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It was drawing on to the nicht, and as she walkit through the streets the shadows were a' roond her, hiding her fra the fowk that wad hae marvelled at her white face and strang, determined
So she cam tae the wee hoosie nigh the abbey, and fand the door stookit, and went in wi' ne'er a creature tae stap her.
The doggie Skye cam' forward wi' his ears and tail hinging, and went before her up to the chamber where Miss Isobel was lying.
Kirsty and Elspeth Mackay and Jean Wishart were i' the room; and Jean look it up and motioned silence, but nane spak tae the widdy. Wi' steady fit she steppit tae the lassie's side and bowed to reach her hand.
Then Kirsty rose and touched the widow saftly.
"Na, na, dinna fash her," she said. "She's ' the vera airticle o' deith, puir lambie. She hasna spoken for hooers. She's wearin' awa' as peacefu' as a bairn. You maun lat her gae i' peace."
Widdy Rafe turned roond and set Kirsty aside; then she drew hersel' up very straucht, and spak as gin she addressed the lassie lying before her.
"Lassie," said she, "I hae dune you a great wrang, and wad fain hae your pardon. It's maybe too late for that the noo; but I wad say i' the sicht o' a' present that I'm no meet to be a kirk member.
"I hae been prood an' wilfu'-I hae regarded enmity i' my heart, an' I hae cherished ill thochts tae the innocent lamb that did me nae wrang. I hae stood i' the way o' her happiness, an' I hae come between her an' my lad. I hae e'en wushed for her deith; and for a' these things I wad humble mysel', and may the A'michty forgive. Amen."
The words were sae unexpect it, and it was siccan an awfu' sicht tae see the prood auld body brocht low, that Elspeth and Jean turned awa'. But Kirsty pit her apron ower her heid and grat alood. I' the moment that followed after, it was like a voice fra the deid tae hear Miss Isobel cry wi' a frail an' tremblin' speech:
Is that Mrs. Rafe? I want her to kiss me. And I send my love to William."
Even now the widdy canna tell how her limbs bore her hame. But, however, she was all of a tremble when she stood beside William again, and her puir auld hands tottered sairly when she laid them on his head.
'Laddie," she said, "I bring you great news. The lassie is tae live. She bade me give you her luve. An', William, you maun gae tae her, an' tak your mither's luve tae her dochter."
It is no' the fashion i' Skyrle tae mak' muckle o' Christmas time; but on Christmas Eve that year the totum kirkie was lichted late while the members made it bonnie wi' flooers tae please her who had aye gathered the flooers aboot her. I'm no
sayin' the decorations were sae grand as at the English chapel up the hill; but sure I am that the braw posies there didna mean mair than ilka leaf and ilka berry that was putten for Miss Isobel's merriage.
It was a braw kirk when a' was finished, and Dawvid had gotten the place sweppit and ready for the merriage that was to be early the Christmas morn.
The stained glass windy was framed wi' Christmas roses; and aboon the pulpit Geordie Mackay had hingit a laurel wreath. "Maybe the lassie's thochts will turn to her father's death i' the pulpit," said he, "an' the croon will lead her higher tae his victory."
And a bonnie sicht it was when Miss Isobel-looking like a white rose after her illness-came up the aisle and stood before the minister where she and Jean had stood to have Nancy Mulholland's bairn namit; and William took his place beside her, too prood and happy to be blate at his position.
Geordie Mackay was best man, and Kirsty wad pit hersel' beside Miss Isobel, though the maist o' the lassie's grand freends were there to see her wedded.
A' things were dune i' the English fashion, which makes a sair discipline o' being wedded; and there were mony there that pitied William Rafe for the catechism he went through that day. But when the minister lookit up from his book, saying: "Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?" there was silence a while i' the kirk, for none hed counted on the question being askit.
It was like to hae made an awkward thing o' the merriage: but i' the silence Widdy Rafe took a step forward and lifted her heid in her auld manner:
"I dae that," said she.
THE CITY OF DAY.
BY AMY PARKINSON.
PEERLESS in purity, matchless in splendour
Radiantly beautiful,-morning eternal
Beams from the brow of this city of day;
Crowned with the light and apparelled in brightness-
Pearls are her gates, of a whiteness unequalled ;-
Cleanse Thou our souls: we would enter with Thee.
MAGNIFICENCE AND MISERY.
BY REV. W. HARRISON.
IN Marylebone Road, London, and but a short distance from Regent's Park, stands a costly and imposing structure with some half-dozen domes and many spacious windows, known as Madame Tussaud's Exhibition. The story of this great collection of relics and world-wide celebrities reaches back some hundred years, and is full of interest to all who would see something of life's exciting drama passing before him, with its sunshine and shadow, its glory and disgrace.
The ranks of distinguished figures which fill this splendid palace of art, are seen to best advantage at night, when a perfect flood of light fills the building from end to end, and when the unceasing throngs of spectators crowd the galleries and rooms, giving movement and attraction to the brilliant scenes which spread out before you.
If the history of a nation is half read in the history of its arts, then we may hope to glean something of permanent value from one of the most remarkable temples of storied treasure in the world of to-day. Greece, Rome, Egypt, with their sculptured tombs, pillars, statues, and old-time inscriptions, have by these relics opened a path of insight into the civilization of those faroff years; so in this pantheon in England's proud capital, with all its artistic and historical aspects, we have unrolled before us a concrete picture of modern times, a biographical manual which all may read, a great international calendar of saints and sinners, who, though dead, have left memorials which still command the praise or blame of all the good and true.
A visit to this famous Exhibition may become one of the most memorable experiences of a lifetime, if the visitor will only get into the swim of influences which quietly steals through all those magnificent galleries and halls. Here human life in its highest and lowest manifestations people the vision of the spectator, and the principles which have inspired those lives and given them character and destiny appear to march before us and in eloquent speech tell out their power for good or ill. Life-like, a procession of kings, queens, statesmen, poets, reformers, heroes, divines, painters, explorers, historians, generals, musicians, dramatists and criminals, in silence pass before the thousands of pilgrims to this shrine of interest and art. Here we have shadows of vanished personalities; echoes of voices long since stilled in death, and thrilling stories of life's fierce battles, keep sounding in our ears in this huge whispering gallery of the past. Perpetual lessons in impressive form are hung before our eyes; lessons, tragic and beneficent, of highest heroism and deepest shame, of earth's uncertain pleasures and the lasting fame of all that is honourable, pure and good.
Perhaps no place in this broad sanctuary, where human character finds its world-wide representatives, is more thoroughly or frequently inspected than the rooms devoted to the relics and memorials of the great Napoleon. The most apathetic soul cannot but rouse itself as it views the thrilling, historic recollections which fill those spacious rooms. The man whose tread shook empires to their foundations here seems to live again, in the days of his colossal imperialism and power, and also when as a banished captive he pines away amid the desolate solitudes of his lonely isle of St. Helena.
Here is the military carriage of the once proud emperor, in which he made the campaign to Russia, and which was captured on the evening of the battle of Waterloo. There is the atlas on which are plans of many battles, drawn by the hand of this great, grim warrior. Here are the coronation robes of Napoleon and the Empress Josephine, the sword used by Napoleon when in Egypt, the camp-bedstead and also the counterpane on which the illustrious exile breathed his last. What stirring pages of magnificence and misery do those Napoleonic chambers recite from year to year! The crash and boom and wildest shouts of battle have died away, and the memory of the man to whom a hundred thousand human lives were as naught, has been placed in the pillory of universal condemnation of everlasting infamy and disgrace.
Then one more change of feeling comes to us as we visit another section of this large building, known as the Chamber of Horrors. Amid the sombre light, and in rooms adapted for their gloomy mission, with saddened hearts we move along through the doleful memorials which crowd upon us at every step. What melancholy chronicles does this dreadful spot record! Surely with all this ghastly story of crime, we have for once a glimpse of humanity at its worst; the abyss, dark and fathomless, of mortal degradation possible in this world opens for a few moments before us, and from this earthly perdition we shrink back with deepening horror. Through a door we pass, and the brilliant illumination of splendid rooms brings with it a sweet sense of relief we are once more glad to share.
Summing up our reflections we may say, what echoes of heroic deeds, of princely, unselfish effort, of tragedy, victory, glory, pain and defeat greet us in this great cathedral of art! What recollections of earthly magnificence, of proud ambitions, of imperial power, of moral might, of human degradation and pathetic ruin surround us at every turn! In one brief hour it seems that centuries have placed their spoils before us, and that history, gathering up its events of world-embracing influence, pours its elaborate romance into the listening ear, and sends us out to life again under the touch of vanished hands and with solemn lessons from voices now forever still.
To satisfy us with goodness requires more than the ideal, and more than the vision. How, then, shall I be satisfied? There is but one answer: I shall be satisfied, when I awake with His likeness. Then shall my dreams and desires be filled and fulfilled when that vision of goodness is but the life that I live. That is thy satisfaction, my soul. Speak it to thyself, until thou canst take in something of its unspeakable glory. That, and nothing less than that, is to be thy satisfaction-to be like Him. This completes and crowns the purpose of His grace. For this great work the Holy Ghost is given-that we may "be strengthened with might by His spirit in the inner man," that Christ may "dwell in our hearts"-reigning there, controlling us, teaching and enlightening us, that we may have the mind that was also in Him. And this is not a faint and far-off possibility, but as the good which lies in all the common things of every day, and all along the common by-ways of our life, in the house, in the business, everywhere "all things work together for good to them that love God"-for this good, the soul's uttermost satisfaction— that we be conformed to the image of His Son.
Let us try to bring the glorious truth within the compass of our desire and expectation. For this, my soul, thou art forgiven; for this thou art healed; for this thou art redeemed; for this God hath "crowned thee with loving kindness and tender mercies"that He may satisfy thee with goodness. Ask thyself, and seek earnestly to get some answer to the question. How can I ever come to have this satisfaction as my own-I, foul, sinful, careless as I am scarcely with any longings after goodness, and then so lightly turned aside, eager for a thousand trifles empty as the air? Can blessedness like this be mine?
Think, then, if there should come to thee one who knows thee through and through-all the past, every secret thought and wish standing out in hideous nakedness before Him, and who yet loves thee, loves thee through and through, loves thee with a love that endured all shame and suffering for thy sake; surely such true love were earth's best treasure. Think, if He should be able to loose thee from that past, if knowing all thy frailty and folly He yet could help thee, and help thee perfectly. If amidst thy low and selfish thoughts He could bring His truth, so that it should reign within thee more and more; if He could bring into thy impatience and hatred His own love and gentleness; if He could gird thee with courage, and gladden thee with hope, and fill thee with faith-should not that go far to complete thy satisfaction? Think again, if He should know thee with all thy hidden faculties and powers, all that thou canst ever come to be, and He should say unto thee; "Soul, I can develop, I can uplift. I can transform until the life of perfect goodness is thine." What then? He is come-as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God. Stay not discussing limits of goodness and definitions of perfection. Leave that to Him. Be thou, my