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Mary with her to the prayer-meeting which peace of mind, and until the next thing she held among the soldiers' wives, and occurred to worry him he was radiant with where she said she was having much pre-good-humour and satisfaction. If he saw cious fruit; and was never weary of rep- at any time a cloud on his wife's face he resenting to her companion that she had thought it was because of that approaching need of being brought down and humbled, necessity which took the pleasure out of and that for her part she would rejoice in everything even to himself, for the moment, anything which would bring her dear Mary when he thought of it-the necessity of to a more serious way of thinking; which sending Hugh "home." "We shall still was an expression of feeling perfectly gen- have Islay for a few years at least, my daruine on Mrs. Kirkman's part, though at the ling," he would say, in his affectionate way; same time she felt more and more convinced" and then the baby," - for there was a that Mrs. Ochterlony had been deceiving baby, which had 'come some time after the her, and was not by any means an innocent event which we have just narrated. That sufferer. The Colonel's wife was quite too must have had something to do, no sincere in both these beliefs, though it doubt, with Mary's low spirits. "He'll get would be hard to say how she reconciled along famously with Aunt Agatha, and them to each other; but then a woman is get spoiled, that fellow will," the Major not bound to be logical, whether she be- said; "and as for Islay, we'll make a man longs to the High or Low Church. At the of him." And except at those moments, same time she brought Mary sermons to when, as we have just said, the thoughts of read, with passages marked, which were his little Hugh's approaching departure adapted for both these states of feeling, struck him, Major Ochterlony was as hapsome consoling the righteous who were py and light-hearted as a man who is very chastened because they were beloved, and well off in all his domestic concerns, and some exhorting the sinners who had been getting on in his profession, and who has a long callous and now were beginning to pleasant consciousness of doing his duty to awaken to a sense of their sins. Perhaps all men and a grateful sense of the mercies Mary, who was not very discriminating in of God, should be, and naturally is. When point of sermon-books, read both with equal two people are yoked for life together, there innocence, not seeing their special applica- is generally one of the two who bears the tion: but she could scarcely be so blind burden, while the other takes things easy. when her friend discoursed at the Mothers' Sometimes it is the husband, as is fit and Meeting upon the Scripture Marys, and right, who has the heavy weight on his upon her who wept at the Saviour's feet. shoulders; but sometimes, and oftener than Mrs. Ochterlony understood then, and nev- people think, it is the wife. And perhaps er forgot afterwards, that it was that Mary this was why Major Ochterlony was so frisky with whom, in the mind of one of her most in his harness, and the Madonna Mary felt intimate associates, she had come to be her serenity fall into sadness, and was conidentified. Not the Mary blessed among scious of going on very slowly and heavily women, the type of motherhood and purity, upon the way of life. Not that he was to but the other Mary, who was forgiven much blame, who was now, as always, the best because she had much loved. That night husband in the regiment, or even in the she went home with a swelling heart, won- world. Mary would not for all his fidgets, dering over the great injustice of human not for any reward, have changed him ways and dealings, and crying within her- against Colonel Kirkman with his fishy self to the Great Spectator who knew all, eye, nor against Captain Hesketh's jolly against the evil thoughts of her neighbours. countenance, nor for anybody else within Was that what they all believed of her, all her range of vision. He was very far from these women? and yet she had done noth- perfect, and in utter innocence had given ing to deserve it, not so much as by a light her a wound which throbbed and bled daily look, or thought, or word; and it was not whichever way she turned herself, and as if she could defend herself, or convince which she would never cease to feel all her them of their cruelty: for nobody accused life; but still at the same time he stood her, nobody reproached her her friends, alone in the world, so far as Mary's heart as they all said, made no difference. This was concerned: for true love is, of all things was the sudden cloud that came over Mary on earth, the most pertinacious and unreain the very fairest and best moment of her sonable, let the philosophers say what they


But as for the Major, he knew nothing about all that. It had been done for his


And then the baby, for his part, was not like what the other babies had been; he

was not a great fellow, like Hugh and Islay; Wilfrid coming to be of any permanent but puny and pitiful and weakly, a little importance in the lives of those two strong selfish soul that would leave his mother no fellows seemed absurd enough; and yet it rest. She had been content to leave the was an idea which would come back to her, other boys to Providence and Nature, tend- when she thought without thinking, and ing them tenderly, wholesomely, and not escaped as it were into a spontaneous state too much, and hoping to make men of them of mind. The name even was a weaksome day; but with this baby Mary fell to minded sort of name, and did not please dreaming, wondering often as he lay in her Mary; and all sorts of strange fancies came lap what his future would be. She used to into her head as she sat with the pitiful ask herself unconsciously, without knowing little peevish baby, who insisted upon havwhy, what his influence might be on the ing all her attention, lying awake and fraclives of his brothers, who were like and yet tious upon her wearied knee. so unlike him: though when she roused up Thus it was that the first important she rebuked herself, and thought how much scene of her history came to an end, with more reasonable it would be to speculate thorns which she never dreamed of planted upon Hugh's influence, who was the eldest, in Mrs. Ochterlony's way, and a still greator even upon Islay, who had the longest er and more unthought of cloud rising head in the regiment, and looked as if he slowly upon the broken serenity of her meant to make some use of it one day. life. To think of the influence of little weakly

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From Macmillan's Magazine.






sionate selfishness of inexperience has vanished: the restlessness of learning how much or how little life can achieve is calmed down. The smile of welcome in such a THERE is no example of human beauty man's countenance is worth all the beauty of more perfectly picturesque than a very his adolescent years. handsome man of middle age.

And if there should be any of my read

No, smiling reader, not even a very hand-ers who, in spite of this argument, refuse to some young man: not even that same man become converts to such unusual doctrine, in his youth. The gain is in expression; of and obstinately adhere to a contrary opinion, which every age has its own, and perhaps there is more change in that than in the features, under the working hand of Time. When luckless Dr. Donne wrote to the proud mother of the famous George Herbert of Bemerton and Lord Herbert of Cherbury

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That I have seen in an autumnal face,"

it is to be feared he was more complimen

that is because they never saw SIR DOUGLAS Ross of GLENROSSIE, familiarly called by his tenantry and his few remaining family ties, " Old Sir Douglas."

He had indeed been called by that name before he could reasonably be said to have earned it: before his dark and thicklycurled hair had shown any of those rare silver streaks which the American poet, Longfellow, beautifully images as the

"Dawn of another existence, when this world's

troubles are over."

tary than veracious; for bloom is an integral part of woman's loveliness, and every day that brings her nearer to its withering He was called Old Sir Douglas, chiefly, as takes away something of her charm. But it seemed, because everybody else was so with the other sex it is different. The youth young. His father had run away with a beauwho is noble-looking, glad, eager, gallant tiful and a penniless Miss Macrae, when he and gay as the young Lochinvar, will yet was scarcely twenty. At five-and-twenty he be handsomer when time shall have given was a widower with two infant sons; and by him that air of customary command, of min- way of at once satisfying his family, regled majesty, wisdom, and cordial benevo- deeming the past, and giving a second lence, which belongs to a later date; and mother to those young children, he wedded which, in fine natures, results from much with the heiress of Toulmains; a very stiff mingling with the joys, sorrows, and desti- and starched successor to the blooming and nies of other men, with an increased instead passionate girl whom he had laid in her of a diminished sympathy in all that con- grave so early that his union with her grew cerns them. Often, too, this is accompanied to be a vague dream rather than a distinct by a genial cheerfulness of manner, spring- memory.

ing from the same source At the age of But the sunshine was off the path of his which I am speaking, small annoyances have life for ever: and perhaps that instinct of ceased to afflict: great hopes and fears are insufficiency to another's happiness, which subject to a more noble reserve: the pas- haunts the hearts of those who live in intima

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She did not relax in her system even after she herself became a mother; and the little pale, shrewd, sharp-browed half-sister she gave the boys, seemed indeed to have been modelled on her own pattern. Still, resolute, and reserved, that tiny girl foreshadowed the woman to be, and faithfully transmitted the soul and spirit of her progenitrix.

Young as the first brood were when they lost their loving mother, they felt the change. Home was home still, but it was home frappé à la glace; and the efforts of Lady Ross to train and nail them as snow-berries not only failed, but produced, as years went on, a sort of chronic state of rebellion; insomuch that, even had her wishes been reasonable and gently expressed (two conditions that never existed), I fear she would have found the two boys, Douglas and Kenneth, wilfully provided with a stock of readymade opposition.

In a household where the sole break in the monotony of discontent was a change from storms to sullenness on the part of the governing authority, and a corresponding change from passion to dejection in the young things that were to be governed, it was not to be expected that nature should be properly disciplined, or minds effectually taught. The boys learned as little as they could, and resisted as much as they dared. Their affection for each other was proportionate to their isolation at home, and before they were severally nine and ten years old, their chief pleasure was to roam over the hills behind the castle, their arms twined round each other's necks, talking of the insupportable tyranny of stepmothers, as set forth in all the stories they had ever read, and planning wild and boyish attempts at escape from such thraldom. From their father they received neither instruction nor guidance. Tormented and disappointed himself, his weak and impulsive nature took that turn to evil from which perhaps a pious, cheerful, loving helpmate might have saved him. Captious in his temper, drunken in his habits, given greatly to those open griev

ous twits and taunts in the wars of home, which seem to lookers-on so indecent and embarrassing, — and which a man should be taught to govern and conceal in his soul, as he is taught to clothe the nakedness of his body, his children combined an utter absence of respect for him with a certain degree of prejudiced pity. If they did not think him always in the right in the family quarrels they witnessed, at least they always thought their stepmother in the wrong. "Poor papa" was their kindliest mention of him; and "papa's too lazy to care the common salvo to their conscience when doing something that had been absolutely forbidden.

At length came that crisis in their childlife, which might be expected. Among the smaller obstinacies about which papa was "too lazy to care," and which was the subject of fierce reprobation with their stepmother, was the constant presence of two rough terriers, which had been given the two boys in the earliest stage of their mutual puppyhood by the old keeper. Jock and Beardie were installed as idols in their masters' hearts. Rustling through the brushwood, leaping over the purple heather, panting through the brawling burns, covered with dust or drenched with rain, as the case might be-in rushed, with a scuffle and a yelp of joy, sniffing for drink, or scratching for a comfortable resting-place, these four-footed plagues, as Lady Ross termed them; following, cr followed by, the kilted little lads. During the brief period allotted to their careless lessons, dog and master eyed each other with an equally intelligible agreement to "go out the moment it was over," when, as if at the sound of a signal gun, — the scuffle, shout, yelp, and rush were renewed. Often had Beardie been chased angrily with a whip, to teach him indoors manners; often had Jock been seized by the scruff of his shaggy neck, and tossed out of the low windows; often pulled out from slumbers surreptitiously permitted in the tumbled beds of their sleeping masters; often made to howl for flagrant discovery of bones half gnawed, and fragments of victuals, under those same little couches; often shaken out rudely on the bare floor when curled up for a nap in the plaided counterpanes. But it was in vain that Lady Ross scolded and stormed. The dogs did not understand what she would be at, and the boys were determined that where they went Jock and Beardie should follow.


On one especial day, the rushing, yelping, shouting, and scuffling, which attended their entrance seemed redoubled: the boys

had fallen in with an otter hunt, conducted arm; and Beardie, handsome, active, and by an experienced old gillie, their chief frolicsome Beardie, who had leaped so high friend on the estate. They entered flushed, to Kenneth's stick, and whose long silky coat wet, panting, and joyous, leaving every of iron grey hair had been the admiration of door on their progress open, including that all beholders! There they hung! wet and of the wide oak hall, through which a whirl draggled and weary-looking, as when they of wind and autumn leaves followed their came in but never more to dry their coats reckless little heels, as if willing to share in by the fire; or lap from the great bowl of the sport and the confusion. Then dog and water set ready for them by the boys; or master, alike muddy, breathless, and drip- lick the tanned little hands, in mute joy and ping, burst into the presence of Lady Ross, gratitude, at the end of some pleasant day! even as she sat in the state drawing-room There they hung: tongues out; eyes glazed; receiving the somewhat formal visit of the limbs contracted with horrid evidences of a most puissant of all her Scotch neighbours, bygone struggle ending in a helpless death. the dowager Countess of Clochnaben and the invalid earl her son.

"Are those Sir Neil's boys? They seem rudish little bears," was the polite speech of the dowager, as she hastily drew her ample dress nearer the boundary of the sofa, where the ladies were seated.

"I told you to hinder that sort of thing," said the irate hostess to her husband after her guests had departed.

"How am I to hinder it?" sulkily replied he. "I'm just wishing you'd let the lads and their dogs be."

Kenneth was the first to break silence; with a cry that was almost a yell of despair and defiance, he made a dash towards the tree, opening his knife as he went, to cut his favourite down. Douglas stood still; panting, speechless, and breathless; his eyes riveted on poor Jock, as though he had no power to withdraw them from the dreadful sight. Then followed, from both boys, a wild echoing shout for their father-for their father to come and see what had been done by them during the brief interval they had spent in preparations for a more decent appearance in the sitting-room and at the family meal.

Then rose one of those wild storms about nothing, which are at once the curse and the wonder of ill-mated married life: the Nor did the easily excited ire of that fawife "flyting" at the husband; the husband ther disappoint the boys' expectations. It swearing at the wife; the children staring went beyond them: it alarmed them by its at the loud battle and angry gestures; till, a excess. Louder and more furious, and more portion of the wrathful torrent of violence intermixed with oaths, grew Sir Neil's being turned their way, they were ordered rapid phrases of reproach to his wife, as the off to "make themselves decent for sup- boys, sobbing and exclaiming, kissed the per." corpses of their canine companions; and, That supper was not eaten, nor greeted at length, as with fierce and fearless defiotherwise than with bitter cries and regret-ance, taunt for taunt returned in the shrillful tears; for, when the boys recrossed the great hall adorned with the antlers of innumerable stags, they were met by their incensed stepmother. She pointed fiercely through the great arched door, calling out, "Since there's neither teaching nor managing will rule ye, and your father lets you run wild, we'll see if I can find means to make more impression:- I think you'll not for get to-day's otter hunt in a hurry.".

Through the arch the boys gazed, in the direction indicated by her gaunt finger, and then stood as though she had turned them into stone by some weird spell. For there, on the two lower branches of a stunted old fir-tree, just outside the castle door, hung the two dogs; horrid in their recent death by strangulation; pitiful in their helpless dangling attitudes; executed by a sudden doom! Poor Jock, whose warm kindly brown eyes and rough nose were wont to bury themselves under Douglas's carressing

est of voices, Lady Ross made a step or two in advance towards her husband, the latter seized her by the shoulders; shook her violently; and, with the exasperated words that she had "done an ill devil's deed,”—and he "wished from his soul she was hanging up alongside of the dogs," he thrust her from him against the tall, heavy, hatstand that stood at the hall-door. The hatstand fell over with a crash; and, though Lady Ross recovered her balance with a staggering effort, and did not fall, the excitement of the scene proved too much for Douglas, who, throwing himself between the contending parties with a piteous exclamation of horror, suddenly dropped at his father's feet in a dead faint.

He was a fine robust boy; and, the burst of emotion and its consequences once over, he rapidly became himself again. But neither of the lads would come in to supper, or give any attention to the persistent lec

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