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D'Aubigni in the deed in which he confirms the religious foundations of his wife and establishes a chantry in her honour,-Eximia regina, the truly excellent queen!
Day changes into night at last,
Or tangled, dark, with falling tears
So changing into darker hours
And in its hours, like night to day
prayer above :
One tear from eyes that never wept,
BY M. SCHRÖDER, AUTHOR OF A TALE OF THE GRAMPIANS.”
ARE there any letters for me, Susan ?” The school-room door was only opened about three inches, but Susan saw enough of the disappointment on the face of the young nursery governess to make her wish she could give a different answer than “No, miss, none.' She wondered as she went on her way up stairs with a heavy can of hot water, why Miss Campbell had been so anxious for letters these last few days. . She had been in the house now for about a year, and occasionally received letters, which Susan, who was not free from curiosity, had decided to be in what she termed" male writing," and Miss Campbell never appeared to be either pleased or otherwise when they arrived. About a fortnight ago she had been away for a week's holiday, and during the last few days she had frequently asked the same question, “ Any letters for me, Susan ?”
"Perhaps," thought Susan, pausing midway on the flight of stairs, “ she's found a sweet'eart, and expects 'er first letter from ’im. She's uncommonly pretty, and no mistake ; just such a face has James" (here Susan blushed a little), "so wittily hobserved the other day, to win a man's 'eart. I don't think she 'ad one before, she warn't ’alf pleased enough with those hother letters ; no, that must be it,” and she panted up the remaining stairs.
Susan might have felt a little more convinced if she could have taken a peep into the school-room. Miss Campbell shut the door quietly, but, the moment she felt herself to be alone, she wrung her hands together, and hid her face in the sofa pillows, with a bitter cry.
Oh, Robin! Robin ! you said you would write, you promised to send me the ring. Oh! you cannot have forgotten me so soon ; if I could but see you for a moment ! could have one look-I am so lonely!” And sobs rose thick and fast, making the girl's delicate frame shake all over.
Poor Margaret Campbell, she was terribly alone in that big London house, full of people. She had grown not to mind it, until she went away for her week's holiday, and then, coming back with her heart full of new joys and hopes, she longed in vain for one sympathising friend.
Margaret and her four brothers were orphans. They had lost their father about a year before ; he died, leaving them to his sorrow without any means of support except their own well-trained minds. He knew that his income would only last during his life, he had therefore used it freely to give his children such an education as would enable them to gain their own living.
Archibald, the eldest, he had placed in a lawyer's office in London, where he was doing very well, and had hopes of some day being taken into partnership. Hector was a master in a large public school; Willie had gained scholarships at South Kensington, and was able by their help still to study his beloved art. So only Margaret and John had lived with their father in the pretty little suburban home, which Margaret always kept ready for the “boys” when they had a holiday. Then came the father's death, quite suddenly, and the home was
Margaret, through the kindness of some friends, had obtained em. ployment as nursery governess to the young children of Sir Edward Clinton's second wife, and Archie had found a place for John in the office of a lawyer near his own work.
They were very young, all of them, but united to each other by the closest ties of family love. Their early childhood had been passed in a beautiful village in Kincardineshire, under the tender care of devoted parents. It had been a very bright happy home, and now the young Campbells carried the influence of that brightness into their several vocations. Even in the grand house of the Clintons, all who came in contact with Margaret could not help feeling the power of truth and faith. The three curly-headed little children dearly loved her ; regarded the few hours devoted to lessons as a pleasure rather than a hardship, whilst their chief delight was to gather round her in the firelight of the winter evenings, when the early tea was over, and listen to the fairy tales, of which she seemed to have a never-ending store.
Even Minnie, who was just “out," but who sometimes grew weary of the restraint of society, was glad enough, on evenings when they had no engagement, to escape from the drawing-room and to practise her duets with Miss Campbell, who was so patient with her wrong notes. And the younger servants in that large establishment would have done anything for the young lady, who was not above speaking a kind word when she met them; and who, when she found that often on Sunday they had not time to go to church, would collect them in the schoolroom in the evening and read to them so patiently.
Margaret had been with Lady Clinton for nearly a year, and had had no holiday, when one day before Christmas she had received a letter from Archie, beginning thus :
“DEAREST MARJORY,—Hurrah for old Deacon, he has given me a week's holiday! Mrs. Wilson has her three rooms to let for a week, so John and I have been issuing invitations wholesale. That is to say, Hector and Willie are both coming to us, and, of course, we must have you; we have never spent a Christmas apart yet, and, thanks to Mrs.
Wilson's lodgers departing so opportunely, we need not now. I feel sure Lady Clinton will not refuse you a short holiday after so long; if she wants to know where you are going to, tell her that I will look after you. Let me know soon what day you can come, and I will fetch you myself.
Lady Clinton made no objection, so, two days before Christmas, Archie appeared, charmed her by his frank, gentlemanly manner, and carried Margaret off in a cab to his humble lodgings.
The other brothers soon arrived ; it was the first time they had all met since they separated after their father's funeral, and they all had so much to tell and hear that the hours flew by without their knowing how they went.
“This is jolly !” said John, stretching himself on the hard, little horse-bair sofa, “really to have nothing to do, after working day and night for so long. Margaret, my dear, I think you are prettier than ever,” and he gazed at her foolishly, putting up his fingers in the shape of an eye-glass.
“ Your manners haven't improved, sir,” said Hector. " I shall feel inclined to take you back with me, and put you to school until you learn to make compliments in a gentlemanly manner, if you must make them at all.”
“Shut up, Hector," replied the boy, lazily. “Oh! by-the-bye, are there any pretty girls at Elmborough ?”
“ Plenty,” said Hector, laughing; "we had a splendid assembly at our breaking up concert."
“I wish Mrs. Wilson had a piano, so that Margaret could sing to us,” said Willie.
“At present Christmas dinner is more on my mind than music,” said Archie. “Now, Margaret, what are we to have ?"
“ That depends upon our means," she answered, laughing. "I suppose we are to subscribe for our meals as well as our lodging ?”
Turkey,” said John, in a solemn tone.
'No, John, that is far too extravagant; what do you say to a goose, Archie?"
“ It would do very nicely," he replied. “That reminds me, Marjory (not the goose, but speaking of dinner), I met an old friend the other day, who is staying alone in London, and I asked him to come to dinner with us on Christmas Day.”