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night. But the next day, when she come back to tell us when she was going to start for Dixie, she was took down right here, that suddin. There's been a good deal of that sickness round here sense, and fatalish, most always. But I tell 'em it took the smartest of the lot off first, when it took Nancy."

The doctor stood there when the teller of this story had stopped speaking. He was not looking at him, of that the old man was certain. He seemed to be looking nowhere, and to see nothing that was near or visible.

"Come into the house and take something," said Uncle Elkins, for he began to be alarmed.

"Was Janet here?" asked the doctor, as if he had not heard the invitation.

It came across my mind once that, as she 'd saved your life, may be you was going to save hern by that are letter! And she was so determined to get to your hospital!"

"Thank God she got the letter, any way!" exclaimed the doctor.

At that the old man walked into the house to set its best cheer before Nancy's husband, who looked so much like a mourner as he stood there under the trees, with the bitter recollections of the past overwhelming every other thought and feeling of the present.

Because it seemed to him that he could not sleep under old Elkins's roof that night, he remained there and slept there, in the room where his fever ran its course, in the room where Nancy died.

Because this story of the last months of her life was as gall and wormwood to him, he refused it not, but went over it with his wife's relations, and helped them spread a decent pall, according to the custom of mourners, over what had been.

"We had to send for her. Nancy was calling for her all the time," said Farmer Elkins, as if he doubted how far this story ought to be continued, for he did not understand the man before him. He only knew that once he had fallen down on his door-step, and lain helpless beneath his roof hard on to two months; and he watched him now as if he anticipated some renewal of that old attack, and there was no Nancy now to nurse, and watch, and slave herself to death for him; for that was the way folk in the house were talking about Nancy and her husband in these days. "Did she get here in time? Who fifteen years, how high Disgrace and went after her?"

Was he endeavoring to deceive himself and others into the belief that he was a mourning man? He was but accepting the varied humiliations of death; for they do not all pertain to the surrendering life. He was not thinking at all of his loss through her, nor of his gain by her. He was thinking, as he stood above the grave of

Misery had heaped the mound.


"The minister went. We had 'em bitterly he was thinking of the past, it here a fortnight, - well on to 't."

"What, the minister, too?"

"No, I mean the young woman who come from Charlestown with Jenny. Her name was-" He paused long, endeavoring to recall that name. It trembled on the doctor's lips, but he did not utter it. At last said Farmer Elkins, "There it was Miss Amey, Amey? Yes. She took the little girl back hum with her. It was right in there, in the room where you had that spell of fever of yourn. She got you well through that! Ef anything could 'a' brought her through that turn, your letter would.

was without desire that he at last arose and faced the future.

When he went to Charlestown-for a man on furlough had no time to lose and saw his Janet in the Colonel's house, - Miss Ames took Janet home with her after that death and funeral,-when he saw how fair and beautiful a promise of girlhood was budding on the poor neglected branch, he said to his assistant, Will you keep this child with you until the war is over? I am afraid to touch her, or interfere with her destiny. It has

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a man be born before he is fit to live?"

He did not answer that question; neither can I.

He informed his assistant of the court's decision in reference to the plea of "incompatibility," and she said that the justice of the sentence was not to be controverted with success by any counsellor on earth; but the reader may smile, and say that it was not difficult to come to this decision under the circumstances.

We will not argue that point. I had only the story to tell, and have told it.




LIFT mine eyes, and all the windows blaze
With forms of Saints and holy men who died,
Here martyred and hereafter glorified;
And the great Rose upon its leaves displays
Christ's Triumph, and the angelic roundelays,
With splendor upon splendor multiplied;
And Beatrice, again at Dante's side,

No more rebukes, but smiles her words of praise.
And then the organ sounds, and unseen choirs

Sing the old Latin hymns of peace and love

And benedictions of the Holy Ghost;

And the melodious bells among the spires

O'er all the house-tops and through heaven above
Proclaim the elevation of the Host!

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"King Arthur's sword, Excalibur,

Wrought by the lonely maiden of the Lake.

Nine years she wrought it, sitting in the deeps
Upon the hidden bases of the hills."

Shim twice ere he could obey the

IR BEDIVERE'S heart misgave fastened by mediæval harness. The goddess of course possessed superhuman powers for guiding this extraordinary equipage, but to mere mortals it must have been a slow coach, and a horribly uncomfortable conveyance even when horses were substituted for doves. An ordinance of Philip le Bel, in 1294, forbids any wheel carriages to be used by the wives of citizens, as too great a luxury. As the date of the coach which Venus guides is two hundred years later, it is difficult to imagine what style of equipage belonged to those ladies over whom Philip le Bel tyrannized.

dying commands of King Arthur, and fling away so precious a relic. The lonely maiden's industry has been equalled by many of her mortal sisters, sitting, not indeed "upon the hidden bases of the hills," but in all the varied human habitations built above them since the days of King Arthur.

The richness, beauty, and skill displayed in the needle-work of the Middle Ages demonstrate the perfection that art had attained; while church inventories, wills, and costumes represented in the miniatures of illuminated manuscripts and elsewhere, amaze us by the quantity as well as the quality of this department of woman's work. Though regal robes and heavy church vestments were sometimes wrought by monks, yet to woman's taste and skill the greater share of the result must be attributed, the professional hands being those of nuns and their pupils in convents. The life of woman in those days was extremely monotonous. For the mass of the people, there hardly existed any means of locomotion, the swampy state of the land in England and on the Continent allowing few roads to be made, except such as were traversed by pack-horses. Ladies of rank who wished to journey were borne on litters carried upon men's shoulders, and, until the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, few representations of carriages appear. Such a conveyance is depicted in an illustration of the Romance of the Rose, where Venus, attired in the fashionable costume of the fifteenth century, is seated in a chare, by courtesy a chariot, but in fact a clumsy covered wagon without springs. Six doves are perched upon the shafts, and

With so little means of going about, our sisters of the Middle Ages were perforce domestic; no wonder they excelled in needle-work. To women of any culture it was almost the only tangible form of creative art they could command, and the love of the beautiful implanted in their souls must find some expression. The great patternbook of nature, filled with graceful forms, in ever-varied arrangement, and illuminated by delicate tints or gorgeous hues, suggested the beauty they endeavored to represent. Whether religious devotion, human affection, or a taste for dress prompted them, the neeIdle was the instrument to effect their purpose. The monogram of the blessed Mary's name, intertwined with pure white lilies on the deep blue ground, was designed and embroidered with holy reverence, and laid on the altar of the Lady-chapel by the trembling hand of one whose sorrows had there found solace, or by another in token of gratitude for joys which were heightened by a conviction of celestial sympathy. The pennon of the knight a silken streamer affixed to the top of the lance -bore his crest, or an emblematic al

lusion to some event in his career, embroidered, it was supposed, by the hand of his lady-love. A yet more sacred gift was the scarf worn across the shoulder, an indispensable appendage to a knight fully equipped. The emotions of the human soul send an electric current through the ages, and women who during four years of war toiled to aid our soldiers in the great struggle of the nineteenth century felt their hearts beat in unison with hers who gave, with tears and prayers, pennon and scarf to the knightly and beloved hero seven hundred years ago.

Not only were the appointments of the warriors adorned by needle-work, but the ladies must have found ample scope for industry and taste in their own toilets. The Anglo-Saxon women as far back as the eighth century excelled in needle-work, although, judging from the representations which have come down to us, their dress was much less ornamented than that of the gentlemen. During the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries there were few changes in fashion. A purple gown or robe, with long yellow sleeves, and coverchief wrapt round the head and neck, frequently appears, the edges of the long gown and sleeves being slightly ornamented by the needle. How the ladies dressed their hair in those days is more difficult to decide, as the coverchief conceals it. Crisping-needles to curl and plat the hair, and golden haircauls, are mentioned in Saxon writings, and give us reason to suppose that the locks of the fair damsels were not neglected. In the eleventh century the embroidery upon the long gowns becomes more elaborate, and other changes of the mode appear.

From the report of an ancient Spanish ballad, the art of needle-work and taste in dress must have attained great perfection in that country while our Anglo-Saxon sisters were wearing their plain long gowns. The fair Sybilla is described as changing her dress seven times in one evening, on the arrival of that successful and victorious knight, Prince Baldwin. First,

she dazzles him in blue and silver, with a rich turban; then appears in purple satin, fringed and looped with gold, with white feathers in her hair; next, in green silk and emeralds; anon, in pale straw-color, with a tuft of flowers; next, in pink and silver, with varied plumes, white, carnation, and blue; then, in brown, with a splendid crescent. As the fortunate Prince beholds each transformation, he is bewildered (as well he may be) to choose which array becomes her best; but when

"Lastly in white she comes, and loosely Down in ringlets floats her hair, 'O,' exclaimed the Prince, 'what beauty! Ne'er was princess half so fair.'" Simplicity and natural grace carried the day after all, as they generally do with men of true taste. "Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone," says that nice observer of human nature, Jane Austen. "Man only knows man's insensibility to a new gown." We hope, however, that the dressmakers and tirewomen of the fair Sybilla, who had expended so much time and invention, were handsomely rewarded by the Prince, since they must have been most accomplished needle-women and handmaids to have got up their young lady in so many costumes and in such rapid succession.

A very odd fashion appears in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, of embroidering heraldic devices on the long gowns of the ladies of rank. In one of the illuminations of a famous psalter, executed for Sir Geoffery Loutterell, who died in 1345, that nobleman is represented armed at all points, receiving from the ladies of his family his tilting helmet, shield, and pavon. His coat of arms is repeated on every part of his own dress, and is embroidered on that of his wife, who wears also the crest of her own family.

Marie de Hainault, wife of the first Duke of Bourbon, 1354, appears in a corsage and train of ermine, with a very fierce-looking lion rampant embroidered twice on her long gown. Her jewels are magnificent. Anne,

Dauphine d'Auvergne, wife of Louis, second Duke of Bourbon, married in 1371, displays an heraldic dolphin of very sinister aspect upon one side of her corsage, and on the skirt of her long gown, which, divided in the centre, seems to be composed of two different stuffs, that opposite to the dolphin being powdered with fleurs de lis. Her circlet of jewels is very elegant, and is worn just above her brow, while the hair is braided close to the face. An attendant lady wears neither train nor jewels, but her dress is likewise formed of different material, divided like that of the Dauphine. Six little parrots are emblazoned on the right side, one on her sleeve, two on her corsage, and three on her skirt. The fashion of embroidering armorial bearings on ladies' dresses must have given needle-women a vast deal of work. It died out in the fifteenth century.

It was the custom in feudal times for knightly families to send their daughters to the castles of their suzerain lords, to be trained to weave and embroider. The young ladies on their return home instructed the more intelligent of their female servants in these arts. Ladies of rank in all countries prided themselves upon the number of these attendants, and were in the habit of passing the morning surrounded by their workwomen, singing the chansons à toile, as ballads composed for these hours were called.

Estienne Jodelle, a French poet, 1573, addressed a fair lady whose cunning fingers plied the needle in words thus translated:

"I saw thee weave a web with care,
Where at thy touch fresh roses grew,
And marvelled they were formed so fair,
And that thy heart such nature knew.
Alas! how idle my surprise,

Since naught so plain can be:

Thy cheek their richest hue supplies,
And in thy breath their perfume lies;

grace and beauty all are drawn from thee.

If needle-work had its poetry, it had also its reckonings. Old account-books bear many entries of heavy payments for working materials used by industrious queens and indefatigable ladies

of rank. Good authorities state that, before the sixth century, all silk materials were brought to Europe by the Seres, ancestors of the ancient Bokharians, whence it derived its name of Serica. In 551, silk-worms were introduced by two monks into Constantinople, but the Greeks monopolized the manufacture until 1130, when Roger, king of Sicily, returning from a crusade, collected some Greek manufacturers, and established them at Palermo, whence the trade was disseminated over Italy.

In the thirteenth century, Bruges was the great mart for silk. The stuffs then known were velvet, satin (called samite), and taffeta, all of which were stitched with gold or silver thread. The expense of working materials was therefore very great, and royal ladies condescended to superintend sewingschools.

Editha, consort of Edward the Confessor, was a highly accomplished lady, who sometimes intercepted the master of Westminster School and his scholars in their walks, questioning them in Latin. She was also skilled in all feminine works, embroidering the robes of her royal husband with her own hands.

Of all the fair ones, however, who have wrought for the service of a king, since the manufacture of Excalibur, let the name of Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror, stand at the head of the record, in spite of historians' doubts. Matilda, born about the year 1031, was carefully educated. She had beauty, learning, industry; and the Bayeux tapestry connected with her name still exists, a monument of her achievements in the art of needle-work. It is, as everybody knows, a pictured chronicle of the conquest of England, a wife's tribute to the glory of her husband.

As a specimen of ancient stitchery and feminine industry, this work is extremely curious. The tapestry is two hundred and twenty-two feet in length and twenty in width. It is worked in different-colored worsteds on white

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