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herself to the obvious duty which was laid upon her by the ties of blood, a blessed work, most peculiarly dear and grateful to her own feelings, was preparing for her in a quarter where she least expected any such reward.

The day had passed on without her seeing any of the Damer family; and towards evening, when Charlotte fell asleep, Maude went into the schoolroom with her book, and sat down to read quietly. It was the favourite volume we have already mentioned, the first gift the Vicar had ever given her; and she was engaged in reading the portion of it entitled “Reconciliation and Salvation,” which seemed to suit her case at the time, when she heard a gentle knock at the door. She rose and opened it, and drew back respectfully as Miss Damer entered.

Maude had once quoted some of Henry's democratic sentiments to the Vicar, and had asked him on what principles they were to be refuted, as she felt instinctively that they were wrong; and he had told her, more fully than we have space to detail at present, that He Who said, “Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's," had Himself ordained the different ranks of society for His own wise purposes, in order that the members of His Body might each have their special work and office in the Church; and therefore, that when we failed to render honour to whom honour is due, were it only from the tradesman's daughter to the child of the gentleman, we were despising the ordinance of God, and not simply the laws of men.

In obedience to this rule, Maude was desirous of comporting herself with fitting respect to the lady who now visited her, although she knew that in the highest gifts they had indeed a blessed equality and that the riches of the house of God might be the possession of both alike in this world. The obedient humility which thus actuated her, rendered her manner very pleasing and attractive to the aristocratic visitor.

“ Mamma wished me to come and see if the servants have attended to you properly,” said she; “I hope you have everything you require ?"

“Thank you; I am much obliged by your kindness. I am quite comfortable, and they told me to ask for anything my sister desired.”

“ I trust she is better,” said Miss Damer, listlessly looking towards the door of the bed-room.

“I cannot say I think she is recovering yet," said Maude; I fear her illness will be tedious." “How very tiresome for you !” said Miss Damer, yawning slightly; “ how will you ever be able to live in these dull rooms by yourself ?

* 0, I shall find it very pleasant,” replied Maude with a bright

grows worse.

smile, “unless Charlotte

It is so quiet, and I have plenty of occupation.'

"Ah! I see you are fond of reading,” said Miss Damer, carelessly taking up the book which Maude had just laid down. It was open at the page where she had been reading, and the eyes of Emmeline Damer fell suddenly on the following words, full of such deep and solemn meaning,- A living Christ can surely do more for us than a dead Christ!” She remained fixed and motionless gazing at the sentence, and then drew a long breath.

“What a remarkable expression! what can it mean?” She said this more as speaking to herself, than to the humble daughter of the tradesman : but Maude thought she addressed her, and answered modestly, yet firmly,

"I think it is a forcible analysis of the text from which the sermon is taken, and which says that, “If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.' His life, of which we are made partakers in sacramental union,- not only that human part of it which He passed on earth, holy and spotless, the Victim waiting to be offered, but His present life as our Great High Priest, Who ever liveth to make intercession for us."

Miss Damer turned quickly round, and looked fixedly at her.

“Do you pretend to say that you understand such a book as this, or the meaning of what you have yourself been saying just

"I understand only what the Vicar has explained to me,” said Maude, gently, "and I was repeating almost his words.”

And who is the Vicar ?'” said Emmeline. “ The Vicar of S. Alban's."

“Ah, Mr. Chesterfield; I have heard of him. I knew the Chesterfields very well in London, particularly his elder brother Sir Lionel, and his wife. They used to talk of him sometimes, half in pity, half in anger; he acted in so strange a manner. He had a very good private fortune, and was offered a most influential position, where he might have had a brilliant career ; and instead of that, he chose to go and bury himself in a wretched parish, where no one ever hears of him, to work night and day among the poor. They say he lives almost as miserably as themselves, and gives away every penny he has. His family think him mad."

“As Festus thought S. Paul,” said Maude, very softly.

Miss Damer opened her blue eyes still wider, whilst she gazed at her.

“You are a very strange person ; your Vicar must have taken great pains with you. What induced him to bestow such especial attention upon you ?”

now ?

“Because I was poor, and blind, and helpless, and ignorant, -destitute of all; and he thought the one soul for which the LORD CHRIst died too precious to be lost!” exclaimed Maude, her eyes filling with tears at the thought of his goodness. “He would do, and does the same each day, on behalf of the most wretched beggar that crosses his path; for his is indeed the charity which never faileth.”

Miss Damer seemed moved by her warmth of grateful feeling. She stood for a moment thoughtfully looking at her; then she said, “I shall hope to see more of you whilst you are here; meantime, will you lend me this book? I hate sermons in general, but I should like to look at these, they seem so remarkable.”

O, gladly; pray take it !" said Maude ; and with a gentle inclination of the head, as if to take leave of her, Miss Damer turned and left the room.


JULIA KAVANAGH was already known to us as the writer of a charming tale, founded on fact, called “ Madeleine," reviewed at some length in Vol. V. of this publication, and of the clever novel of “ Nathalie.” She is also the author of other works of deserved reputation, and which entitle her to no mean position in the literary world.

“Women of Christianity” is, if we mistake not, Miss Kavanagh's last published work; and we have just risen from the perusal of it with feelings raised by the conteinplation of the blessed effects produced by Christianity.

However much we might eulogise this delightful volume, we should fail to convey to others the impression made by it on our own minds; and yet, cold indeed must be that heart, and utterly wanting in reverence and fervour, which does not swell at the perusal of some of the touching histories recorded therein. It is a series of most charming biographies, some of them mere sketches, others written more at length ; but all-traced by the same clever and delightful pen, which seems as if it could not write anything dull or commonplace. Another biographer might have made the lives of these charitable saints monotonous and tedious in description, for there is much sameness in them. Not so Miss Kavanagh, who, like Mr. Neale, of whom she often reminds us, gives a freshness and variety to everything she touches.

* “Women of Christianity." By Julia Kavanagh.

Among so much that is interesting and excellent, among the crowd of heavenly-minded and heroic women whose brief histories are related, -it is difficult to select; it is difficult-nay, almost impossible to say which, among these heroines of charity, appears to us most admirable and most exalted. We scarcely know whether most to admire those queens, and princesses, and women of gentle blood and ample wealih, who, for the pure and disinterested love of Gon, rejected all that the world holds most attractive, --willingly renouncing the claims of youth, and beauty, and riches, and the allurements of pleasure, to become servants of the poor, to live in hospitals, to nurse the sick, to comfort the dying, “to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction ;" or those poor and lowly followers of Christ, who, out of the depth of their great poverty, devoted their mite to God, who shared their crust of bread, and their cup of cold water, with others still poorer and more friendless than themselves, - women whose faith and trust seen boundless, and who, in that holy strength, from small and most unlikely beginnings, compassed, nevertheless, great and glorious ends.

Some of the histories of these lowly heroines are interesting and touching in the extreme; rare and beautiful instances of a piety at once exalted and practical.

There is one circumstance we can hardly fail of being struck with, and it is a circumstance somewhat humbling to our national vanity, -we mean, the preponderance, among this holy crowd, of foreigners, particularly of French women. Why is this? Is not the soil of England as favourable to such noble instances of selfdenial and heroic devotedness as are here presented to us? We know not; but the examples among ourselves are comparatively rare: while a country which we are apt to condemn as utterly wanting in religion, furnishes, even in our own days, a host of female characters worthy of our warmest admiration. For these we must refer to the book itself, content with quoting Miss Kavanagh's remarks upon the spirit of the middle ages, with which we entirely concur, and which may be taken as a specimen of what awaits the reader.

“ Religion was then a passion, or it was nothing; that calm, modern feeling,-that cold belief, which inspires not one great or good action,-had not yet been sanctified by the name of piety. If we wish to know the difference between the present and the past, we may compare the lives of the saints of the middle ages with the religious biographies of modern times. Arrayed in combat against the temptations of this world, and the terrors of the next, they overcame their passions through spirits of evil, who to them were no symbols, but awful realities. No doubt we may boast of more wisdom, and of more moderation ; but where is the generosity and the greatness ?

“ These remarks are not intended to imply that people were infi

nitely better some five or six hundred years ago, than they are now, but they were certainly very different ; and we must know how to accept that difference. Good is the protest against evil, and great crimes call forth great virtues : the excess of oppression produces excess of pity. We have triumphed over much : many petty and vexa. tious tyrants are low; many cruel oppressions are gone and past; many sanguinary persecutions shall never be renewed : but have we not lost something? Why is faith so dead, or charity so low, that a sort of apology is needed for those who took the Gospel in its literal meaning ?

--who were not ashamed to trust in God, or to give one of their two garments to some suffering brother? We do not choose to imitate them---let that pass; but where is our right to ridicule or censure ? Was it so difficult to add to our better regulated charity, not the actions, but the lofty and enthusiastic spirit of our ancestors ? Admitting even that we cast aside that spirit, with a smile at our superior wisdom; was it then impossible to understand it? Why taxas they have been taxed-with insanity and superstition, Radegonde, who kissed a leper, and Margaret, who washed the feet of beggars ?noble women, who thus professed the spiritual brotherhood and love which not even the most loathsome disease could repel, the equality before God which rank could not efface, and who thought that in so doing they followed the very spirit of the Gospel."


was come.

The beautiful, smiling, weeping Spring came, and the hearts of all things leaped for joy at her approach. Little children ran out to greet her, and wove garlands for her of the violet and daisy. Birds sang as she advanced; the sun remained longer in the sky to look at her; the silver moon stole softly forth at night, for the same purpose; everything rejoiced now Spring

On one sweet sunny day the park was filled with trees,-the old, old oak; the stately elm; the birch, with her drooping branches, and her silvery stem; the heroic beech; the willow, bending downwards to admire her long and slender arms in the glassy stream; the horse-chesnut, with his leaves like large green fans. There they stood, as if in nature's drawing-room, each attired in its own dress, new and beautiful for the occasion. But most beautiful of all was the lime, whose fresh green leaves formed a light pyramid against the intensely blue sky. There they stood, some in long straight rows, as if for country dancing; some in scattered groups of four or five together: only the lime had no companion near her except a little holly-bush. He was

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