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OME few years ago a steady industrious couple residing in the country, a few miles from the populous district of Culverton, found their family increasing so much faster than their means of providing for them, that it became their wish and endeavor to place some of the elder ones out at service. Samuel Smith, the father, was a wagoner in the employ of a well-to-do farmer, whose connections in the neighboring manufacturing towns frequently obliged him to send his team there under Samuel's care, and he thus obtained opportunities of inquiring amongst the shopkeepers for a situation in which to place his eldest daughter Lucy. She was a fine, handsome-looking country girl, about seventeen years of age, who had been brought up under the humble but judicious tuition of her mother, added to the usual amount of mental cultivation to be obtained at a Sunday school, and the advantage derived from frequently assisting as a supernumerary in the well-conducted kitchen of the parsonage.

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Lucy's characteristics were industry and good temper, honesty and cleanliness; her acquirements reading and writing, plain work and plain cooking. Such was the character which Mrs. Clarkson, the clergyman's wife, gave Lucy Smith, when Mrs. Burnett, whose husband was a baker and provision dealer, applied to her on the subject of Lucy's capabilities as a servant of all work; and, as may be naturally supposed, it procured her immediate possession of the situation, which she filled for many months to the entire satisfaction of her employers.

The comprehensive nature as well as name of Lucy's duties frequently called her into the shop to serve a customer, if her master and mistress were at dinner, or otherwise engaged, and her civil manners, added to her good looks, made many continue to deal at the shop who formerly had been less constant. Vor. X., No. 6-23

Amongst these there often came a tall, well-made, but blackfaced young miner, engaged in one of the neighboring coalpits, who always had a joke and a smile for the cherry-cheeked Lucy, which showed both her dimples and his white teeth to great perfection.

John was about twenty-two years old, and having been early left an orphan, had been brought up by a married uncle. John's parents had both shortened their lives by intemperance, which had had the happy effect of giving their young son a disgust and dread of that horrid vice, and his sober, industrious and thrifty habits, acquired from his uncle's precepts and example, formed a pleasing contrast to those of many of his own age and calling. John soon learned which were the most busy hous with Mr. and Mrs. Burnett, and consequently took care to come. for his bacon and cheese, or bis tea and sugar, when Lucy was sure to be in the shop to serve him. He came too now generally with a clean face and hands, and although neither his teeth nor his eyeballs looked so dazzlingly white as by previous contrast, his countenance had such an open manly expression, and his clear dark eyes met the gaze so frankly, that few would refuse him their good will. Lucy could not help lingering a little now and then after the ostensible purpose of his calling at the shop was completed, to listen to the friendly, or may be flattering words John was soon bold enough to utter; and the only approach towards a scolding which her mistress ever had to give her was contained in the words, "Ley, how you dawdle in weighing out things whenever that young man comes to buy anything."

But as time went on, and John still came, and talked as well as bought, and Lucy still "dawdled" as well as sold, Mrs. Burnett began to guess how things stood, and, like a good motherly body, resolved to make matters all right; so the next time John came (as usual, cunning fellow, when she and "master" were at tea), seeing through the window of the parlor what customer was announced by the 1.ttle tinkling bell on the hatch door, she desired Lucy to come back, and pour out another cup for master," whilst she herself proceeded to serve John Ward to "two dips, an ounce o' tea and a rasher."

John looked more disappointed than pleased by Mrs. Burnett's attendance; but she soon enlightened him as to the cause of her condescension, and in plain and homely terms, but


kind and earnest withal, asked him what was his meaning towards Lucy Smith.

"She has now been with us two years," she said, "and a very good girl she is. She deserves a good husband if she marries at all, for she will make a good wife; but no one shall come to my shop and play shilly shally with her young heart, I can tell you. If you mean honestly by her, young man, why, go and tell her parents so; and, if they agree to your having her, make her your wife at once. She shall never want a friend whilst I or master live; but if you mean nothing more than to talk nonsense to the girl, and set her wits a-gadding, go your ways at once, and don't trouble yourself to spend any more of your money here, for we can do better without it.” Good Mrs. Burnett, in her energy, spoke so fast and so loud that poor Lucy heard all that passed, and, trembling and tearful, found out her own secret at the same time that her mistress was trying to discover John's. Oh, how she listened for his answer! And when it came, warm, frank and earnest from his honest heart, how her own throbbed with pride and joy; and for the first time how glad she was that Mr. Burnett was a little Thank you, Mrs. Burnett," he said, "for helping me out on what has been on my mind for many a day. I love Lucy nith dearly; and, if so be that her father and mother are agreeable, and Lucy will like me, I'll make her my wife as soon as ever she'll let me; and if I arn't kind to her, I hope I may be killed in the pit."


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This woman was a few years John's senior, and in her early youth had been more apt to copy the faults of her parents than to shrink from them as her brother did. She had been sent into one of the china manufactories as soon as she could learn to work, where her companions were not all fitted to instil good feelings and principles into a mind habitually turned towards evil.

Possessing the dangerous gift of a pretty face and form, she was easily persuaded by her light companions to spend as much as possible of her earnings in the gay and flaunting attire which is too distinguishing a mark of many of the females employed in the manufacturing districts of England, and many a quarrel arose between Hannah Ward and her mother, because she had spent upon inconsistent finery the money which the latter would willingly have laid out in the still worse indulgence of liquor. On the death of her parents, within three months of each other, a sister of Mrs. Ward, residing in a large town in the north of England, sent for Hannah, and obtained her a situation in a similar manufactory to that which she had lately quitted. She soon afterwards formed an acquaintance with a young man, whose unsteady habits did not prevent him from holding a iucrative situation in a neighboring colliery, although he generally spent on a Saturday night the greater portion of his earnings of the preceding week. The intimacy of these ill-conducted young people ended in marriage, to the comfort of Hannah's aunt, who was glad to be relieved of her responsibility on any terms; but no happiness or respectability followed the union; frequent bickerings and squabbles disturbed the peace and quiet of the neighborhood, and one night, when partial drunkenness had more than usually inflamed Thomas Brown's bad passions, he beat his wife so severely (in consequence of her having spent money upon a new gown, which he had intended for a different purpose) that he was forced to seek safety in flight from the consequences of his brutality; and Hannah Brown, when recovered from her wounds and bruises, came back to her native place. Unfortunately for all parties, her husband here sought and found her. A reconciliation was patched up, Brown obtained employment in one of the adjacent collieries, and in an evil hour for John Ward's happiness, became the tenant of the next cottage to that of his brother-inlaw.

She opened the parlor door as she spoke, and ushered John in; but I appy, conscious, blushing Lucy had vanished, and when she came in after repeated callings at the back door, tried most unsuccessfully to look as if she had not known why John was there. A permitted walk with him, after tea, through the pleasant fields, settled the affair most happily; and on the following Sunday they went in time for service at Mr. Clarkson's church at Barnfield, Lucy's birthplace, astonishing her parents by their appearance there, but more particularly by the communication made to them afterwards in their own little cottage. Having married young themselves, Samuel and Mary Smith could not say aught against their daughter following their At this period of our little history Culverton had not been example, but gave their consent with hearty good-will and ex-made into a separate district from the adjacent large town of cellent advice; and as Mrs. Burnett had nothing to object to in a union she had assisted to bring about,. everything was soon put in train for the wedding.

Downham, and the whole pastoral care of fifteen thousand souls
had devolved upon one aged and infirm man, whose utmost
zeal and efforts were inadequate to the superintendence of so
vast a flock. One comparatively small church stood as a beacon
on a hill, to raise the thoughts to heaven; one solitary Sabbath
peal called the large body of parishioners to their weekly wor-
ship: and though that solemn bell twice sounded on the holy
day, its warning voice was unheeded by hundreds who from
necessity were denied the familiar visits and friendly counsel,

To the credit of our rural population, a marriage seldom
takes place in a family without the parents on both sides assist-
ing, as far as possible, in furnishing the house for the intended
married couple. Samuel and Mary Smith spared to their
daughter several articles from their own scanty stock of house-
hold goods; John's uncle followed their liberal example. Mrs.
Burnett contributed a share, and Mrs. Clarkson kindly pre-in their humble homes, of their over-tasked clergyman.
sented the bride with many simple luxuries, and a neat wed-
ding wardrobe; so that, with John's savings laid out to
advantage, the cottage to which in about three months he took
his young wife was neat and comfortable in the extreme.

A happy man was John Ward for the whole of the first year of his marriage. Work was plentiful and wages high; but Lucy, like himself, was frugal and careful, and each week he paid his accustomed share into his club, that sickness or accident might not find them unprovided. The birth of a son added to the affection the young couple had towards each other, and Lucy in her maternal character seemed more active and industrious than ever. The house was always neat and clean : the cheerful fire blazed a nightly welcome to her husband after Lis subterranean toils; the baby grew strong and healthy, and contentment converted their humble meals into luxurious feasting.

About this time two circumstances occurred of very different descriptions, but each in their results produced a great effect upon the fortunes and characters of our young couple. Mr. Clarkson, the respected curate of Barnfield, was presented to a living in a distant county, and John Ward's married sister came to live next door to her brother.

John and Lucy Ward shared some of the sad results of this want of adequate pastoral care; and although they now and then went to their parish church, they had no greater love to their pastor personally than to any other who might have performed his sacred duties.

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"Why, Lucy, woman!" exclaimed Hannah, one Sunday morning, "where art going in that old-fashioned gown and


"John and I are going to church for a change," replied Lucy. "It is four or five weeks since we were there."

"Then I would not go for four or five weeks more," returned Hannah, with a sneering laugh, "unless I could sport a smarter bonnet than that; it is not nearly so good as what I wear every day. Why don't you make John give you a new one ?"

"It does very well for me," replied Lucy, coloring and wincing a little under this unusual criticism of her apparel; "we cannot afford to dress as fine as you, who have no children."


Fiddlestick!" retorted Hannah, with a toss of the head; it is nothing but that nasty hoarding spirit which John always

had, which makes him grudge spending a little money to make | longer. He can't want it; he has got plenty, 'm sure, with his wife look like other people. We will teach you different charging so dear to poor folks that he trusts a bit." now we are come-I will show you the way to manage your husband." And, alas for the prophetic truth that "evil communications corrupt good manners,' a few short months proved her assertions.

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John Ward at first yielded to the natural good feeling of his heart, and indulged his wife in various articles of dress such as she had never before wished for; but which, she said, were just to make her look like other folks ;" until the demands became so frequent, as Lucy was either urged or taunted into making them, that his prudence gave denial, and that not always in the same gentle tones he once would have used; and sad to say, goaded on by Hannah's sneers and sircams, Lucy too often retorted by rude and angry words.

"But what did you want with a new dress just now?"-inquired Lucy, at the same time regarding the outspread fittery with a wistful eye.

"Why, because next week but one this new charch is to be opened," said Hannah; "and lots of people will be there to see the bishop and all the grand folks, and as I never saw anything of that sort before, I shall go. And I suppose you will go, too, won't you? But you must manage to get a new gown and bounet for it."

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"I shall not be able to do that," replied Lucy. "John has got uncommon cross of late whenever I ask him for money; te says that the wages having been lowered by the pit-masters was bad enough; but now that he does not work more than four days a week we must be very careful or we shall run into debt." 'Does John give you the money to buy the things from the shop and the market? inquired Hannah, hastily. "Yes," replied Lucy, surprised by her manner. makes you ask?"


"Because," resumed the artful woman, "in that case you may have the new gown and bonnet, and yet John need not be asked for money. Don't you see what I mean?" she continued,

From these unpleasant scenes poor John now often fled to companions of his own sex, and Thomas Brown proved in his way as dangerous to the husband as Hannah had previously been to the wife; still there were times when, as John returned from work and his little son ran to meet him with childish endearments, or Lucy placed their infant daughter in his arms, all his old affection seemed to revive, and he would caress his wife and children with warmth and earnest-laying her hand on Lucy's arm; "go on trust at Barker's fora ness; whilst Lucy, with mingled smiles and tears, would exclaim, Ab, John! why are you ever unkind or cross?" and then they would sit down to tea, or an early supper, which would prove a cheerful meal, unlesss the baneful presence of the Browns again came as a shadow on their happiness.


week or two, John will never know it, and you can spend the money which he gives you for the shop upon your own dress. Then you can go to the opening of this new churen, and look decent, as everybody else will; ay, and John will like to see you, too, although ten to one he will think you Lave tidied some old things." She paused a moment to watch the effect of her words, and then added, It is worth the trial to get such pretty things as these," and she held out her own purchases, hoping to excite both envy and admiration.

I dare not do it," said Lucy, trembling. "John would never forgive me if he found it out."

Culverton had now for some months been made into a separate ecclesiastical district, and a clergyman appointed to it, who happily combined zeal and moderation, the earnestness and activity of a missionary spirit, with a calm and even temper. Under his exertions great progress was soon made towards the necessary aids to devotion and education. A new church was soon rising rapidly in its fair proportions at a short distance "But why should he find it out?" persisted the tempter. from the cottage occupied by John Ward and his wife; but, "He always lets you pay the bills, you say, so that he will not alas! our poor friends took but little interest in its advance- know what you owe to Barker, and work is likely to be more ment. To them it was only "a church," but not "their plentiful soon, and then he will have higher wages, and you church," and in the new clergyman they felt to have "neither can soon wipe off the score at old Barker's, He won't split; part nor lot ;" and when some of the more thoughful of their he'll only make you pay a little more for the accommodation,' neighbors spoke with pleasure of the temporary" (as they as he calls it." Again she took up her gay new shawl, and called a licensed room which Mr. Chester had succeeded in o-snatching Lucy's old one, which hung behind the door, beki taining), they proved, by their sad indifference, that they "cared for none of these things."

Mr. Chester, the new clergyman, had resolved to know all his flock, at least by name, so he made a complete tour of his parish, and continued it day by day until every house had been entered, and he had ascertained the names and occupations, and (as far as possible) the habits of each of its inhabitants.

John Ward's family did not escape this visit. Lucy was sitting employed on soce repairs of fractured garments when Mr. Chester, with his gentle tap, and kind, calm voice, announced his presence, and entered the cottage. Old habits of deference for a clergyman awoke in Lucy's mind, and she placed a seat for her visitor with a feeling more akin to real pleasure than she had felt for many a day.

A short interview elicited much of the truth of her situation and her character; for Mr. Chester had the happy knack of putting leading questions with all the tact of a barrister, without leaving any of those uncomfortable feelings which are sometimes produced by those clever men; and when he took leave of his young parishioner he felt an interest both in her and the husband of whom she spoke with such truthful praise.

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them up in scornful contrast before her sister's half-averted eyes. "Well, I will tell you what I will do, Hannab," said Lucy, in a faltering voice; "if John comes home in a good humer tonight I'll ask him to give me a new dress and shawl. Perhaps he may, for it is little Polly's birthday; and if he does, it will be better than deceiving him;" and Lucy smiled in hopeful anticipation.

"That is all very well, if he will give it you," returned annah; "but if he won't, take my advice-never be laughed at by Mary Jones, and Susan Barnes, and all the rest of theta, who are all coming out so grand and fine next week but one, whea you ought to, and you might look better than any of them, and nothing to hinder it but your foolish fear of keeeping a secret from your husband, who keeps many a one from you. good-bye!" she continued, gathering up her bundle. "I shall go and get this dress made, for I sha'n't work my own fingers to the bone when there are plenty to do it as are paid for it. shall see you to-morrow;" and thus saying, she left the house.

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When Lucy was left alone her thoughts were anything but agreeable. Hannah's last speech had awakened many bad passions in her mind. She wished to possess as gay apparel as her sister-in-law. She inwardly called her neighbors hard names, at the mere chance of their laughing at her; and anger rose sharp and hot against her husband when she recalled his altered manners and habits of late, and felt that he Lad not given her his confidence.

One evening, towards the close of the summer, Hannah Brown entered the house of her sister-in-law, bearing a large bundle under her arm, which, having deposited on the table with apparent satisfaction, she called attention to by exclaiming, "Come here, Lucy, and see what a beautiful gown and Whilst Lucy was still indulging these bitter feelings, her shawl Thomas has just given me. He says that after all he likes little boy came running into the house, exclaiming, “Oh ! to see his wife look as smart as others; and so, instead of pay-mammy, look, here is father coming home, and uncle Brown is ing that Mr. Barker at the shop, who is always dunning him, with him, and they are both looking so cross and talking so he has given me the money, and Barker may wait a little loud!"

John entered almost as the child ceased speaking, and, silent and moody, flung himself into a chair, pushing aside his little son without any of the marks of affection he usually bestowed on his children.

Lucy's angry feelings became merged into partial fear when she observed her husband's humor, and she began to set the teathings and arrange the little table with more than usual assiduity.

'Things cannot go on in this manner much longer," at length exclaimed John, striking the table with his fist; "the masters will drive the men to do as they have done before. Another half day's work struck off in the week, and wages lowered again! Thomas Brown is right, the men must stir themselves, or they will be ground down like niggers!"

"Perhaps when we have got this new church for some of the masters to go to, they will learn more of their duty towards their poor workpeople," said Lucy, willing to try for a begining in the effort she had almost pledged herself to make.

"Do you think they have to learn their duty now?" inquired John, almost fiercely; "no, it is not the knowledge that they want, but the inclination to practise it. As Thomas Brown

says, the men must unite and make the masters do us justice,

if their own good feeling does not rouse them to it in a very short time."

'Well, I hope you will not have any foolish meetings or outbreaks just now," rejoined Lucy. "Next Tuesday week is to be quite a holiday; the new church is to be consecrated, and the lord bishop and lots of grand folks are to be there, and there is to be a feast at Downham School afterwards, they say, and everybody that is respectably dressed"-and she laid an emphasis on the adverb-" is to be allowed to go and see the company and hear the speeches."


"I suppose it will not much signify how folks are dressed to go to the church service," returned John, sarcastically; may go ragged or dirty there; but for permission to see the great folks gormandizing on what would keep a poor man's family for a week, you must be respectably dressed,' forsooth. Thomas Brown says it is a great shame so much money sho ld b spent on this consecration breakfast when so many poor folks are starving around."

"Thomas Browa is always saying something disagreeable," replied Lucy, vexed that her hint had been so unsuccessful; "Hannah says that everybody in Culverton means to go, and the women have been saving up their money to buy new dresses, and she says, too"-and here poor Lucy faltered a little" she says that I ought to have a new gown and bonnet like the rest of the neighbors."

"If Thomas Brown says disagreeable things, his wife says very foolish ones," retorted John with a grim smile; "you know how much less I earn now than I used to do, and with our young family of three children we can only just keep out of debt. I can't afford to let you do as the other women mean to do, unless you have followed their first good example, and 'been saving up money for the purpose.'"'

Lucy's conscience smote her, as her husband thus repeated the falsehood she had invented on the spur of the moment, and she turned away to hide the blush of shame which burned upon her cheek.

"Remember one thing," resumed John, sternly; "I will have no money laid out in dress which is wanted to pay for food, Poor we are, and likely to be worse, but I will keep honest as long as I can; and now," he added, rising from the table, "I must go and wash myself, and get ready to go with Thomas to our debating club, for something must be done about these grinding masters of ours."

"You do not go the way to keep honest long," said Lucy, snappishly, "by listening to Thomas Brown's advice; he is always trying to make mischief, and is cuncing enough to keep out of danger himself, even if other folks get into it by his


"Look at home," retorted John, angrily. "Hannan's advice and example will do you more harm than her husband's will do me. We work hard, and only want to be paid for our

work; but you women sit idle at home, and would willingly spend all our honest earnings on your own backs." Recriminations loud and angry followed this speech, from which John at last fled to join his tempter in the proposed meeting at their club, and Lucy hastened to seek her evil angel in the person of his wife.

The result of these separate communications may be guessed; abuse, violent, and in most instances quite undeserved, was heaped upon the coal pit owners and their agents by the poor misguided men, whose passions were inflamed by artful orators of undisciplined minds. Rights of property and subordination were explained away with fearful sophistry, and measures proposed to obtain redress which threatened to bring ruin and destruction upon both masters and men. Lucy's communication to her sister-in-law had also been given with all the aggravation of an angry excited mind, and that bad woman had added fuel to the fire which raged within her. Dislike to her own brother, whose temperate, honest habits had always seemed a natural vain tendency of her mind, and the desire to triumph tacit reproach to her own dissimilar ones, was added to the over John's "hoarding and stuck up spirit," as she expressed tried to obtain the gratification of defeating and annoying it, made her resolve to leave no argument or inducement un


"And so it has ended just as I told you it would!" she said, with a sneering laugh, when Lucy had finished her account of the late conversation; "I told you John would not consent to parting with his money, as a good kind husband would have Don't let him done, so now I hope you will be ruled by me. have the pleasure of seeing that you are obliged to submit to his ill humor. Come with me to-night, when I go to Harper's to lock at some bonnets and ribbons, and then you can give a guess how much money you must keep to-morrow to buy what you will want on Monday."

Lucy hesitated-her love of truth was not entirely subdued, and her fear and affection for her husband still retained great hold; but where selfish indulgence has no greater restraint than these slight ties, it generally gains strength to overcome them.


"If good Mrs. Burnett were but still in Culverton," said Lucy, after a pause, she would let me owe her a little bill, and say nothing about it, or, may be, lend me the money which John so unkindly refuses; but they are too far off now they have bought that little farm at Sherbrook to give either advice or help."


"Don't stand croaking there, woman," returned Hannah. Help yourself, and your friends will help you,' is an old saying and a true one ;, so once more, say, take my advice, and since your husband won't give you what you ought to havehelp yourself. He has behaved very ill to you to-night in many ways, and especially in keeping secrets from you about their goings on in these debating clubs; and I know he has told Mary Jones many things which he has kept from you."

Another falsehood from the cruel woman's lips, which poured the oil of jealousy on the fire already raging in poor Lucy's heart.

"I will go with you to Harper's to-night, Hannah," she said, with trembling lips and flashing eyes. "John shall not trample on me as if I were a worm; and Mary Jones shall find that if my husband tells secrets to her which he keeps from his own wife, that wife will not be the laughing-stock of other women for her want of spirit.''

Hannah applauded this resolution on the part of her victim, and lest it should fail if she were left to her solitary reflections, accompanied her home, and remained until the children were in bed, and she was at liberty to accompany her to Downham as proposed.

Unfortunately the next day was a holiday at the manufactory where Hannah worked, and it was also a day when John was employed; concurring circumstances which gave opportunity for fresh arguments in support of Lucy's failing courage.

John's lessened earnings had been given to Lucy as usual on the Saturday night, and she had made her customary market purchases, but when she came to Barker's shop and named the

weekly order, her courage would have failed her in the utter-, nicely we have done him." Lucy winced. "Ay, I don't ance of a request for "a little credit," had not the hardened wonder at your feeling rather ashamed," added her tormentor; Hannah followed it up with ready speech of flattery and false- " but it is the first time, you know; you won't mind it so much hood. the next. But who comes here?" she said, glancing through the little window. "Bless us! your father and mother, as fine as fourpence; and in a shay cart, too!"

Barker complied too easily, and that she might escape the like shame again, Lucy took advantage of his civility to lay in a double stock of groceries and flour, her only hope being that John would not be at home to notice her more than customary burthen.

Then came the wasted Sunday, then the same cheerless, silent Monday, and when John set off for his night-work at four o'clock in the afternoon, her heart trembled and her cheek grew pale as she prepared to accompany her sister-in-law, to spend her ill-gotten money in the purchase of the coveted finery.

All went on much as usual for another week; John now and then moody and silent, and still attending Thomas to the club, but speaking so kindly to his wife and children at their frugal meals, that the conscience of the former smote her painfully, as she thought of the deceit she practised upon him.

The time drew near for the consecration of the church, and the new dress and bonnet were all ready for her to wear on the occasion; but she dared not bring them home lest John should remark upon them, and ask such questions as she could not answer. Once she had begged of him so to manage his work that he might accompany her to the grand sight they all expected this ceremony to be; but now her fears were that he would comply with this desire, and she turned and twisted in her mind how best to make him stop away

Oh, what a tangled web we weave,

When first we practise to deceive!

What an illustration of this truth were the conduct and feel ings of poor Lucy Ward! Her manner was so strange and contradictory, that it aroused her husband's suspicions; and, without telling her his intention, he resolved to be present at the consecration of the new church. The day arrived, bright, beautiful, as if heaven's blessing shone upon it visibly. John Ward rose early and proceeded to his work; and Lucy rose a few hours later, with a lightened heart that he was gone, and "had not found her out."

"Soon the bells struck up, and groups of orderly, well-dressed people took their way towards the new church.

Hannah Brown was not long in entering her sister-in-law's cottage, tricked out in gay and flaunting colors, and bearing the box and bundle containing Lucy's dearly-bought finery.

"Well, thank your stars, John is away for the day; so now you may enjoy yourself," she said, as she assisted Lucy to put en her new apparel. "No fear now of his finding out how

Lucy started, more with fear than pleasure; and hastening down-stairs, welcomed her parents with a nervous trembling that made them both anxiously inquire if she were ill.

"No; only a little flurried and surprised to see you both here," she answered.

"Why, the truth is, that John sent us such a kind message on Saturday week by Benjamin Wright," said her mother, "that father and I thought it would be quite ungracious not to come over to-day, when he asked us so friendly-like; so we borrowed master's cart and pony and drove over; but how nice and smart you look!" she added, eyeing her daughter with much admiration; "did John buy you that dress?"

"Yes-no-that is-here, mother, I want your assistance a moment," returned Lucy, in agitation; and, as they ascended to the little room above, how her heart smote her and her temples throbbed. John had been planning the pleasurable surprise for her at the very time she was accusing him of cruelty, and practising duplicity towards him. Would that the several things were in the shops again. But now she must go on, and tell more falsehoods to conceal the first.

"Mother dear," she said, with trembling voice," don't call father's attention to my new gown and bonnet-they were given me by a friend, on condition that I would not tell any one but John who bought them; but as we are rather poor just now, it would perhaps vex my husband to see me look so gay when the children have not got new things, so I shall take them off before he comes home to tea; and it is best not to. stand the chance of his being angry," she added, with a faint smile.

Mary Smith had no suspicion of the real state of the case, and therefore applauded her daughter's prudence, and again Lucy's mind was relieved from the fear of immediate detection.

The expected procession to the church was just then announced to be in sight, and the little group at Ward's house,

sallied forth to follow in its course.

The new church gradually filled with a respectably-dressed and interested congregation, and a reverential silence succeeded to the unavoidable rustling of seating so 'many people, which was again presently interrupted by a little bustle and indistinct murmur of speech at the door. Those who had witnessed such a ceremony before knew that this was but a preliminary proceeding before the bishop entered the church (the reading of certain legal documents), but in a few minutes the measured



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