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faint and tired she was when she reached the

church, and how the beadle seemed inclined to turn her out of her old place. How her father's, mother's, and sisters' faces were turned away from her; and how she saw their backs stiffen in righteous indignation as they heard the familiar voice. How the

How the pew-opener and the parish clerk, the schoolmaster and schoolmistress, the grey-haired old curate and the elegant young rector glared at her as if each would like to “ cast the first stone."

And, ah!” said Margaret, “there is a way, ’Lizbeth, of stoning cruelly with looks ; and I have been stoned this day pitilessly ; but my wounds are deeper than your kind eyes can see. But, 'Lizbeth, in the midst of all I had a great strength given me. Do


know what? I could sing as I never sang before. It was as if God had said to me, ‘Speak, Margaret, as I shall direct thee; reproach them, beseech them, touch their hearts if thou canst. I will ive thee Divine power. I scarce knew my own voice, 'Lizbeth ; I felt strange power entering into and passing from me. I saw the faces of the two lads next me in the choir turned to me as if I had dropt from the clouds. I seemed to be telling all my sin—all the injustice with which it has been regarded ---all my misery and my longing. But for all that I told them this, and with more, I am certain, than my own natural

power, no eye looked on me less savagely. My mother and sisters looked as rigid as before ; only my father left the church ; and the thinking that his heart might be moved towards me is the one gleam of comfort I have had this day.”

Come, then,” said Elizabeth, wiping her eyes, as she kissed Margaret, “ this is one green leaf to the ark, so let us not despair. And now for my story, which I think will surprise you not a little. Margaret, I have--do not be startled-I have seen your husband.




ELIZABETH VANDERECK, when she had said those words, looked at Margaret as if she expected to see some violent signs of the shock she knew they had occasioned.

The colour left her face completely ; she fixed her eyes on Elizabeth's face ; her breath came in short quick gasps ; but she did not scream or faint.

Elizabeth went on speaking in that calm, gentle tone, that had such a quieting influence over Margaret, even at the most exciting times.

“I have hardly any need to tell you, Margaret,” said she, “ that the best of my thoughts

gone this morning Indeed, I scarce knew what I was about for thinking of you. I am afraid it was the same

were with
you after

you had

with me at chapel, or else the Spirit was not in Mr Straightways this morning, for his discourse did not enter my heart at all. His sermon was about Daniel in the lions' den, but you were the only Daniel I could think of, and the Wrexham folk the only lions. Well, when I came away and fetched home Gracie and Addy from the cobbler's—where, you know, the daughter takes care of them for me at chapel-times—the weather was brighter, and that, I suppose, made me brighter, for I felt more cheerful about you. The children and I laughed over our dinner and made very merry; the dumplings were done to a turn, and altogether we enjoyed ourselves so much, and made such a chatter and laughing, you'd have thought we had wine on our table instead of water. All of a sudden, when I was just patting Addy's back to keep her from choking, the window was darkened, and I looked up

and saw a man. He was dressed like a sailor, but his clothes were all in tatters. He was dark,




very dark; his eyes were deep set in his head and had a haggard look; they were dark, too, fiery dark. His lips looked black and dry. He said, when I looked up

"You ’re merry here, missis.' And I said for I thought he looked hungry, and you know I'm one that can't let a sailor want bit nor sup -I said

«« Yes, master, it is good fare makes us merry. Will

you try it ?' and I offered him the dish with our to-morrow's dinner in it. “ He laughed and shook his head.

No, thank ye, missis,' says he ; 'I can turn my hand to most trades, but begging does not happen to be in my way.'

“I meant no offence,' I said, feeling a little vexed at his rudeness in coming so near the window since he was not in want.

“ • And I take none,' says he. I took offence once, and that's been enough for me; I never mean to do it any more.'

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