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"Poor things! Well, it's better to give up the humanities alto. gether. One can make very tolerable

children of one's booksquiet babies, too; always turn out well, and don't die before oneself. Perhaps, some of these days, our young friend here may envy such a ragged, childless old philosopher as I."

But just then, as Drysdale looked on the cheerful smiling roont, and thought of his own gloomy attic, the faintest shadow of a doubt crossed his mind. Mrs. Pennythorne sat gazing on the fire, the expression of her soft brown eyes deepened by a memory which his words had awakened a memory not sad now, but calm and holy. If the newly-married pair could have beheld her, and then regarded the quaint, restless-eyed, lonely old man, they would have clasped each other's hands, and entered on life without fear, knowing that "it was not good for man to be alone.”

David Drysdale stayed a little while longer, and then departed. Mrs. Pennythorne's thoughtful mood might have ended in sadness, but that she found it necessary to bestir herself in erasing the marks of two muddy, clumsy boots from the pretty carpet. She had scarcely succeeded when the long-desired arrival was heard.

Who shall describe the blessed coming home—the greeting, all smiles and tears and broken words; the happy, admiring glances around; the fireside comer, made ready for the bride; the busy handmaid, rich in curtseys and curiosity; until the door closes upon the little

group “Now, my Eleanor," said the young husband, "welcome home!"

“Welcome home!" echoed Mrs. Pennythorne, ready to weep. But very soon Philip took her hand, and Eleanor fell on her neck and kissed her almost like a daughter. Then they both thanked her tenderly, and said how pleasant it was to have her kind face awaiting them on their arrival.

“ You will stay with us and keep this New-Year's Eve, dear friend?” said Philip. It certainly cost him something to give the invitation, but he did it warmly and sincerely, feeling it was due.

However, Mrs. Pennythorne did not accept it. She never left her husband in an evening now, she said; and she had not far to go--only to her son's, where they were staying with Fred. « Не rather likes to have us there, now Isabella is so much away; and we like it too, because of the baby. It is a great comfort to have a grandchild; and he is such a beauty!" said Mrs. Pennythorne. “I sometimes think he has my Leigh's eyes, but I would not let them call him Leigh.” And though she spoke contentedly, and even smiled, it was easy to see that the mother's thoughts were with her lost darling still.

Then she went away, and the husband and wife stood for the first time by their own hearth-not quite clamly, perhaps, for

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home,

I dare say. I now,

at the little nest before the birds came in it, especially as you're here. Very glad to see you, Mrs. Pennythorne."

She gave him her hand and asked him to sit down, rather nesitatingly. She was always very much afraid of David Drys. dale. But she need not, for the sharpness in his manner had long since been softened to her.

“Thank you. I will stay a few minutes, just to look round, and hear about the young couple. When do they come home p»

“ To-night,” was the answer. “They have had a month's travelling, and Mrs. Wychnor wants to keep this New-Year's Eve at

Home! It sounds a sweet word to them can understand it better since I've studied the science of human nature,” said Drysdale, musing;

“I did not like Philip's marry; ing at first : a great mind should do without love and all that—'I did. But maybe he was right. Perhaps the lark would not soar with so strong a wing, or sing so loud and high, if it had not a nug little nest on the ground.”

"Yes," replied Mrs. Pennythorne-seeing that he looked at her, though she did not quite understand what he was talking about. Drysdale gave a grunt and stopped. After a minute's

silence he uttered the rather suspicious remark, "I hope Master Philip’s wife is a woman with brains puis

“She is very clever, I believe, and she loves him so dearly! There is not a sweeter creature living than Miss Eleanor ---Mrs. Wychnor that is now. Do you know," and Mrs. Pennythorne seemed becoming positively eloquent, “ she would not even consent to be married until she had nursed poor Lady Ogilvie through her long illness, never quitting her until she died.

Ah," said David, looking very grave, “that was an awful story! I always said there was something not right about Lynédon. He wasn't a true soul ;" and the energetic hand came down upon the table with a sound that quite startled Mrs. Pennythorne.

“I beg your pardon, ma'am,” Drysdale went on, “but when I think of that poor Mrs. Ogilvie, it makes me hate him. Mrs. Lancaster would have told fine lies about them if Philip Wychnor had not stopped her mouth. But I never believed anything against that beautiful, earnest-hearted creature."

“Nor I—for her poor mother died speaking quite happily of the dear Katharine whom she was going to meet. And I do believe, Mr. Drysdale, that she knew the whole story, though no one else did. I fancied, and Miss Eleanor did too, that it was told in the letter which Mrs. Ogilvie wrote just before that strange wedding. We found it under the mother's pillow, and it was put

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