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you have no more earthly settling days' to which you may look forward; and your place in the ring' will know you no more. The confusion of ideas, which thoughts such as these created in a brain already weakened by his accident, terrified him into a sudden suspicion that his mind was wandering; and a cold perspiration breaking out over his forehead, he trembled violently. "God have mercy upon me,' he exclaimed with sudden vehemence, 'for I am losing my senses.'

A gentle touch — need I say it was a woman's, rested on his shoulder, and recalled him to himself; and so, for a passing moment, he was comforted, and his nervous tremor ceased. Ah! how true is the oft repeated saying, that in scenes of sorrow and of sickness, from the sight of which bold men shrink appalled, women seem in their most fitting place! Even the weak and foolish among them find that their powers strengthen in the hour of trial, and that their nerves become more fitted for their work; and when a man

is poor, and helpless, and sick, and miserable, he will rather turn for assistance and consolation to the woman he has wronged and slighted, than to the boon companion who, in happier days, had feasted at his board and called himself his friend. The remembrance of his mother comes strongly upon the suffering man, when humbled and prostrate he is awaiting his final sunimons. He turns back, and through the long vista of years, he sees her there. She looks as she did in the early days, long years ago, when in his fretful childhood she laid him down upon his little bed, with a mother's kiss upon his lips and a mother's blessing on his head; he hears her, as she patiently teaches him to lisp his infant prayer, and he sees her, as she shed tears of agony over his first great fault; ever at hand whenever sympathy was called for or useful service required; forgetting herself in her constant memory of those she loved, a memory that fills her mind throughout the day, and keeps it wakeful during the watches of the night. In sorrow and in anguish does a woman bring a man into the world: the life she has given is, alas! but too often for her one long trial; and when the last scene that closes the sad eventful history comes, in trouble and in anguish deeper still, she strives to smooth his passage to eternity!

Helen,' exclaimed the dying man to the woman whose loving hand rested on his shoulder, `Helen! speak to me and speak aloud-for whispers worry me, and I love your voice; but above all, give me light, and let me once more see the sun of heaven, that shines alike on the just and the unjust.'

The last words were muttered alınost inaudibly; but the woman's anxious sense had caught their import, and she sighed heavily, as, moving towards the window, she prepared to do his bidding.

• Helen, this must be a dream-a dream from which I long to waken.' For all reply, the woman, bowing down her head, murmured faintly, “No dream, alas! Oh! my poor Philip! my poor love!' and a sob rising in her throat was checked with difficulty. There was a word (and that word was Death) which was clutching at her heart, as if with fingers of ice; but she tried to seem (poor soul !) as though she were still hopeful; and looking down on him, she smiled wanly. They were silent again; not making the most of the few moments granted to them, but grieving inwardly. .

The midsummer sun, which shines as brightly on the grave as on the cradle, came struggling through the half-closed shutters and drawn curtains; tracing a narrow stream of light along the room in which the motes dariced merrily, while summer insects, disporting themselves on the window-frames, hummed noisily in the sunshine. Above these working sights and sounds, the woman's voice at length arose.

You feel no pain, love? Tell me at least that you do not suffer.'

Pain? No. For me pain of body is, I imagine, nearly over : lay your hand on me-press hard upon my limbs. Nellie, my poor girl, I feel your touch no more than I do that of the fly that settles on the coverlid. I am more than half-dead already, for it is only here that I retain sensation;' and he moved his head slowly. . But kiss me, my darling, for I would gladly feel the touch of your warm lips once more.'

She leant over him, and pressed a kiss on his cold damp forehead. It was a solemn, almost a parting caress, one which sent a sharp stinging pain through Helen's heart, as she turned aside to hide the grief she could not repress.

Nay, Helen, this must not be !' said Philip. My time here is short, and I cannot afford to lose one look of the face I am so soon to leave. Call up all your courage : you were ever a brave woman. Do you remember ?

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