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slowly out over the trodden grass. Presently she came to high banks of ferns, which no camp-fires had reached and no feet had crushed, walling her in and pervading the air with fragrance. She paused under a tree with low-bending boughs, and listened. She heard the birds stirring in their nests, the tiny chirp of the mother-birds soothing their broods; but otherwise the little choristers of love were still. She listened to the clear cry of the katy-dids in the branches high over her head, and to the slender horn of the crickets piping in the grass. She heard the hum of insect-folk-the murmuring natives of the summer air all a-thrill with life and love, stirring, with their low, pervading music, the wide realms of silence. Storms gone by had given the night-air that pure rare quality which makes the August of New England the most delicious month of the year. Eirene leaned her head against the old tree, and looked up through its umbrage to the sky, conscious of nothing but utter content. She only knew that she was happy, and did not question wherefore. Too young to analyze emotion, too innocent to dream of ill, she took in, through soul and sense, the exceeding beauty of God's world, and was glad. How could she know-this girl-woman-that she had come there to meet her fate. How could she, whose heart had never known another love than that of child and sister, know that even now her feet trembled on that perilous border-land of passion, from which, once touched, there is no retreat.

A quick rustle of leaves, a stir in the air, a consciousness of a second presence, came to her together. She started; and that instant a squirrel jumped through a mesh of leaves near her feet, and began to scamper up an adjoining tree.

"Bun, was it you?" she asked, with a low laugh.

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did so for a moment, when a sound-a sound of positive steps-not still and stealthy, but light, quick, eager steps, she heard approaching very near to her. From what direction-the foliage was so dense-she did not see, nor did she wait to do so. For the first time conscious that she was alone, and at some distance from the tent, she was alarmed, and started from her leafy thicket to retrace her steps. She had not taken two when a long shadow fell across the grass before her, and she. heard her name spoken in slightly tremulous yet assuring tones. She turned, and there, just dividing the walls of fern, almost at her side, stood Paul Mallane.

"Don't be alarmed. Don't go away, I beg of you, Miss Vale. Pardon me, if I intrude-and I know that I doyet you will be doing me the greatest kindness if you will remain for a moment; then I will escort you back to the tent."

No human being could doubt the sincerity of his words, uttered in such tones of anxiety and entreaty. Eirene, frightened by his sudden and unaccountable appearance, could think of nothing but that he must be the bearer of some unexpected and imperative message to herself, exclaimed, “What has happened, Mr. Mallane ? Have they sent for me from Hilltop? Oh, tell me what it is! How kind of you to come!" Already her affectionate heart and excited imagination had leaped to the conclusion that some misfortune had befallen the loved inmates of the dormer cottage.

"Nothing has happened at Hilltop which has sent me after you, Miss Vale," answered Paul, in tones which he tried to make calm and soothing. "Nothing has happened, and yet I have come here on purpose to see you. I have been here all day. I don't care a fig for the camp-meeting-though Viner's sermon, this afternoon, was really a model of oratory. I came here on purpose to speak with you. Don't look frightened. Don't think me rude if I am abrupt. I have waited so long, I

have wanted so much to speak with you, I can't stop now for preliminaries or conventionalities. It is now nearly a year since I saw you first. All this time I have been trying to forget you. The result has been that I have thought of you twice as much as if I had not tried to put you out of my mind. I knew that I had no right to intrude upon you, and yet I could not refrain from sending you those pictures, as tokens of my remembrance, and the magazines, hoping that they might brighten your life a very little. Did you receive them?"


"Yes, and thank you for them so much," said Eirene. I cannot tell you the pleasure they have given me."

"I am glad of that," replied Paul, with an expression of intense gratification. "That was all I sent them for, --not as advances toward acquaintance. Indeed, I came home yesterday with no definite expectation of finding myself any better acquainted with you at the close of this vacation than when I went back last autumn. But when I found that you were gone, I felt so angry at the thought of the unkindness which you had endured, I resolved that I would see you, and tell you that I, at least, have lifted my voice against the unjust persecution which followed you during all your stay in my father's house."

At these words a look of pain and of entreaty came into Eirene's eyes. Paul saw at a glance that whatever her life had been in his father's house, she could not talk of it.

"But that is not all I wished to say to you," he hastened to add. "For months I have wanted to tell you what you have done for me, and what you can do for me, if you only will. Very likely, if I had found you still in our house, I might have refrained from telling you. But when I saw that you were gone, I felt more than disappointed-I felt ill-tempered-for I knew that you had been really driven away by unkindness. Then I made up my mind to let you know what you had done for me, and that I was your true friend. VOL. VI.-3


saw you when you started for campmeeting this morning; till then I had not a thought of going. But it occurred to me that here would be a good place to tell you what has been so long in my mind; and I should have told you, before I left to-night, though it had been in the presence of all those pious old ladies in the tent, who would have gone back and published it to all Busyville to-morrow. It is due to you to know what you have done for me." "What I have done for you," slowly said Eirene, in astonishment. "Why, Mr. Mallane, I have never been able to do any thing for any one in all my life, except for those at home, and very little for them. What could I do for you?

"I will tell you what you have done," said Paul, reverently. "You have made all women more sacred in my eyes. It is not your fault if you have not made me a better man. I think of you all the time; more than of all other human beings put together. When I have remembered you, studying alone in your cold little room, I have been ashamed of my own indolence beside my warm fire. When I have thought of you, so young and tender, working hard with your hands for others, I have been ashamed of my own selfishness. When I have thought of your innocence, I have been ashamed of my own wicked thoughts and evil ways. For, if any one has told you that I am not a very good fellow, they have told you the truth. I am not. But if any one can improve me, you can."

"You make me feel very much ashamed," said Eirene. "I never feel certain that any thing I do is the very best thing to be done. I am always afraid that I might do better. I can't tell you, Mr. Mallane, how very uncertain I feel. But it will make me very happy to think that I may be of service to you, if you will only tell me how I can do it."

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that will help me. I can tell you it will be a great incentive to try to do right, if I know that you care."

"But I do care, Mr. Mallane. I have cared ever since-"

"Ever since when?"

"Ever since Tilda said-"
"What did Tilda say?"

"She said, Mr. Mallane, that you were not quite good."

"I am not quite good," said Paul, penitently." But, then, you cared! he added, with a quiver of delight in his voice.

"Yes, I cared very much. Some way, it hurt me just to hear it. I thought, for the sake of your brothers and sisters, and for your father's and mother's, who are so proud of you, that you ought to be very noble, Mr. Mallane."

"You did! I ought to be noble for their sakes? Yes. I ought to be, I suppose. But you haven't the faintest idea what a fight it is-the world tugging at you outside, inside the devil. Why, it is the hardest thing on earth for a man to do, to be noble. If you were only in the world, you would know it. But you can't know it. You see it as you find it in good books, and in your own heart. But if you care, I'll try. F'll try to be just what you would like me to be."

Helena Maynard and Bella Prescott, could they have heard the tones in which these words were uttered, would have found nothing of their haughty Adonis in this humble youth. But Paul Mallane was by no means the first worldly man who has stood contrite before the innocence of a girl.

"You have promised to care, to take some interest in me," he went on. "Now, if you will promise to think of me-under all circumstances to think of me as-as your friend, it is all that I can ask."

It was not in eighteen girlish years, not in a girl with such a guileless and loving heart, to look up to the face which gazed down upon hers, quivering and luminous with feeling, full of entreaty, at once manly and tender, and, seeing it, to say that she did not want

such a friend. No. Her heart thrilled with a new delight as it asked, how could one so strong and radiant for a moment need her sympathy, or pause, in his bright life, to proffer his friendship? Thus, with her large soft gaze unconsciously lifted to his, she said, "I am sure it will make me happy to think of you always as my friend; and it will make my life seen wider and brighter if I can only believe that I help another."

"Help another! You can make me what you please," was Paul's passionate ejaculation.

As he spoke, the first lines of Charles Wesley's inspired hymn,

"Love divine, all love excelling,

Joy of heaven to earth come down,"

came rolling through the air on the joyful voices of the congregation. Never could it have sounded more expressive and sacred than in the soft air of that August night; never more triumphant, as in great waves of melody it rolled up through the forest-trees. Paul was irreverent, more through cultivation and habit than from nature. This moment the anthem was in perfect harmony with the place and with his feelings. Now the mother moon, who before had been peering through the branches of the trees, sailed forth into the open space of sky, and looked directly down into these children's faces, as if to see them and listen to what they were saying. They stood silent, listening. The hymn ceased. Words of worship-a strange commingling of religion, devotion, and love-began to surge into Paul's very throat for utterance, when the crackling of boughs, crushed by rapid footsteps, called him suddenly back to earth and to his senses. There, rushing through the branches broken off for the morning fires, Paul, to his dismay and anger, beheld Tilda Stade coming directly toward them. The hymn, which had just filled the air with such joyful peace, had closed the evening service. The moment it was ended Tilda hastened to the tent-but to find Eirene gone from the camp-seat,

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where she had left her. She questioned one of the mothers of Israel, and the old lady's reply was by no means satisfactory: She went off more'n an hour ago, and I hain't seen nothin' of her sence." Tilda, who considered Eirene poetic, or, as she called it, "childish," to the verge of irresponsibility, thought now that she had gone out sky-gazing, but was prepared for nothing worse. Imagine, then, the shock which this worthy young woman received, when rushing into the green inclosure back of the tent. In the moonlight, bright as a second day, she beheld, with terrible distinctness, this child of her care standing under a wide-spreading tree, and by her side an "awful man." Imagine her increased horror when, drawing near enough to discern his features, she discovered that this man was no other than that young wolf of the world, against whom she had warned her lamb so long.

"Eirene Vale!" she exclaimed in her astonishment and anger. "Eirene Vale, was it for this you didn't feel able to go to meetin'? So you stayed back to meet a man-and this man! Haven't I warned you?" [Losing all self-control.] "Paul Mallane, you'd better be in better business!"

"Miss Stade," interrupted that youth, in lofty tone, “you don't know what you are talking about. But I request you to speak more respectfully to this lady. She stay to meet me! to meet any one! You know better. I intruded myself upon her, because there was something which I thought neces

sary to say to her. I have heard of you as being very zealous in your efforts to do good. Let me tell you that nothing could do me more good than the privilege of speaking with this young lady. If you are such a missionary, take care how you interfere with the only chance I have on earth of becoming a Christian. Miss Vale, may I accompany you to the tent?"

Tilda, who had started to seize Eirene by the arm, and lead her back as a culprit, was confounded by the overpowering manner of this young man, and all the more that the thought crowded into her mind that she remembered him when he wore frocks and aprons. The tone of deference with which he addressed Eirene was not to be mistaken. The most exacting lady in the land could not have demanded more, as he walked by her side, while the discomfited Tilda followed behind. When, at the door of the tent, he bade her goodnight, with his hat in his hand, he had not the air of a man who was ashamed of himself, or ashamed of his company, although he made his adieu before the amazed eyes of the gossips of Busyville. One of them declared, in the shop, next day, "Where he dropped from, at that time of night, the Lord only knows; but there he was, in the tent-door, bowing good-night to that Vale girl, as if she had been a queen."

"So all I brought her to camp-meetin' for was to meet that man," groaned Tilda, as she tumbled about on a cotton comforter which she had spread over the straw on the ground.


THE reading public have so long been accustomed to a repetition of ills occurring in our neighboring Republic, that a species of chronic sentiment seems to have assumed the "infermidad Mexicano" to be incurable. There are those, however, whose opportunities for forming opinions, by residence in the country, entitle their views to consideration, and who cite divers important evidences going to show that, amid all her calamities and complications, Mexico has made some grand strides in the route towards regeneration and constitutional liberty. It is not understood as it should be, by the people of this more favored land, that, when Mexico arrived at an independent national existence, in 1821, owing more to the imbecility of Spain than to her own power, the people were still sunk in a degree of slavish ignorance and superstition as lamentable as any that prevailed in Christendom during the existence of the Inquisition; and the new Government, resulting from the separation from the mothercountry, was as completely under the control of an inquisitorial, ecclesiastical despotism, as had been the vice-regal institutions under Spain. The religious despotism remained the same, and long continued well-nigh the same. A generation was required to teach a respectable minority that a free Republic and spiritual despotism, controlled by a corrupt and fanatic priesthood, were wholly incompatible, and that the one or the other must perish. Long and bloody were the years from 1821 to 1857, through which this idea pushed its way through the Mexican mind. At every station along the route it was confronted, ambushed, flanked, and undermined, by that terrible power which had so long and cruelly reigned supreme over the minds and actions of the people. Whenever, under the inspirations of some such patriot as Pedraza or Gomez Forios, the

friends of virtuous liberty gained power, the money, unscrupulous intrigues, and heartless crimes of this ecclesiastical hierarchy were promptly brought into requisition to crush the patriots and destroy the growing power of liberty. To this unrighteous source is that unfortunate land indebted for the many and destructive revolutions which have so long preyed upon its vitals, till other peoples, unenlightened as to the ever-pervading issue, come to regard the whole with indiscriminate aversion. It is time that we, as a nation of free citizens, should better understand the actual condition of things in our sister Republic, in whose happiness and prosperity we have, and must ever have, so great an interest. The real, all-pervading issue in Mexico, divested of those side-issues spasmodically arising in a country so little enlightened, is a contest for constitutional, representative government, guaranteeing civil and religious liberty on the one hand, and, on the other, for the perpetuation of the atrocious political and ecclesiastical despotism inherited from Spain-a priestly despotism which, with resources, wealth, and power never surpassed in any country, for over three hundred years, used it for the enslavement, debasement, and oppression of the multitude. In such a contest, no Iman who inhales the air of this country can hesitate as to which party to the array is entitled to his sympathy.

The Republican party, born in the folds of the great mailed corruption, as other great parties have come into being in other lands, was nurtured through a long and feeble infancy, and for years durst not raise its voice above an imploring whisper; but, in the year 1857, it had acquired sufficient strength to form the present and only free constitution Mexico has ever had. This, however, was not put in operation till 1859; and, from 1862 to 1867, European bayo

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