Chapter 1313380

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Chapter NumberXLIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1313380
Full Date1873-04-05
Page Number3
Corrections147
Word Count5935
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2008-10-26
Newspaper TitleThe Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)
Trove TitleDisobedience
article text

DISOBEDIENCE.

By the Author of " Lady Hutton's Ward," Ao.  

CHAPTER XL111.

The second day succeeding that on which Dora had been sent for, Beatrice Earle was to be laid in her grave. The servants of the house   hold who had all dearly loved their beautiful

mistress had taken their last look at her face. Lady Helena, had shed her last tears over it  

Lord Airlie had asked to be alone for a time

with his dead love. They had humored him, and for three long hours he had knelt by her, bidding her a sorrowful farewell, taking his last   look at face that would never again smile on     earth for him

They respected the bitterness of his uncon- trollable sorrow, no idle words of sympathy   werw offered to him, men passed him by with   averted faces-women with tearful eyes.

Lord Earle was alone with his dead child. In a little while nothing would remain of his beautiful, brilliant daughter but a memory and

a name He did not weep, his sorrow lay too deep for tears In his heart he was asking

pardon for the sins and follies of his youth , his face was buried in his hands, his head bowed over the silent form of his loved child, and   when the door opened gently, he never raised his eyes he was only conscious that some one entered the room, and walked swiftly up the

gloomy.

darkened chamber to the bed side.

Then a passionate wailing that chilled his very blood" filled the room.

My Beatrice my darling why could I not         died for you ?"  

me one bent over the quiet figure, clasping it in tender arms, calling in a thousand loving words upon the door one who lay there-some one whose voice fell like the strain of long forgotten music upon his ears. Who else could weep as she did? who forget everything else in the abandonment of her sorrow, and remember only the dead ?

Before he looked up, he know it was Dora-the mother bereft of her child-the mother clasping in her loving arms the child she had nursed, watched, and loved for so many years. She gazed at him, and he never forgot the woeful, weeping face

" Ronald," She cried, " I trusted my darling to you , what has been done to her?"  

The first words for how many long years   the first since he had turned round upon her in his contempt, praying Heaven to pardon him that he had made her his wife '

She seemed to forgot him then, and laid her had down upon the quiet heart, but Ronald   went round to her. He raised her in his arms, he laid the weeping face on his breast, he kissed away the blinding tears, and she cried to him

" Forgive me, Ronald, forgive me ' You   cannot refuse in the hour of death."

How the words smote him ' They were his own, recoiling upon him. How often had he refused his mother's pleading-hardened his own heart, saying to himself and to her that he could not pardon her yet-he would forgive her in the hour of death, when he or she stood at the threshold of eternity !

Heaven bad not willed it so : the pardon he had refused was wrung from him now and,   looking at his child, he felt she was sacrificed to his blind, wilful pride.

" You will forgive me, Ronald," pleaded the gentle voice, " for love of my dead child ? Do not send me away from you again I have been very unhappy all these long years, let me stay   with you now. Dear, I was beside myself with jealousy when I did that wretched deed."

' I forgive you," he said, gently, " can you pardon me as easily, Dora? I have spoiled your life-I have done you cruel wrong ; can you forget it all and love me as you did years ago?"

All pride, restraint, and anger were dead. He whispered loving words to his weeping wife, such as she had not heard for years and it   seemed to him, as he did so, that a smile lingered on the fair face of the dead.  

No, it was but the light of a wax taper flickering over it, the strange, solemn beauty of that serene brow and those quiet lips was un-

stirred

Half on hour afterwards Lady Helena, trembling for the success of her experiment,

entered the room She saw Ronald's arm

clasped round Dora, while both knelt side by

side

" Mother," said Lord Earle, " my wife has   pardoned me She is my own again-my com-

fort in sorrow "

Lady Earle touched Dora's face with her lips, and told what her errand was. They must leave the room now-the beautiful face of Bea- trice Earle was to be hidden for ever from the sight of men

That evening was long remembered at Earles court; for Lady Dora thenceforward took her rightful position. She fell at once into the spirit of the place, attending to every one and thinking of overy one's comfort.

Lillian was fighting hard for her young life. she seemed in some vague way to understand   that her mother was near. Lady Dora's hand soothed and calmed her, her gentle motherly ways brought comfort and rest, but many long   days. passed before Lillian knew those around her or woke from her troubled feverish dream. when she did so, her sister was laid to rest in her long, last home.

People said afterwards that no brighter day had ever been than that on which Beatrice Earle was buried. The sun shone bright and warm the birds were singing, the autumn

flowers in bloom, as the long procession wound "a way through the trees in the park, here and  

there the leaves fell from the trees, while the long grass rustled under the tread of many feet. Lord Earle and Hubert Airlie were together. Kindly hearts knew not which to pity most- the father whose heart seemed broken by this sorrow, or the young lover so suddenly bereft of

all he loved best. From far and near friends and strangers gathered to that mournful ceremony ;   from one to another the story flew how beautiful was, And how dearly the young lord loved  

her how she had wandered out of the house in her sleep and fallen into the lake.

They laid her to rest in the green churchyard At the foot of the hill, the buriel place of the

Earles. The sun shines upon her grave, birds

sing around it, flowers are springing in the long green grass. but neither light, nor music, nor     perfume reach her to disturb the calm sleep of death

It was all over. The death bell had ceased ringing, the long whitev blinds of the Hall windows were drawn up, the sunshine played

once more in the rooms, the carriages of sor

rowing friends had gone ; the funeral was over.   Of the beautiful, brilliant Beatrice Earle, there remained but a memory.

They told afterwards how Caspar Lawrence had watched the funeral procession, and how he lingered last of all in the little churchyard. He never forgot Beatrice he never looked into  

the face of another woman with love on his

own.

It was all over, and, on the evening of that some day, a quiet, deep sleep come to Lillian Earle. It saved her life ; the wearied brain found rest. When she awoke, the lurid light of fever had died out of her eyes, and they looked in grateful amazement upon Lady Dora who sat by her s¡de.

"Mamma," she whispered, "am I at home

at Knutsford ?"

Dora soothed her, almost dreading the time when memory should awaken in full force. It seemed partly to return then, for Lillian gave vent to a wearied sigh, and closed her eyes.

Then Dora saw a look of wild alarm cross her face. She sprang up, crying

" Mamma, is it true? is Beatrice dead ?"

" It is true, my darling," whispered her mother, gently. "Dead, but not lost to us only gone first."

The young girl recovered very slowly. The skilful doctor in attendance upon her said that, as soon as it was possible to remove her, she should be taken from home, carried direct from her room to a travelling carriage, and not allowed to return to the Hall until she was stronger and better.

They waited until that day came, and, mean while, Lady Dora Earle learned to esteem Lord Airlie very dearly. He seemed to find more comfort with her than with anyone else. They spoke but of one subject, the loved, lost Beatrice.

Her secret was never known. Lord Earle and

Lionel Dacre kept it faithfully. No allusion to it ever crossed their lips. To Lord Airlie, while he lived, the memory of the girl he had loved so well was pure and beautiful as the falling snow, not oven to her mother wae the story told. Dora believed, as did everyone else, that Beatrice had fallen accidentally into the lake.

When Lillian grow stronger-better able to

bear the mention of her sister's name Lord Earle went to her room one day, and, gently enough, tried to win her to speak to him of

what she knew.

She told him all her sister's sorrow, remorse, and tears ; her longing to be free from the wretched snare in which she was caught ; how she pleaded with her to interfere. She told him of her short interview with the unhappy man, and its sad consequences for her.

Then the subject dropped for ever, Lord Earle said nothing to her of Lionel, thinking it would be better for the young lover to plead his

own cause.

One morning, when she was able to sit up for a time, Lionel asked permission to see her. Lady Dora, who know nothing of what had passed between them, unhesitatingly consented.

She was alarmed when, as he entered the room, she saw her daughter's gentle face grow deadly pale.

"I have done wrong," she said. "Lillian is not strong enough for visitors yet."

" Dear Lady Dora," explainod Lionel, taking her hand, " I love Lillian and she loved me   before I was so unhappy as to offend her. I have come to beg her pardon. Will you trust

her with me for a few minutes ?"

Lady Dora assented, and went away, leaving them together.

'' Lillian," said Lionel, " I do not know in what words to beg your forgiveness. I am ashamed and humbled. I know your sister's story, and all that you did to save her. When one was to be sacrificed, you were the victim, Can you ever forgive me ?"

" I quite forgive you," she gently answered. " I have been in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and all human likings, all resentments and all unkindness seem as nothing to me."

" And may I be to you as I was before ?" he

asked.

"That is another question," she eaid. "I cannot answer it now. You did not trust me,

Lionel."

Those were the only words of reproach she ever used to him. He did not tease her with protestations ; he trusted that time would do for him what he saw just then he could not do

for himself.

He sat down upon the little couch by her side, and began to speak to her of the tour she was about to make, of the places she would visit

carefully avoiding all reference to the troubled past. He was startled when Lillian, laying her hand upon his arm, looked up anxiously in his

face.

" Lionel," she said, " do you think my poor Beatrice had time to say one prayer of mercy

before she died ?"

" Do not let that trouble you, Lillian," he replied, looking at the sweet eyes full of tears. " Our great Father is more merciful than men. I have never doubted His power : I shall never doubt His love again."

Three days afterwards Lillian started on her journey to France, insisted upon by the Doctor. Lord Airlie and his wife took charge of their child ; Lord Earle, declaring he could not yet endure Lynnton, went with them. Lady Helena and Lionel Dacre remained at home, in charge

of the Hall and estate.

One thing the latter had resolved upon namely, that before the travellers returned, the lake should be filled up, and green trees planted over the spot where its deep waters now glistened in the sun.

No matter how great the expense and trouble, he was resolved that it should be done. " Earlescourt would be wretched," he said, " if that fatal lake remained."

The day after the family left Earlesoourt he had workmen engaged. No one was sorry at his determination. Lady Helena highly ap proved of it. The water was drained off ; the deep basin filled with earth, and tall saplings planted where once there were ripples in the sun. The boat-house was pulled down, and all vestige of the lake done away with.

Lionel Dacre came home one evening from the works in very low spirits. Embedded in the bottom of the lake they had found a little slipper-the fellow to it was locked away in Dora's drawer. He saved it to give to her when

she returned.

CHAPTER XLIV.

Two years passed away, and the travellers thought of returning. Lillian had recovered health and strength, and, Lord Earle said, longed for home. One bright June day they were expected back. Lionel Dacre had driven to the station. Lady Earle had laid aside her mourning dress, and sat anxiously awaiting her

son. She wished the home coming were over, and they had all settled down to the new life.

Her wish was soon gratified. Once again she gazed upon the face of her only and beloved son. He was little changed somewhat sun- burnt, it ¡s true but there was less of the old   pride and sternesss, a kindly light shining in his eyes and a kindly smile playing round his lips. There was, too, a shadow of sadness that plainly would never leave him ; Lord Earle could never forget his lost child.

Lady Helena looked anxiously at Dora, but there was no cause for fear. The rosy, dimpled beauty of youth had passed away, but some thing better and worthier had taken its place. She looked like an elegant, amiable woman, with eyes of wondrous beauty thickly veiled by long lashes, and a wealth of rippling black hair. Lady Helena thought her far more beautiful now than when the coy smiles and dimples had been the chief charm. She admired, too, the perfect and easy grace with which Dora fell at once into her proper place as mistress of that vast establishment. The pretty, musical voice was trained and softened, the delicate, refined accont retained no trace of provincialism. Everything about Dora pleased the eye and gratified the taste the girlish figure had grown   matronly and dignified, the sweet face had in it a tinge of sadness one may often see in the face of a mother who has lost a child. Lady Helena, fastidious and critical, could find no fault with

her son's wife.

She welcomed her warmly, giving up to her, in her own graceful way, all rule and authority. Helping her, if in any way she required it, but never interfering, she made Dora loved and respected by the love and esteem she always

evinced for her.

But it was on Lillian's face Lady Helena gazed most earnestly. The pallor of sickness had given way to a beautiful and exquisite bloom, The fair sweet face in its calm loveli- ness seemed to her perfect, the violet eyes were full of light. Looking at her, Lady Helena believed there were years of life in store for Ronald's only child.

There was much to talk about. Lord Earle told his mothor how Hubert Airlie had gone home to Lynnton, unable to endure the sight of Earlascourt. He had never regained his spirits. In the long years to come it was possible, added Ronald, that Lord Airlie might marry, for the sake of his name ; but if ever the heart of living man lay buried in woman's grave, his was with the loved, lost Beatrice.

Lionel Dacre know he had done wisely and well to have the bed of the lake filled up. In the morning he saw how each member of the family shrank from going out into the grounds.

He asked Lord Earle to accompany him, and then the master of Earlescourt saw that the deep, cruel water no longer shimmered amidst

the trees.

Lionel let him bring his wife and daughter to see what had been done ; and they turned to the author of it with grateful eyes, thanking him for the kind thought which had spared their feeling. Green trees grow now on the spot where the water had glistened in the sun, birds sang in their branches, green grass and ferns clung round the roots.

Yet amongst the superstitious strange stories were told. They said that the wind, when it rustled amongst those trees, wailed with a cry like that of one drowning in deep water ; that the leaves trembled and shivered as they did upon no other branches that the stirring of   them resembled deep-drawn sighs. They said flowers would not grow in the thick grass, and that the antlered deer shunned the spot.

As much as possible the interior arrangements at Karlescourt had been altered. Lillian had

rooms prepared for her in the other wing those   that had belonged to her hapless sister were left untouched and undisturbed. Lady Dora kept the keys ; it was known when she had been visiting them the dark eyes bore traces of weeping.

Beatrice had not been forgotton, and never would be. Her name was on Lillian's lips a hundred times each day. They were twin sisters, and it always seemed to her that part of herself lay in the churchyard at the foot of the

hill.

Gaspar Lawrence had gone abroad he could not endure the sight or name of home. Lady Lawrence hoped that time would heal a wound nothing else could touch. When, after some years, he did return, it was seen that his sorrow

would last for life. He never married-he never cared for the name of any woman save

that of Beatrice Earle.

A week after their return, Lillian Earle stood one evening watching from the deep oriel win- dow the sun's last rays upon the flowers. Lionel joined her, and she knew from his face that he had come to ask the question she had

declined to answer before.

" I have done penance, Lillian," he said, " if ever man has. For two years I have devoted time, care, and thought to those you love, for your sake, for two years I have tried night   and day, for your sake, to become a better man. Do not visit my fault too heavily upon me. I am hasty and passionate-I doubted you who are the truest and purest, but, Lillian, in the   loneliness and sorrow of those two years I have suffered bitterly for my sin. I know you are above all coquetry. Tell me, Lillian, will you be my wife ?"

She gave him the answer he longed to hear, and Lionel Dacre went straight to Lord Earle. He was pleased and delighted-it was the very marriage upon which he had set his heart years ago. Lady Dora was delighted too; she smiled more brightly over it than she had smiled since the early days of her married life. Lady Helena rejoiced when they told her, although it was not unexpected news to her, for she had been Lionel's confidante during Lillian's illness.

There was no reason why the marriage should be delayed, the June roses were bloom-   ing then, and it was arranged that it should take place in the month of August.

There were to be no grand festivities-no one had heart for them the wedding was to be   quiet, attended only by a few friends and Lord   Earle succeeded in obtaining a promise from Lionel which completely set his heart at rest. It was that he would never seek another home that he and Lillian would consent to live at Earlescourt. Her father could not endure the thought of parting with her.

" It will be your home, Lionel," he said, " in the course of years. Make it so now. We shall be one family, and I think a happy one."

So it" was arranged, much to everybody's delight. A few days before the wedding took place, a letter came which seemed to puzzle Lord Earle very much. He folded it .without speaking, but when breakfast was ended, he

drew his wife's hand in his own and asked her to join with him.

" Dora," he said, " there will never be any secrets between us for the future. I want you to read this letter : it is from Valentine Charteris

that was, Princess Borgezi that is. She is in England, at Greenoke, and asks permission to come to Lillian's wedding; the answer must rest   with you, dear."

She took the letter from his hands and read it through ; the noble heart of the woman spoke in every line, yet in some vague way Dora dreaded to look upon the calm grand beauty of Valentine's face.

" Have no fear, Dora, in saying just what you think," said her husband " I would not have   our present happiness clouded for the world. One word will suffice if you do not quite like the thought, I will write to her and ask her to defer the visit."

But Dora would not be outdone in magna- nimity. With resolute force, she flung from her every unworthy thought.

"Let her come, Ronald," she said, raising her clear dark eyes to his. I shall be pleased to

see her. I owe her some amends."

He was unfeignedly pleased, and so was everyone else. Lady Helena alone felt some little doubts as to Dora's capability of control- ling herself. The Princess Borgezi was to come alone : she had not said at what hour they might expect her.

Lady Dora hardly understood why her thoughts went back so constantly to her lost child. Beatrice had loved the beautiful gracious woman who was coming to visit them. It might have been that which prompted her, on the day before Lillian's marriage, when the house was full of the bustle and turmoil of preparation, to go to the silent, solitary rooms, where her daughter's voice had once made sweetest music.

She was there alone for some time it was   Lord Earle who found her, and tried to still the bitter weeping.

" It is useless, Ronald," she cried " why   should my bright, beautiful darling be lying there ? It is only two years since a wedding wreath was made for her."

Nothing would comfort her but a visit to her daughter's grave. It was a long walk, but she preferred taking it alone. She said she should feel better after it. They yielded to her wish. Before she had quitted the house many minutes, the Princess Borgezi arrived.

There was no restraint in Ronald's greeting He was heartily glad to see her-glad to look once more on the lovely Grecian face that had seemed to him, years ago, the only model for Queen Guinivere. They talked for a few minutes ; then Valentine, turning to him, said

" Now let me see Lady Dora, My visit is really to her."

They told her where she had gone and Lady   Helena whispered something to her which brought a flush of tears to Valentine's eyes.

" Yes," she said " I will follow her. I will   ask her to kiss me over her daughter's grave."

Some one went with her to point out the way, but Valentine entered the churchyard alone.

Through the thick green foliage she saw the shining of the white marble cross and the dark dress of Dora, who knelt by the grave.

She went up to her. Her footsteps fell noise lessly on the soft grass. They were unheard by the weeping mother, whose face was bent over the grave.

Valentine knelt by her side. Dora, looking up, saw the calm grand face shining down upon her, ineffable tenderness in the clear eyes. She felt the clasp of Valentine's arms, and heard the sweet whisper, which said

" Dora, I have followed you here to ask you to try to love me and to pardon me my share in your unhappy past. For the love of your dead child, who loved me, bury here all difference and all dislike."

She could not refuse ; for the first time Lord Earle's wife laid her head upon that noble shoulder, and wept away her sorrow while Valentine soothed her with loving words.

" Over the grave of a child " the two women were reconciled all dislike, jealousy, and envy died away forever. Peace and loe took their place.

In the after time there was something almost wonderful in Dora's reverential love for Valen- tine. Lord Earle often said that in his turn he

was jealous of her. His wife had no higher model, no truer friend than the Princess Bor gozi.

The wedding day dawned ; at last and for a time all trace of sadness was hidden away. Lord Earle would have it so. He said that that which should be the happiest day of Lillian's life must not be clouded. Such sad thoughts of

the lost Beatrice as came into the minds of those who had loved her remained unmentioned.

The summer sun never shone upon a more lovely bride, or upon a fairer scene than that wedding. The pretty country church was deco rated with flowers and crowded with spectators ; the birds were singing their sweetest in the trees ; the flowers seemed to have put on their fairest colors ; the wedding bells pealed through the clear soft air.

Side by side at the altar stood Lady Dora Earle and Valentine. People said afterwards they could not decide whom they admired most -Lady Helena, in her stately magnificence, Dora in her sweet, simple elegance, or the Princess Borgezi with her marvellous Grecian beauty.

Lord Earle had prepared a surprise for Dora. When the little wedding party returned from church, the first to greet them were Stephen Thorne, now a whito-headed old man, and his wife. The first to show them all honor and re-

spect were Lord Earle and his mother. Valen- tine was charmed with their homely simplicity.

For months after they returned to Knutsford the old people talked of " the lady with the won- derful face, who had been so kind and gracious to them."

Lord Airlie did not attend the wedding, but he had urged Lionel to spend his honeymoon at Lynnton Hall, and Lillian had readily con-

sented.

So they drove away when the wedding break- fast had ended, a hundred wishes for happiness following them, loving words ringing after them. Relatives, friends, and servants had crowded round them ; and Lillian's courage gave way at last. She turned to Lionel, as though praying him to shorten their time of parting.

" God bless you, my darling " whispered Dora to her child. " And mind, never-come what may-never be jealous of your husband."

" Good-bye, Lionel," said Lord Earle, clasping the true, honest hand in his " and if ever my   little darling here tries you, be patient with her."

The story of a lifetime was told in the two

utterances.

CHAPTER. XLV., AND LAST.

Ten years were passed since the wedding bells chimed for the marriage of Lillian Earle. New life had come to Earlescourt. Children's happy voices made music there; the pattering of little feet sounded in the large, stately rooms ; pretty rosy faces made light and sunshine

The years had passed swiftly and peacefully as a happy dream. One event had happened which saddened Lord Earle for a few days, the death of the pretty coquettish Countess Rosall. Sho had not forgottton him, there came to him from her sorrowing husband a beautiful ring which she had asked might be given to him

Gaspar Lawrence was still abroad, and there was no likelihood apparently of his return The Princess Borgezi, with her husband and children, had paid several visits to the Hall

Valentine had one pretty little daughter upon whom Lionel's son was supposed to look with great affection. She had other daughters-the eldest, a tall graceful girl, inherited her father's Italian face and dark dreamy eyes. Strange to say, she was not unlike Beatrice It might be that circumstancoe which first drew Lord Airlie's attention to her. He met her at Earlescourt, and paid her more consideration than he had given to any one since he had loved so un- happily years ago

No one was much surprised when he married her And Helena Borgezi made a good wife. She knew his story, and how much of his heart lay in the grave of his lost love. He was kind, gentle, and affectionate to her, and Helena valued his thoughtful, faithful attachment more     than she would have valued the deepest and most passionate love of another man.

One room at Lynnton was never unlocked ;   strange feet never trod it; curious eyes never looked round it. It was the pretty boudoir built, but never furnished, for Hubert Airlie's

first love

Time softened his sorrow ; his fair, gentle wife was devoted to him, blooming children   smiled around him, but he never forgot Bea trice, in his dreams, at times, Helena heard her name on his lips ; but she was not jealous of the dead. No year passed in which he did not visit the grave where Beatrice Earle slept her last long sleep.

Dora seemed to grow young again with Lillian's children. She nursed and tended them Lady Helena, with zealous eyes, looked after Bertrand, the future lord of Earlescourt, a brave, noble boy, his father's pride and Lillian's torment and delight, who often said he was richer than any other lad in the county, for he had three mammas, while others had but one.

The sun was setting over the fair broad lands of Earlescourt; the birds were singing their evening hymns , a sweet solemn hush ladd fallen over nature. The western sky was all aflame with gorgeous colors ; the birds were thirsting for the soft dew which had just begun to fall.

Out in the rose garden, where long ago a love story had been told, were standing a group that an artist would have been charmed to sketch  

Lionel had some choice roses, in bloom, and after dinner the whole party had gone out to see them. Lady Helena Earle was seated on the garden chair where Beatrice had once sat, listening to the words which had gladdened her brief life, A number of fair children played

around her.

Looking on them with pleased eyes was a gentle graceful lady. Her calm sweet face had a story in it-the wondrous dark eyes had in them a shadow of of some sorrow not yet lived down. Lady Dora Earle was happy-the black clouds had passed away. She was her hus- band's best friend, his safest counsellor; and Ronald had forgotten that she was ever spoken   of as "lowly born." The dignity of her cha ractor, acquired by long years of stern discipline, counterbalanced any mere accidental circum stances ; no one in the whole country side was more loved or respected than Lady Dora Earle

Ronald, Lord Earle, is lying on the soft grass at his wife's feet He looks older, and the luxuriant hair is threaded with silver ; but there is peace and calm in his face-peace that comes

not from the world

He laughs at Lillian and her husband, con- versing so anxiously over the roses.

" They are lovers yet," he says to Dora, and and she glanced smiling at them.

The words were quite true. Ten years married, they are lovers yet. There is gentle forbearance on one side, an earnest wish to do right on the other. Lillian Dacre never troubles her head about " women's rights," she has no idea of trying to fill her husband's place ; if her opinion on voting were asked, the chance are that she would smile and say, " Lionel manages all those matters " Yet in her own kingdom she reigns supreme ; her actions are full of wisdom, her words full of kindly thought The quiet, serene beauty of her youth has de- veloped into that of magnificent womanhood The fair, spiritual face is peerless in her hus-   band's eyes There is no night or day during which Lionel Dacre does not thank heaven for that crown of all great gifts, " a good and gentle

wife."

There is a stir amongst the children ; a tall dark gentleman is seen crossing the lawn, and   Lionel cries, " here is Gaspar Lawrence, with his arms full of toys ; those children will be completely spoiled "

The little ones rushed forward, and Bertrand, in his hurry, fell over a pretty child with large dark eyes and dark hair. Lord Earle jumped up and caught her in his arms.

" Bertie, my boy," he said, " always be kind to little Beatrice " The child clasped her arms round his neck. He kissed the dark eyes and   murmured to himself, "Poor little Beatrice "

The same summer wind that played amongst the roses, lifting the golden ripples from Lillian's forehead and tossing her little girl's curls into Lord Earle's face, was singing a sweet low re- quiem among the trees that shaded the grave of

Beatrice Earle. C.M.B

A city fop who was taking an airing in the country, tried to amuse himself by quizzing an old farmer about his bald head, but was ex- tinguished by the old man, who solemnly re marked, " Young man, when my head gets as soft as yours, I can raise my hair to sell."

OLD Oysters.-An advertisment in a daily paper wants " a boy to open oysters about fifteen years old." That situation ought to be filled by a boy with a strong stomach and, a terrific cold in his head-for those oysters must be extremely fragrant. But why the advertisor desires to open them we cannot imagine.

THE MOTE AND THE BEAM AGAIN.-Sterne, the author of the "Sentimental Journey," who had the credit of treating his wife very ill, was one day talking to Garrick, in a fine, sentimental manner, in praise of conjugal love and fidelity. " The husband," said he with amazing assurance, " who behaves unkindly to his wife deserves to have his house burnt over his head." " If you think so," replied Garrick, " I hope your house

insured."