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his own." Father left the room; for any reference to my dear mother disturbs him; and Andrew also withdrew, saying that he would call again to say farewell.

Ralph came to my retreat. “So our scholar is going to leave us, Mistress Alice," said he, with a very strange expression in his face; but I thought he really felt glad.

“Yes,” I answered ; "and I am sorry; he has not been to Welton for several years. I wish he could wait until Thursday was passed.”

“Have you tried your powers of persuasion ? " asked he.

I was surprised that he should seem to wish for Andrew to stay, since he had always manifested such indifference to his society. I like not such insincerity, so replied, with a little displeasure, that I believed his inclination would carry him to Welton; but that his going to Cambridge was a matter of conscience and duty with which it would not befit us to interfere. And so I left him though I feared afterwards that I had spoken with too much haste. After dinner

my father and Ralph went to look over the Manor Palace, where Ralph was born. It still belongs to his family, but none of them live there now. His father, Sir Christopher, is dead, and so is his mother ; so Ralph and his brother and sister call Winestead Hall their home, where their grandfather lives. The King has rented the Palace to hold his great stores of ammunition and arms, and they do say it is the largest magazine in the country. But the Palace is changed from its former grandeur, and I can see that it frets Ralph's spirit to see the magnificent chambers used for common purposes. The King's Chapel and the royal apartments are falling into decay, and the King's garden has lost all its former beauty. Ralph has had the tower and stately gateway repaired, and says proudly that some day it shall be restored to its old splendour, and that he shall entertain his friends in his ancient palace home.

Left alone, I was sitting with a book in my lap, but thinking more than reading, when a step behind my chair made me jump up quickly, and let my book fall to the floor.

"In maiden meditation, fancy free,” said Master Marvel, laughing at my astonishment, and stooping to pick up the book; but I had bent to reach it myself, and in some way the buttons on his sleeve caught the trimmings of my gown. It was now Andrew's turn to look embarrassed, as he tried to disengage himself without making a rent in my lace His awkward endeavours at last provoked me so to mirth that I was constrained to beg his pardon, but could not control my laughter at the foolish figure we made.

“ You will think I am a clumsy fellow ; I fear your delicate lace is spoiled," said he, when at last he was liberated.


father gare

I assured him that my lace had not suffered, and, wishing to change the conversation, I said, “You have dreamt over that book yourself, Master Andrew."

Spenser's . Faërie Queen'? Yes," said he, “I remember the day my

it to

you, and how proud I was to come and read it to

you and the Colonel, the first holiday we had at the Grammar School. I always thought you were just like Una; and I used to wish that I was a lion, and could meet you in Beverley Wood, and bring you home in triumph."

I laughed again, but Andrew went on saying, gravely, “You are just like Una still, as Spenser pictured her-with dark blue eyes, and even to the black stole she did throw. But I would rather be your Red Cross Knight now, fair Alice. Have you no enemies that I could demolish? How sorry I am that the days of chivalry are past !”

I bardly knew how to answer, for there was a touch of serious. ness in his jesting words ; so I took up the book, and read a line or two, describing the gentle knight

“ And on his breast a bloody cross he bore

The dear remembrance of his dying Lord,
For whose sweet cake that glorious badge he wore,

And dead (as living) ever Him adored.” “While truth wants a champion, Master Andrew," said I, “the days of chivalry will not be over. Why not enter those lists, and win an eternal crown ?"

He suddenly drew his chair to my side, and said, " What has changed you, Alice ? You did not care once for such grave subjects; but now I often hear you alluding to religion, as if it was the chief thing to be cared for."

“And so it ought to be," I replied. I dared not look up, for fear he should see two drops that threatened to fall.

“Won't you tell me what has made you so different ?” he asked.

"If I am anyway changed, it is by the grace of God,” said I ; and now, to my shame, the drops did fall, and lay shining on

my lap.

“May I ask how the change came to pass, Alice ? "

I was willing enough to answer his questions, but wished be would not look at me so earnestly. "Two years ago," said I, "I only cared for the things of this life, as if I had been born just to enjoy them-nothing more; and I might have remained so to this day, but for your dear father. His preaching made me very unhappy, and inclined me to think what my portion would have been if the dreadful plague had overtaken me. These serious thoughts might have passed away, for they caused me such great discomfort night and day that I tried my best to banish them. But one

at ease,

evening Mr. Marvel came in when I was sitting all alone, very ill


reflections ; he did not ask me of my state; but, as if he knew that I was a poor, troubled soul, tossed with fear and sorrow, he discoursed in the tenderest manner of the love and mercy of the Redeemer; so that, when he ended, I had forgotten all my misery, and could think of nothing but His infinite beauty and compassion. And now, when I am weary of myself and ready to despair, I take a long look at the Saviour, and my trouble melts away. Oh! Master Andrew !” I cried,

we shall never see anyone like

your father again !” "No, Alice; and just when I understood his worth, he has been snatched from me. I have not even a portrait of him, and I greatly fear lest a time should come when the vision of his beloved face will be less distinct; I never thought, until now, what a blessing art may become to one who is bereaved—the art of painting. Alas! no musician in the world can re-echo the tones of a human voice. And it is better so; the sound of a familiar voice would be far worse than unbroken silence. What a hollow mockery it would be to hear tender, endearing words; they would break the heart, not heal it."

“ There is a beautiful likeness of your father, drawn long ago," said I.

“Where, when ?” asked Andrew, quickly. “I never knew that he had sat to any artist.”

"Nay; 'twas the other way," I replied. "Chaucer drew the picture, and your father grew every year more like it, until the resemblance was perfect.”

Andrew smiled. "Ah, you mean Chaucer's 'good parson


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Yes, 'tis a fair portrait of my father ; but good men would be more like one another, I suppose, if they copied their Great Master more closely.. I am glad that you have found rest, Alice. I am still seeking it; but it is harder for us students to believe the simple truth than for gentle, trusting women."

"I cannot reason with you,” returned I; “I only know that I was blind, and lost, and astray, but having Christ I want for nothing ; He is way, and sight, and life. He just put out His hand to me, and I took hold of it; since then He has never let me go."

“If I could stay, you should teach me, sweet Alice.” I said he would take a better teacher with hini, for how could a

foolish girl instruct a learned gentleman in anything but what it would be unbecoming for him to know.

“ Will you think of me when I am gone ?” he asked next.

I was almost hurt that he should put such a question, and replied, “Surely, for Alice Lister never forgot her friends."

“Nay; I did not mean to doubt you,” said he, taking my hand in his. “I find you true and faithful, as when I left you; but I am selfish, and want you to say you will miss me somewhat."

But that I was too bashful to say, and so held my peace until he called me his “good angel;” then I thought his words savoured of flattery, therefore I withdrew my hand, and left my seat, saying, “Methinks you are taking pattern by Master Ralph ; it is for him to make fine, honied speeches."

“ You do not think me insincere ?” cried Andrew. “ Surely, Alice, you have known me too long for that. But is Ralph the only one that is privileged to talk to you of love or angel guardianship ?”

"I spoke not of love. Master Hildyard is my father's guest, and knows what is proper carriage towards his host's daughter," I replied, coldly; for I liked not that he should suppose I held such converse with Ralph. Yet I repented when he said sadly,

“Perchance you think it would be as well did Andrew Marvel know his proper place, too ? ”.

“I had no such thought,” cried I, turning towards him. “You mistake me; he is but an acquaintance of yesterday, while you"

-“Say I am Alice's dearest friend," interrupted he. But how could my lips confess that which covers my face with blushes, even to think upon? Yet I think he must have read my trembling silence as meaning an assent, else he had not been so bold as to beg a favour, ere he said goodbye. I tried to ask him lightly what more he craved.

• That you will give me,” said he, “as a pledge of our friendship, the boon I so often coveted in vain, as a schoolboy.” Then I should have fled to hide myself for I could not pretend not to know, my cheeks betrayed me—but he held my hands and made me look into his brown eyes: they were full of light, and made his whole face beautiful. It was but a little moment, yet it seemed an age that I stood before him, and looked deep down into his heart. Then he bent his head and kissed me, whispering softly, as he set my hands free, “ Farewell! sweet Alice.”

Was I glad or sorry at that moment, I cannot tell, only that I longed to be alone; and yet, when Andrew hurried from the room, I wept as I had done five years ago, to think that he was really gone.

His sister Ann brought a posey of spring flowers next morning, which he bad gathered, and bade her present to me. She frets

sadly about losing him again so soon; and little wonder, for there must be a painful emptiness in that once happy home, which will be more observable now Andrew has left.

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CHAPTER V.-A LETTER AND A SONG. The abrupt dissolution of Parliament was a great disappointment to the Colonel, and his face looked graver and more care-worn than ever; but when Ralph Hildyard was gone, he fell into the habit, to Alice's satisfaction, of thinking aloud to her. It was very pleasant to feel that she was considered no longer as merely a child to be indulged, but as a woman that could understand and be interested in such sober subjects as politics. If she could not give advice, she could listen ; and soon she became almost as much concerned as her father himself, for the welfare of the State.

One day, soon after the date of our last chapter, Alice and her father were sitting at supper, when such a heavy knock was heard at the street door that they started and looked at one another. In a few moments Simon, who was waiting upon them, instead of bringing in the dishes, announced that a man was without, having come, with all speed, on the King's business.

“Bring him in directly," said the Colonel; and Simon ushered in a man covered with mire, as if he had ridden far and in great baste. He felt in his doublet, and produced a sealed packet.

“Did you come across the river p” asked the Colonel.

“ Yes, sir. I was charged with some despatches for the Mayor, which I have just delivered.”

"Well, you must wait here. My servant will give you meat and drink. I shall have an answer to send back to Mr. Vane."

“Mr. Vane is now Sir Harry Vane; craving your pardon, sir. The King knighted him last week."

"Ah! Well, you may go. Follow my man there;" and the Colonel broke the seal, and was instantly absorbed in the contents of his packet. But the man did not move, even when Simon pulled his sleeve ; he only looked towards Alice, until she asked if he had any other message to deliver,

“May I be so free, my lady, as to ask if you are Mistress Alice Lister ?”

Yes," said she, “that is my name; but you have not got a letter for me, I suppose Ι

? "Your pardon, lady, but I have, or something like one; and there it is, quite safe.”

Alice could hardly believe him, until he put his hand again into his doublet, and drew forth a second billet, tied with a silken cord, and directed to herself.

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