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moment, had he suffered himself to be over- himself against entertaining them again, even persuaded by his mother, and coerced by his as passing guests. It was a poor man's life stepfather, and drifted by circumstances into he was going back to, doomed to it for the entering the Church? His heart was not in remainder of his days; for if Richard came his work. He discharged his duties con- into unconditional possession it was little scientiously, and would not wilfully omit one help his mother would get from her younger of his obligations; but they were a weari- son, and she would become an additional ness, not a delight, to him. His desire was burden upon him. Two hundred a year was for other pursuits. When the men about the full value of his little living. Poverty had him talked of their fishing and farming, their not yet looked in through his window, for horses and their boats, he could enter easily old Richard Herford's pride would not have and cordially into their interests; but when brooked the idea of any one belonging to they were dying, and looked to him to give him being in low condition; but now Richard them comfort and counsel for their souls, was master he would spend all on himself in he was at a loss. He had found himself riotous living. His stepfather's last coherent tongue-tied and embarrassed at his step- words haunted him as he retraced his way father's death-bed. It ought not to have homewards : “ Justin has always been a good been so. Perchance, if he had been himself son to me; I wish I'd done something for a more devout and spiritual man, he might him, but it's too late now.” have awakened some answering emotion in the departing spirit, and it would have passed
CHAPTER IV.-PANSY. into another world with less of earth's igno- JUSTIN's vicarage was built in the shadow rance and hardness about it. He felt bowed of the church—a small, low house, not much down by his sense of unfitness for his office. better than the best of the village dwellings; There had been times before this when the yet such as it was he had been content with same wretched despondency had breathed it until his younger brother disappeared, and over him, but now he had fallen into a dark his stepfather ostentatiously and continuand deep degree of it. If he had been what ally proclaimed him heir to Herford Court. he ought to be as a minister of Christ, would Since then he had, unawares to himself, his stepfather have gone from this life in so looked upon it as a merely temporary abode, dense an ignorance of the character of God, which answered his purpose well enough till and the nature of the revelation Christ had he could move into a larger habitation. come to bring ?
Now it must be his home for life, for Justin But irksome as the yoke was he must bear had no desire to quit Herford, for which he it. There had been a half-dream in his mind felt an almost passionate love, and no ambiof giving up his living to his old friend tion apart from his beloved village tempted Cunliffe, if the estate should ever come to him. He had never left it as a boy without him. It amazed and shamed him to dis- suffering from that strange malady, half cover how active had been his anticipations physical and half. mental, which we call of supplanting his half-brother ; yet what home sickness; and to be banished from it freedom there would have been in it for altogether would have seemed to him like himself! How well he could have filled tearing up his life by the roots. the offices of owner and master, squire and He looked up expectantly to the small magistrate! Richard would do mischief in window of the closet adjoining his own each of these positions-Richard, the igno- study, where his motherless child slept, and rant, reckless spendthrift, as selfish as his which he could enter with quiet footfall any father, with low habits bordering on vices. moment of the long evenings he often spent Justin had always despised Richard while alone, and mark every change on the sweet he envied him. He had continually drawn rosy face asleep on the little bed. comparisons between them, and in all these not disappointed, for Pansy was already up comparisons his own character and conduct and dressed, and was watching for him, with stood out well ; yet Richard was to be her face pressed close against the window. master of Herford !
She ran down swiftly, and he heard her At last Justin roused himself from his long fingers busy at the fastenings of the door, reverie, stood up shivering, and lifted his , which were but slight ones, for no one feared soft cap from his head to let the keen sea- housebreakers in Herford. There was no breeze cool his throbbing temples. The lack of warmth in Pansy's welcome. She thoughts that had passed through his mind pulled down his sad face to hers and covered he could utter to no man; and he must guard it with kisses.
“ How I've missed you, father !” she said. reached the man's hard and selfish heart had "Why did you stay away from me all night? pierced it through with many sorrows. I got up so early to see if you wouldn't “You'll never be very grieved for long
I was going to run up to grand- while I'm with you !” said Pansy wistfully. papa's after
hadn't come soon.” Why, no! How could I?” he replied, Pansy,” he said solemnly, “I was watch- rousing himself from his mournful reverie. ing with your grandfather till he went away "If my little girl is very good, and very happy, from us all."
I couldn't be sorry for long. Now give me “Where is he gone?” she asked in an my breakfast, little woman.”
It was earnest, emphatic tone.
unfailing pleasure to him to see the flush of Justin was silent as he drew his little mingled anxiety and happiness that mounted daughter into the homely room where his to Pansy's face when she was employed in breakfast was being laid. What could he pouring out his coffee, the only part she say in reply to the important question we could yet take in the management of the ask of each one that passes away from our breakfast table. She was not tall enough to sight and ken ? He had hitherto been so sit down to her task, and she stood at the much occupied with his own position that tray, with a grave face puckered up into the thought of the old man's destiny had supernatural seriousness, as she carefully barely touched his mind. No one knew him portioned out the cream and sugar, and as well as he did, no man was better fitted poured out the hot coffee; breaking out into to pronounce upon his doom, but Justin's a triumphant little laugh as she placed the heart sank within him as he vainly tried, for full cup in safety before him. an instant, to follow the journey his step “ There! You'll never pour out my coffee father had taken since he had left his for me again,” she said, “like you used to do questioning little daughter.
when I was a little girl. Not if I never "He is gone to his own place,” he mur- break any of the cups and saucers ? Don't mured half aloud.
make believe I'm little again, please. I'm "Is it a pleasant place ?” asked Pansy. going to learn how to mend your stockings; "Is it where you'd like us two to go, father?" and some day, when I am quite tall, I shall
“God forbid !" he answered hastily, wash your surplices and iron them. I'm pressing the child closer to him; “my darling, almost a woman now I think. Was it very your grandfather is dead."
cold and dark all night, father ?” “Like my poor mamma !” said Pansy, in “It was neither cold nor dark in your a pitiful tone. “Never mind, father. I'll make grandfather's room," he answered. up to you for him, as well as for poor mamma. “Poor grandpapa !” said Pansy, in a Don't I make up for her to you?”
voice of awe and pity; "did he know he was “Yes, my little girl,” he answered ten- going away all alone? Did he want to stay derly.
here a little longer ? Would grandmamma Are you very, very sorry he is dead ?” have gone with him if she could? He would she inquired again, after a little pause. She have liked somebody to go with him.” did not find that she felt very sorry.
He “She would rather stay with us as long as was a yellow, toothless, rough-faced old man, she can," replied Justin. with a mumbling voice, of whom she had "Father!” cried Pansy, running to him, been secretly afraid; though she had too and throwing herself in his arms, “if you much native sweetness and grace to show it were obliged to go away I should want to in any way. “Are you very sorry?" come too. I should never, never like you to
“I am grieved," answered Justin, stroking leave me behind. Didn't you want to go his child's sunny curls, with as loving a with poor mamma when God called her?" touch as a mother's. For the first time he “My little daughter," he answered, with felt an emotion of grief for the old man; for soothing caresses,
“ we have no choice his wasted life, so long in passing, and so offered to us. Thank God, we are not called solitary in its close. Could it be possible upon to choose whether we will go with that he had possessed the same absorbing those we love or stay behind! God cails love for Richard which Pansy received from each of us when He sees it best; and none him ? What poignant anguish must the can refuse to obey, neither can we go till forsaken father have undergone! What a sore He calls." spirit must he have carried about with him "It is so strange and dreadful,” sobbed under his proud mien for many a past Pansy, hiding her face on his breast, and month! The only love that had ever clasping him more tightly in her arms.
“Why ! how's this?" he said. “My little slumber easily enough in the recesses of the woman was quite merry a minute ago, and brain so long as death passes by our own now she is crying her poor little heart away. circle. He exerted himself to chase away Did you love your grandfather so much ?” the gloom on Pansy's face; and presently
“I didn't love him enough,” she faltered she was sitting again at the head of the table between her sobs; “if I'd only known I'd chattering almost gaily, though a suppressed have tried to love him better. And now he'll sob now and then forced itself from her lips. never speak to me again; and he's gone Her father had soon to leave her to go again alone by himself; and I'm afraid it's not a to Herford Court, and Pansy ran up-stairs pleasant place, for you said God forbid you to her little room to ask God to grant a very and me to go there. If I was there I'd ask quiet place to her old grandfather. God to let him go to a quiet room, where he could rest himself a little while, because he
CHAPTER V.- READING THE WILL. is so old ; and he should have some very Justin had to pass through the whole quiet angels to take care of him. Might I length of the village street before reaching ask God for it? Perhaps it would not be too the road which led up to Herford Court. late yet.”
The place was in an unusual stir and excite“You may ask God for everything you ment, with groups of men and women wish," answered Justin soothingly. There standing here and there talking busily. could be no harm in teaching his child that; Only the very oldest among them could but he was reluctant to burden her young remember the death of the last Herford of mind with any theory of the great mystery Herford, more than sixty years before ; and and tragedy which he had just witnessed. It the news that their old master had at last came home to himself more closely than any laid down the burden of his extreme age had death had done since his wife's, and had shaken the village as with the shock of an awakened a whole host of questions that earthquake. There was no other death that