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queer all over,” to use his own phraseology, when the last evening glories faded and died away.

On the other side, the Corner House looked out into King Charles's Street, or King Street in modern brevity, which was full of odd gables, and quaint chimney-tops, and old beams of painted wood, conspicuous amongst which were those belonging to Dr. Brown's comfortable mansion. The entrance to the Corner House was from the street by a low, wide, arched passage, through which might be seen the velvet turf and rich sweet September flowers of the old-fashioned sheltered garden. Then if you ascended a few

a steps to the ivied porch, and traversed a broad matted passage, you would find yourself in Hester's sitting-room of many years, with its low invalid sofa, and its wide south window looking out upon the pleasant garden, and its books and vases of flowers, and few choice pictures and precious likenesses of friends. Well did Hester know and love every leaf and thread, and pattern and feature within those four walls ; for, except to move slowly and gently to and from the adjoining chamber, which was her bedroom, she had rarely been without their range during ten years.

Hester, when a girl, had been remarkably shy-very silent, very grave, and with no pretension to beauty. Her pretty sister, and a family of merry cousins next door, all had lovers and proposals, but none came to Hester. She never expected any. However, one day a friend of the merry cousins came to pay them a long visit, seeking change of air, for he was in delicate health, and had studied too hard at Cambridge. First he took a great fancy to the Corner House garden, with its clipped hedges, and sun-dial, and old moss-house beneath the elm tree, and its path down to the quiet river-side. Then he took another strange fancy, which was to have Hester beside him in the garden, and among the meadows, and where the water plashed in the reedy nooks. She could not help being very glad and grateful, for few in those days thought much of Hester. Then it became still stranger, for he discovered that shy Hester had sentiment and feeling, and wit and knowledge, when they could be wooed out of their violet-like retirement. Many an

. hour's reading of Milton and Wordsworth they had in the moss-house, or in Hester's own favourite "Roundel," and other books, too, of still higher meaning, of still deeper depths. Neither was the Book of Books forgotten between those two, for they were both seeking, and one had found—the one who was soonest to need their help—the riches of its hidden treasures. It was a strange courtship that of Walter Gower and Hester Morris ! Nobody talked about it, or even thought of it, for the pretty sister and the merry cousins were accustomed to absorb all the admiration, and Walter talked and laughed more with them than with Hester, SO they were quite satisfied. At last, Walter Gower was called abroad by family business of importance.

No lover's word was said between them at parting, but both felt that their two hearts had merged into one.

He promised to write, and to come back soon. He did neither. But Hester read, “ Died suddenly at Ostend, from heart-complaint, on his way to England, Walter Gower, aged twenty-nine.” She wondered at the strange thing which had come to her; and her spirit was agonized with a great agony. She never knew why he had not written. Perhaps the letter was lost; perhaps he was too ill ; but Hester trusted with the sure trust, which is as good as knowledge, that he had not forgotten her, and thus was spared the bitterest drop in life's cup of sorrow. Hester came forth

. from her great tribulation a changed woman. In that time of sorrow the Word of God had come to her as a reality, and all things had become new. Before, she had sought peace, but she had never found it. Before, she had tried to be saved in her own way, but now she took the "more excellent way.” Before, she had wondered at and scorned the strange word “conversion," but now she acknowledged that the “change” was as great and

certain as light shining into thick darkness ; as order emerging from wild chaos; as freedom coming to the ironed captive. God's Spirit has many ways of manifestation, and to her bleeding, bereaved heart the Saviour came gently as Friend and Elder Brother, first saving, and then comforting. In His finished work she found peace, which nothing could take away, and love which was allsufficient, even for such a lonely, yearning heart as hers. The outward change showed itself speedily; the suffering as well as the cure had worked its appointed work. Every phase of life had new and more beautiful meanings. What do they know who have not suffered?” There was more dignity, more just self-appreciation, more love, more capacity for action; an aim had arisen in her life -a goal to her journey, which had been wanting, even in her brief time of earthly happiness.

She might have married, but she never did ; so after the dear father and mother died, and the brothers went to India, and the

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