, which are being sold in aid of the hospital,) of the wool received, which are being forwarded this week. . Further contributions in wool, materials for clothing, and strips of list gratefully received. Miss



Miss L. PHILLIMORE, (5, Arlington Street, London, S.W.,) acknowledges with her best thanks for the above : Anon., Chichester, ls.; In Memory of Elise S. King, £5.; collected by Miss M. Brackley, 78.; in Memory of a Confirmation at Theale, 5s.; E. B., 2s. 6d.; Miss S. Eyer, 2s. ; C. C., 10s.; Marion, 1s.; E. M. O., 10s.; Miss M. E. Chambers, 10s. Further offerings gladly received as above. Post Office Orders payable at S. James's Street, S.W.

Notices to Correspondents. Thirza. Frederick Faber was an English Clergyman who joined the Church of Rome about the same time as John Henry Newman. He became an inmate of the Oratory at Brompton, and remained there till his death, which occurred many years ago. A list of his works may be obtained from any Roman Catholic publisher.

Inquirer. The Ark of the Covenant is generally supposed to have been de stroyed at the time of the burning of the Temple, but the subject is enveloped in mystery, and no certain information can be given respecting it.

Accepted : “Dean Hook ;" “At the Sepulchre ;” “The Rhodope Refugees.”

[blocks in formation]

The question

"O how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day;
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun;
And, by-and-by, a cloud takes all away!"!

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I., Sc. 3. LUCE Vanheegue could not have told exactly what were her very strong objections to marry the Comte de Senlecq. itself startled her all at once out of the peaceful dreams of girlhood, and opened before her the realities of life in which she must make her decision and bear her part. She wanted time and quiet to think it over, but her sister gave her none, pursuing her with unceasing arguments, remonstrances, and entreaties. Although Monsieur Vanheegue had said that Luce should not be troubled upon the subject, he was not perhaps sorry in bis heart that Stephanie disobeyed him in this respect; not to have been so would have been to ask too much of him, since he had already sacrificed his worldly ambition to his love for his child.

But when the night had come, and Luce was alone at last, in the quiet of her little room, she would kneel with her face buried in her hands, and think, and pray, and try to weigh the issues, striving to hold the balances steadily and straight. On the one hand were the wishes of her father and sister-for her own good as they said—a brilliant marriage, great prospects, all that the world most admiresWhy should she not marry M. de Senlecq ?

Such marriages, with as great disparity in age, were made every day. What more natural than to give her consent ? Her father had sa



crificed his own wishes to hers and she loved him for it, but was it not now her duty to sacrifice hers to him and make him happy by doing as he desired ? All this seemed to weigh the balance heavily on that side, and on the other—what was there? She could hardly tell herself;-a timid shrinking from the world, a fond clinging to home, old vague aspirations half understood, towards a higher life, deep and sweet religious memories, impressions, and associations, a half-real, half-unreal impulse to give up all for God's love in grand self-sacrifice, and go to learn that highest life at Sæur Denise's feet.

But then all that Sæur Denise had said that evening in the Convent garden came back to her with vivid remembrance; had she not shown her how all lives were made holy and beautiful by only living for God? and the resolutions which had filled her own soul that evening of setting that one purpose before her steadfastly from thenceforth; oh, was she doing so? What ought she to do, and was Stephanie right when she said it was her duty to marry the Comte de Senlecq? Then the remembrance of Mr. O'Hara's picture with its pathetic face stole in amidst her thoughts like a peaceful vision, and vague ideas of devoting her life to the poor which had risen up before her as she looked at it, came again to her remembrance. That afternoon in the painting-room of the Enclos de la Cathédrale seemed strangely far away now.

How happy she was that afternoon,-glad and unconscious, and talking of a picture, and now trying to decide her life's lot! She would perhaps ask Sæur Denise's advice; and yet she shrank from speaking to her upon the subject, for how could a nun understand ? Sæur Denise would be sure to say that her father knew best. No, no, she could not marry him ; she would stay at home and have time to grow wiser; fancy her poor little self mistress of a great house like the Château de Senlecq! Stephanie only thought of the grandeur, but she thought of all the duties and responsibilities. The Comte de Senlecq was kind perhaps to think of it, but when everything was explained to him she thought he would go home to his fishing and his shooting, and would not mind about it much.

But Luce was mistaken in her estimate of M. de Senlecq; he did mind about it very much indeed. As he walked back that day after the final word, as it seemed, had been spoken between Luce's father and himself, the world seemed to wear a very melancholy look. M. Vanheegue had indeed held out hopes of a change in time-time wrought great things, if M. le Comte liked to wait for a year or two,

his daughter would doubtless know her own mind better then ;-she was but a child, and perhaps after all, her prudence was better than their wishes; it was not well to hurry things, and M. de Senlecq could appreciate the disinterestedness that preferred a child's happiness to any desires for her worldly advancement.

But he felt that all was over. His mother had often spoken to him of marriage,—but never again, he thought, would he make the venture. Well, it was not surprising; of course he had a good deal to offer ;

it would have been a great marriage for her in a worldly point of · view; but he was getting middle-aged, and Mademoiselle Vanheegue

would no doubt marry some younger man more capable of winning her affections, some one more worthy of her; he already fancied he foresaw who it might be. It could not have been otherwise; she was too good to sell herself for ambition as her sister wished, and he must make the best of it, he thought philosophically ; nevertheless, he felt very sad as he walked away that day from the Maison Vanheegue, almost as sad perhaps as a younger and more romantic suitor might have done. Who would have suspected the matter-of-fact, middleaged little gentleman of so much romance ? He was thinking of the great stately rooms at Senlecq, that half-unconsciously he had filled with a gentle presence, and enlivened with a girlish voice : well, it was all over now ;-it was a foolish dream that one so young and so sweet should ever come to brighten his own prosaic life; disappointments must be bravely faced and lived down—this one should be so, and he should soon get the better of it. He must live for his mother, and his own people, and his constituents; there was the business of the session coming on, and after that, at Senlecq there were several things to be done—those cottages to be put to rights, and that piece of land to be turned into arable soil, and that plantation laid out that his mother wanted so much, and two or three other matters of that kind ; but all the same they seemed to have grown a little uninteresting, and the heart of this foolish middle-aged little gentleman ached a good deal under the white waistcoat and scarlet geranium-almost as much as that before-mentioned young and romantic suitor's might have done in similar circumstances; and it was a true heart too.

There was nothing to be done but to bid his cousin Madame Verhoeven adieu, and leave Bruges, pleading his devotion to duty now that the Chambers had assembled again, and his anxiety to be on no account absent from his place during the debate on the land-tax.

And so while Monsieur le Comte was speeding away from Bruges in the early morning, and moodily watching the marshy fields and the winding canals in the fresh misty morning light, the girl he was thinking of was kneeling amid the shadows of the old Cathedral, remembering him amongst those for whom she prayed. That would have been, if he had known it, a little balm for his wounds; and yet she only did it perhaps because she was conscious of some aversion for him, and that would have been but a smarting ingredient in the balm.

So it was better that he did not know, as the train fled thundering through the still air, and the morning broadened into the yet unlived day-bringing onwards its burden of sorrow and labour, its joy and its pain ; and what was one disappointed man the more amidst all ?

There was a fête champêtre that afternoon in Mademoiselle de Woos' garden. People were playing croquet, or sauntering about among the artificial rocks, trim fountains, and close-clipt yew hedges ; or sitting in bright groups beneath the trees on the lawn, in the flickering light and shadow, for the day was warm.

Madame Dambricourt was there, placidly sipping an ice, and imagining herself very rural in her flower-besprinkled primrose gown and the big ox-eye daisies in her hat. There was good Mademoiselle de Woos chatting among her guests, with her favourite dragon-fly poising himself upon his “ light fantastic toe” amid her blossoming bonnet : there was Monsieur Dambricourt making desperate efforts to go through his hoops, and when he failed, to the disgust of his partner—a lady who was a "crack player"-madly attempting to croquet his own boots in his despair ; Monsieur Vanheegue was perilously balancing himself in a garden-chair, and keeping up a heavy badinage with his young lady neighbour : there was a pleasant sound of voices and laughter ;-and running through in a gentle undertone—the flutter of leaves and the twitter of birds, like a musical laughter beneath; the light winds came blown about with the smell of the hayfields and violets, and all the sweet things of the earth.

It was a pity that all within was not in harmony with the pleasant world outside. Beneath Monsieur Vanheegue's cheery badinage he was keenly regretting the grand alliance that had slipped away from his reach, and wondering, now that M. le Comte had really gone, whether Stephanie had not been right when she reproached him for weakly yielding to the foolish whims of a young girl.

And Stephanie herself was bitterly lamenting the failure of all her

« PreviousContinue »