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NOCTES AMBROSIANÆ

BY SARAH N. CLEGHORN

1

FROM Windward Mountain's barren crest,
The roaring gale flies down the West,
And drifts the snow on Redmount's breast,

In hollows dark with pine.

II

Full in its path from hill to hill,
There stands, beside a ruined mill,
A lonely house, above whose sill

A brace of candles shine.

III

And there an ancient bachelor,
And maiden sister past threescore,
Sit all forgetful of the roar

Of wind and mountain stream;

IV

Forgot the wind, -- forgot the snow,
What magic airs about them blow?
They read in wondering voices low

The Midsummer Night's Dream !

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IN APRIL

BY JANE PRATT

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I think if I live to be a hundred I shall ples which came out easily; so, on the remember everything which happened whole, I decided I should still appear that day. It is as if it shone with a light natural to him. But what difference did of its own.

that make ? I should probably never see And first of all I was wakened by the him again, unless perhaps when we were thought of him. Not but that he had both very old, like King George the Third been often enough in my mind during and Annie Russell in the play, and I was the two years, nearly two years, since I going to settle down and be a comfort to saw him last, - but in such sad, aching my father, and a pillar of the church, thoughts. This was clear, quick, gay, and before I got really old I should probas if he had called me.

ably marry John Stone. Only I must It struck me wide-awake, and instantly decide that pretty soon, whether to let I remembered that it was Wednesday, the John Stone keep on liking me as well Wednesday of the Sewing Society, and I as he did; for there must be no more found myself shivering a little there in the wretched misunderstandings and making big, white bed, with the April sunshine people unhappy about me. coming in through the windows. For the Yes, I went on talking to myself seriSewing Society at our house meant a ously and steadily like that all the while great deal, oh, a very great deal, to me! I was dressing, and by the time I was It meant that I was going to give up idle ready to go down to breakfast I was dreams, if I only could, and was going to more than half over the queer flutter and remember how much our family had thrill of having been awakened so sudalways stood for in the community, denly by the thought of him. And when that is a quotation from Great-aunt Lu- I saw how capable and sensible I was, cilla, — and to remember how my mo- talking with Nora after breakfast, I ther — "and your mother was a very could n't help admiring myself. Duty remarkable woman, my dear, a much was to be my guiding star from that day, more remarkable woman than you can the day of the Sewing Society. Then, ever hope to be” – had never grudged after that, Nora and I were so busy all the time she gave to the church or to soci- the morning that I quite forgot about ety, and to remember how everybody had duty and the lovely thing I was going to loved her

be in my complete self-abnegation. But I could not lie there and think And after it was ready the house really of all Great-aunt Lucilla had said. I did look pretty, though pretty is almost jumped out of bed, reminding myself of too little a word for such a large, widethe preparations to be made for my halled, square-roomed, broad-windowguests. And then the first thing I did seated old mansion. Our town is not only was to stand in front of the mirror and old-fashioned in having a flourishing look and look, and wonder and wonder, Sewing Society instead of a Woman's if he could see me, if he would think I Club; it still keeps its colonial houses, was changed. Now, I was still only though they are not so full of life as they twenty-three, and I had a small, rounded used to be. Father and I are the only face, which, no matter how thin I got, Carstones left in ours. But every Caralways looked chubby, and rather cheer- stone who had ever been happy there ful, crinkly hair, and some foolish dim- would have liked to see the old house

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when Nora and I had it finally ready, she is always knitting scarlet slippers, upstairs and down, for the horde we ex- and found out the sense of the pected. The day was warm and the fur- meeting " -- is that what they call it ? nace was out, and good, clean birch-wood - quite as well as if she had said, “ Is with the bark shining was laid behind the motion seconded ? ” and such things. the shining andirons, ready to be lighted I'm sure I don't know why I should later. I had picked great bunches of remember all they said about that stupid daffodils from the terrace, and there were carpet, or rather those two stupid carsome in every room; the old china and pets, the one they had and the one they silver looked proud piled up on the wanted! But what with Great-aunt Ludining-room table; the sun

came in cilla in the high, straight-backed chair, through the broad windows, mixed with and the few daffodils which were left the glimmer of the mist-like green of the on the terrace after my morning's raid, trees. And after our stand-up lunch, beckoning me to come out whenever I Daddy was a dear! — when all the pre- looked that way, the carpets got to seem parations were completed, I put on my to me like Aunt Lucilla's Duty, and I new rajah (made princess), which was felt fairly wrapped up and half smothered of a soft, misty green just like the trees in their thick, wiry folds, but yet deterthat day. I was afraid Aunt Lucilla mined to look pleasant and stick to my would think it a bit too dressy for the post whatever happened. occasion, but if I was to be good I must Mrs. Stubbins said it was a good time be allowed my little liberties.

to buy carpets. I remember she was And at last they were all there, all the measuring off some cotton from the point old stand-bys. Mrs. Brunton, thin and of her nose to the longest stretch of her hurried, had been first to come, though arm when she said it, and the action was she said she had been cleaning house so forceful that I felt at once that she every minute of the morning. I got her had private tips from all the leading settled in my favorite little wicker chair dry-goods merchants in our county town; near a front window, where she could see but Mrs. Brunton was unawed, and the everybody on the street, — they live in little wicker chair and her delightful posisuch a lonesome place, the Bruntons, tion by the window had not appreciably and by that time the guests began to softened her. arrive thick and fast. Presently the room “But if we don't need a new one, Mrs. was full and they were all talking about Stubbins,” she snapped, “where is the

, the church carpet, or listening very hard, economy in buying it?" She had been and as if they had to keep their mouths twisting and turning her own carpet, no shut very tight to prevent nuggets of doubt, all the morning, trying to get the wisdom from dropping out. The ladies thin places under the furniture, and who of our Society do not know or care about would n't be a little snappish ? parliamentary law, but though they never Apparently not Mrs. Leland, who just voted or made motions or anything like grows sweeter and gentler and more that, I am sure Great-aunt Lucilla was transparent, the worse her husband acts. in the chair. It was such an uncom- She put in a mild little remark, that of fortable, narrow-seated, straight-backed course we could get along with the old chair, too, one that usually stands in the carpet if it was what we wanted, but ball, and that nobody ever thinks of sit- she had to confess that its peculiar shade ting in. Aunt Lucilla is short, and her of magenta did get on her nerves; it alfeet barely touched the floor, but she most made her forget the sermon somerejoiced in the fact that she had saved times, she was ashamed to say. somebody else from being uncomfort- But this mild remark aroused another able, knitted on her scarlet slipper, - mild lady, little Miss Alsop, all in gray. VOL. 101 - NO. 6

here very queer

“Oh, how can you say so ?" wailed the Instantly I was in the hall, and there little spinster. “It was new the day Mr. he stood — he he!

For two years, Caruthers was ordained. I shall never nearly two years, I had missed him so! forget how beautiful it was that day.” oh, how I had missed him! And there he She almost chanted the words, and stood, every

bit of him,

my blessed, blessher face was lit up. Then I remembered ed man! I could only run to him and take that Mr. Caruthers had died of consump

hold of his hand, half-laughing and halftion, and I had heard people say that crying. Where could we talk best? I Miss Alsop was in love with him. was thinking all the time. But Mrs. Leland and Miss Alsop could

It seemed as if the house were full. I not keep the smart ones quiet long, and heard voices in the library across the there was a voice from the other side of hall; through the door of the diningthe room. “Well, I think the women of room I could see figures moving among this town do too much. Has n't the Sew- the tables. ing Society just painted the steeple ? “Oh, let us go to the summer-house,” And how we raked and scraped for that I said, “there is no room here." money!”

We went through the bare orchard, not * And are n't the ladies of the First saying a word. It seemed an age. PerChurch glad and proud to work their haps he had stopped caring for me. Of fingers off for the old Society ? ” retorted course he had stopped caring for me, Aunt Lucilla, from her high-backed and he must think my dragging him out throne, knitting very fast.

very queer. Why had There was a pause, a tribute of silence I been so bold ? Why did n't he speak? to the leadership and emotion in Great- I could n’t, with my heart thumping so. aunt Lucilla's voice, but it was broken At the top of the warm western hillin a minute by Mrs. Arkwright, large and slope, beyond the daffodil terraces and judicial.

the orchard, was the little lattice-work “I am sure we are all willing to work, arbor. It was very quiet there, and the Miss Carstone, but the question is --" sun and shadow checkered us all over and so on and so on.

as we sat down. He looked at me as if Would they never stop? My eyes wan

he would never stop, very serious, very dered again to the terraces where the solemn. But now I had forgotten to be daffodils, struck by the western sun, frightened. My eyes danced at the sight fairly danced and twinkled. I put my of him, they had ached for it so long. hand to

my
throat with a wild idea that

shoulders, the line of his hair at last that carpet was really smothering above his ears, his steady eyes — how me, -- but I only slipped a soft, friendly glad I was I was wearing my pretty cushion behind little Miss Alsop's back, dress! and fixed my eyes with rapt attention “Helen, are you going to marry your on Mrs. Arkwright.

father's partner ?” he asked. And just then came the miracle, the What I really wanted to do was to get miracle straight out of heaven.

hold of his hand and press it up against "If we took the breadths in front of the my cheek, just to see how it would feel. pulpit,” Mrs. Arkwright was saying; but “Why should you think so ?” I anshe stopped suddenly, for Nora stood in swered very demurely. the doorway, very alert.

He rose as if he were going to stride “Miss Helen, a gentleman to see up and down, but how could he stride in you!”

that little summer-house? So he stood The movement and chatter of the Sew- beside me very straight. ing Society stopped. It was as if they all “If I lose you now," he said, and my waited for the miracle.

heart turned right over, “it won't be

a

His square

m

because I was afraid to ask for the truth.

gone

I knew that I did not care for I have never understood — and now, Lloyd Baker, but when your letter came, now they say you are going to marry your your dear letter, it made me very happy, father's partner. Tell me the truth, and and then, all in a minute, it made me then — no matter!” His hard voice ashamed, for I saw what I had done. I broke on the last word, and he sat down had let you feel that way when all the beside me like a tired boy. “Please!” time I was promised to Lloyd."

But then I think he must have be- I was trembling a little. I could not gun to feel a little glad to have me right help it. He had taken away his hand and there. A bluebird on a tree near began did not try to comfort me. to sing, and somehow he looked less mar- “I felt that I must have been very tial. I fancied he must have been afraid wicked. But I am sure there was never to come, he had appeared so brave up to the least bit of love-making while you that time!

were there, was there?” “I've had an awful time of it. Per- But he did not answer my poor little haps you think it was fun. Why did you smile, and now I needed him most he write me what you did, and why did you would not even look at me. send back my letter ? ”

It was very hard work, but I went on, “Because I was engaged to Lloyd and my voice sounded far away. “It Baker," I almost whispered.

seemed as if Something which was not “Engaged to Lloyd Baker? he myself at all took hold of me and made shouted.

me do it. It said, “You have promised. “Yes, all the time I knew you, all that It is your fault. Send back the letter.' . summer at North Woodstock," I mur- And I did -- and I wrote you I could not mured.

see you. I wish I had asked somebody “Engaged to Lloyd Baker!” He got to advise But I thought that I must up and tried to pace again.

somehow have been very wicked — and “Sit down, be quiet, and let me tell I would not think of anything else, only you. We were engaged the winter be- to do what was right. And then when fore. We used to dance together a good we got back to Broadmeadow and I saw deal and he was a lovely dancer, and Lloyd I hated the sight of him, though I think I must have been very young it really was n't his fault, you know. But and foolish. Anyway, we were engaged; I don't think he was so sorry, after all. but it was a secret. And then at North He's married to Mabel Higgins now!” Woodstock I saw you, and we had such I had been looking down, while I a jolly time together, all of us who were talked, like a naughty child, but Mabel

we were just such good Higgins is funny, and I could n't help friends I hardly thought why I was so taking a little

peep

at him when I menhappy - and I wrote to Lloyd every tioned her. My eyes felt wet, but Mabel week, and once you know he came up Higgins seemed to cheer us both up at over Sunday and Labor Day - such a silly holiday it always has seemed !- but Bless her! The noble girl!” he indo you

know I did n't mind much when toned. I don't know what he would have he went away. But when you went!” done or said more, but just then Duty I found my breath was catching, and my and the Sewing Society came, as it were, old trouble was creeping up my throat.

hand-in-hand into the arbor, and strangeHe gently laid his hand on mine. ly enough, I was glad to obey them. “I

I smiled up at him somewhat mistily. must go,” I said, pulling away from his “Well, you know you never bade me any happy face and his detaining hands. “I sort of a nice farewell, after all the good have a house full of people. I am dreadtimes we had had. As soon as you were ful. Yes, I'll come back. But it's ter

me.

in the camps

once.

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