assisted by the grace of God, as certain like Pascal and Baxter evidently were, they will be less than true; he is subnormal, and his views are apt to be sub-normal, too-deficient in balance, sobriety, charity. When a minister is untouched in wind, sturdy in limb, clean in blood, you have a certain guarantee of bright, honest, manly thinking. He is not likely to be falsetto, hysterical, garrulous, simply because he is sound in body as well as in mind

(It is, however, possible to be exasperatingly healthy, and one can understand a much tried woman being driven away from a minister whose radiant, unlined face showed that he had never known pain, and who had married a rich wife, and taking refuge in a church whose minister had a liver and preached rampant Calvinism. "Was yon a man,”—so she put it-for a widow and seven children to sit under?" Invalid ministers have a certain use and do gather sympathetic congregations-becoming a kind of infirmary chaplains. But their ecclesiastical and theological views must be taken with great caution.)

It is not extravagance to say that the physical health of theologians has affected the religious character of nations. No one can estimate how much Germany has gained from Luther's genial and robust nature, or Scotland lost through Calvin being a chronic invalid and Knox being a broken man. During long centuries it was the custom of Christendom for a baron to send his able-bodied sons to the field and any deformed or sickly lad to the Church. Was it wonderful that the theology and religion got out of touch with life, and became fantastic and unreasonable? Human life has now more doors for the infirm, and the Christian Church has ceased to be a home for incurables, but it is not as a rule the strong, stirring, full-blooded boys of a family who enter the ministry, but the lad who is half-alive, who plays no games, who is painfully composed. This is a public misfortune, since, if any other man be out of sorts, his wife suffers, but if a minister be

below par a thousand people have a less successful life for a week. His business is to put heart in them for six days' work and trial, but for that enterprise a man's pulse must beat high and his own heart be buoyant. If his digestion be bad, then he goes into the pulpit and hits viciously at some heresy or mourns the decay of morals. The people, who have been expecting a glimpse of heaven, go home in despair. The saints lament the degeneracy of the times, and the young people resolve that they will have nothing to do with religion. But the times are really the best we have ever seen, and religion is the strength of the human soul. The trouble is in this case neither in the Bible nor the world, but in the pulpit, which that day was filled by a hypochondriac or a melancholiac. Every church should have a physical examination at the entrance to the theological college and only admit those men who would have passed as first-class lives with an insurance company. And the working minister should have his own rules of healthto have his study re-charged with oxygen every hour, to sleep with his bedroom window open, to walk four miles a day, to play an out-door game once a week, to have six weeks' holiday a year and once in seven years three months-all that his thought and teaching may be oxygenated and the fresh air of Christianity fill the souls of his people.

From "The Cure of Souls." By John Watson, D.D. (Ian Maclaren.) Dodd, Mead & Co., Publishers.


"Come right in an' set down. Come in an' rest ye," Elijah exclaimed, and led the way into his comfortable kitchen. The sunshine poured in at the two further windows, and a cat was curled up sound asleep on the table that stood between them. There was a new-looking oilcloth of a tiled pattern on the floor, and a crockery teapot, large for a household of only


one person, stood on the bright stove. I ventured to say that somebody must be a very good housekeeper.

"That's me," acknowledged the old fisherman with frankness. "There ain't nobody here but me. I try to keep things looking right, same's poor dear left 'em. You set down here in this chair, then you can look off an' see the water. None on 'em thought I was goin' to get along alone, no way, but I wa'n't goin' to have my house turned upsi' down an' all changed about; no, not to please nobody. was the only one knew just how she liked to have things set, poor dear, an' I said I was goin' to make shift, an' I have made shift. I'd rather tough it out alone." And he sighed heavily, as if to sigh were his familiar consolation.


step in to ary one. Yes, ma'am, I keep a-lookin' off and droppin' o' my stitches; that's just how it seems. I can't get over losin' of her no way nor no how. Yes, ma'am, that's just how it seems to me."

I did not say anything, and he did not look up.

"I git feelin' so sometimes I have to lay everything by an' go out door. She was a sweet pretty creetur' long's she lived," the old man added mournfully. "There's that little rockingchair o' her'n, I set an' notice it an' think how strange 'tis a creatur' like her should be gone an' that chair be here right in its old place."

"I wish I had known her; Mrs. Todd told me all about your wife one day," I said.

"You'd have liked to come and see her; all the folks did," said poor Elijah. "She'd been so pleased to hear everything and see somebody new that


We were both silent for a minute; the old man looked out of the window, as if he had forgotten I was there. "You must miss her very much?" I took such an int'rest. She had a kind said at last.

"I do miss her," he answered and sighed again. "Folks all kep' repeatin' that time would ease me, but I can't find it does. No, I miss her just the same every day."

o' gift to make it pleasant for folks. I guess likely Almiry Todd told you she was a pretty woman, especially in her young days; late years, too, she kep' her looks and come to be so pleasant lookin'." There, 'taint SO much

"How long is it since she died?" I matter, I shall be done afore a great asked. while. No; I shan't trouble the fish a great sight more."


"Eight year now, come the first of October. It don't seem near so long. I've got a sister that comes and stops long o' me a little spell, spring an' fall, an' odd times if I send after her. I ain't near so good a hand to sew as I be to knit, and she's very quick to set everything to rights. She's a married woman with a family; her son's folks lives at home, an' I can't make no great claim on her time. But it makes me a kind o' good excuse, when I do send, to help her a little; she ain't none too well off. Poor dear always liked her, and we used to contrive our ways together. 'Tis full as easy to be alone. I set here an' think it all over, an' think considerable when the weather's bad to go outside. I get so some days it feels as if poor dear might step right back into this kitchen. I keep a-watchin' them doors as if she might

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The old widower sat with his head bowed over his knitting, as if he were hastily shortening the very thread of time. The minutes went slowly by. He stopped his work and clasped his hands firmly together. I saw he had forgotten his guest, and I kept the afternoon watch with him. At last he looked up as if but a moment had passed of his continual loneliness.

"Yes, ma'am, I'm one that has seen trouble," he said, and began to knit again.

The visible tribute of his careful housekeeping, and the clean, bright room which had once enshrined his wife, and now enshrined her memory, was very moving to me; he had no thought for any one else or for any other place. I began to see her myself in her home, a delicate-looking, faded lit


tle woman, who leaned upon his rough strength and affectionate heart, who was always watching for his boat out of this very window, and who always opened the door and welcomed him when he came home.

"I used to laugh at her, poor dear," said Elijah, as he read my thought. "I used to make light of her timid notions. She used to be fearful when I was out in bad weather or baffled about gittin' ashore. She used to say the time seemed long to her, but I've found out all about it now. I used to be dreadful thoughtless when I was a young man and the fish was bitin' well. I'd stay out late some o' them days, an' I expect she'd watch watch an' lose heart a-waitin'. My heart alive! what a supper she'd git, an' be right there watchin' from the door, with somethin' over her head if 't was cold, waitin' to hear all about it as I come up the field. Lord, how I think o' all them little things!"


"This was what she called the best room; in this way," he said presently, laying his knitting on the table, and leading the way across the front entry and unlocking a door, which he threw open with an air of pride. The best room seemed to me a much sadder and more empty place than the kitchen; its conventionalities lacked the simple perfection of the humbler room and failed on the side of poor ambition; it was only when one remembered what patient saving, and what high respect for society in the abstract go to such furnishing that the little parlor was interesting at all. I could imagine the great day of certain purchases, the bewildering shops of the next large town, the aspiring anxious woman, the clumsy sea-tanned man in his best clothes, so eager to be pleased, but at ease only when they were safe back in the sail-boat again, going down the bay with their precious freight, the hoarded money all spent and nothing to think of but tiller and sail. I looked at the unworn carpet, the glass vases on the mantel-piece with their prim bunches of bleached swamp grass and dusty marsh rosemary, and I could

read the history of Mrs. Tilley's best room from its very beginning.

"You see for yourself what beautiful rugs she could make; now I'm going to show you her best tea-things she thought so much of," said the master of the house, opening the door of a shallow cupboard. "That's real chiny, all of it on those two shelves," he told me proudly. "I bought it all myself, when we was first married, in the port of Bordeaux. There never was one single piece of it broken until- Well, I used to say, long as she lived, there never was a piece broke, but long at the last I noticed she'd look kind o' distressed, an' I thought 't was 'count o' me boastin.' When they asked if they should use it when the folks was here to supper, time o' her funeral, I knowed she'd want to have everything nice, and I said 'certain.' Some o' the women they come runnin' to me an' called me, while they was takin' of the chiny down, an' showed me there was one o' the cups broke an' the pieces wrapped in paper and pushed way back here, corner o' the shelf. They didn't want me to go an' think they done it. Poor dear! I had to put right out o' the house when I see that. I knowed in one minute how 't was. We'd got so used to sayin' 't was all there just's I fetched it home, an' so when she broke that cup somehow or 'nother she couldn't frame no words to come an' tell me. She couldn't think 'twould vex me, 'twas her own hurt pride. I guess there wa'n't no other secret ever lay between us."

The French cups with their gay sprigs of pink and blue, the best tumblers, an old flowered bowl and tea caddy, and a japanned waiter or two adorned the shelves. These, with a few daguerreotypes in a little square pile, had the closet to themselves, and I was conscious of much pleasure in seeing them. One is shown over many a house in these days where the interest may be more complex, but not more definite.

"Those were her best things, poor dear," said Elijah as he locked the door again. "She told me that last


summer before she was taken away that she couldn't think o' anything more she wanted, there was everything in the house, an' all her rooms was furnished pretty. I was goin' over to the Port, an' inquired for errands. I used to ask her to say what she wanted, cost or no cost-she was a very reasonable woman, an' 'twas the place where she done all but her extra shopping. It kind o' chilled me up when she spoke so satisfied."

"You don't go out fishing after Christmas?" I asked, as we came back to the bright kitchen.

"No; I take stiddy to my knittin' after January sets in," said the old seafarer. ""Taint't worth while, fish make off into deep water an' you can't stand no such perishin' for the sake o' what you get. I leave out a few traps in sheltered coves an' do a little lobsterin' on fair days. The young fellows braves it out, some on 'em; but, for me, I lay in my winter's yarn an' set here where 'tis warm, an' knit an' take my comfort. Mother learnt me once when I was a lad; she was a beautiful knitter herself. I was laid up with a bad knee an' she said 'twould take up my time an' help her; we was a large family. They'll buy all the folks can do down here to Addicks' store. They say our Dunnet stockin's gettin' to be celebrated up to Boston,-good quality o' wool an' even knittin' or somethin'. I've always been called a pretty hand to do nettin', but seines is master cheap to what they used to be when they was all hand worked. I change off to newin' long towards spring, and I piece up my trawls and lines and get my fishin' stuff to rights. Lobster pots they require attention, but I make 'em up in spring weather when it's warm there in the barn. No: I ain't one o' them that likes to set an' do nothin'."

"You see the rugs, poor dear did them; she wa'n't very partial to knittin'," old Elijah went on, after he had counted his stitches. "Our rugs is beginnin' to show wear, but I can't master none o' them womanish tricks. My sister, she tinkers 'em up. She said

last time she was here that she guessed' they'd last my time."

"The old ones are always the prettiest," I said.

"You ain't referrin' to the braided ones now?" answered Mr. Tilley. "You see ours is braided for the most part, an' their good looks is all in the beginnin.' Poor dear used to say they made an easier floor. I go shufflin round the house same's if 'twas a bo't, and I always used to be stubbin' up the corners o' the hooked kind. Her an' me was always havin' jokes together same's a boy an' girl. Outsiders never'd know nothin' about it to see us. She had nice manners with all, but to me there was nobody so entertainin'. She'd take off anybody's natural talk winter evenin's when we set here alone, so you'd think 'twas them a-speakin'. There, there!"

I saw that he had dropped a stitch again, and was snarling the blue yarn round his clumsy fingers. He handled it and threw it off at arm's length as if it were a cod line; and frowned impatiently, but I saw a tear shining on his cheek.

I said that I must be going, it was growing late, and asked if I might come again, and if he would take me out to the fishing grounds some day.

"Yes, come any time you want to," said my host, "'tain't so pleasant as when poor dear was here. Oh, I didn't want to lose her, an' she didn't want to go, but it had to be. Such things ain't for us to say; there's no yes an' no to it."

"You find Almiry Todd one o' the best o' women?" said Mr. Tilley as we parted. He was standing in the doorway and I had started off down the narrow green field. "No, there ain't a better-hearted woman in the State o' Maine. I've known her from a girl. She's had the best o' mothers. You tell her I'm liable to fetch her up a couple or three nice, good mackerel early to-morrow," he said. "Now don't let it slip your mind. Poor dear, she always thought a sight o' Almiry, and she used to remind me there was nobody to fish for her; but I don't

rec'lect it as I ought to. I see you drop a line yourself very handy now an' then."

We laughed together like the best of friends, and I spoke again about the fishing grounds, and confessed that I had no fancy for a southerly breeze and a ground swell.

"Nor me neither," said the old fisherman. "Nobody likes 'em, say what they may. Poor dear was disobliged by the mere sight of a bo't. Almiry's got the best o' mothers, I expect you know; Mis' Blackett out to Green Island; and we was always plannin' to go out when summer come; but there, I couldn't pick no day's weather that seemed to suit her just right. I never set out to worry her neither, 'twan't no kind o' use; she was SO pleasant we couldn't have no fret nor trouble. 'T was never 'you dear an' you darlin' afore folks, an' 'you divil' behind the door."

As I looked back from the lower end of the field I saw him still standing, a lonely figure in the doorway. "Poor dear," I repeated to myself half aloud; "I wonder where she is and what she knows of the little world she left. I wonder what she has been doing these eight years!"

From "The Country of the Pointed Firs." By Sarah Orne Jewett. Houghton, Mifflin & Com. pany, Publishers.


den, over the downs, and stand alone on the shore of the great sea.

It was already afternoon when we arrived dusty and travel-stained at the hospitable door, which was wide open, shaded by vines, showing the interior dark and cool. Mrs. Tennyson, in her habitual and simple costume of a long grey dress and lace kerchief over her head, met us with her true and customary cordiality, leading us to the low drawing-room, where a large oriel window opening on the lawn and the half-life-size statue of Wordsworth were the two points which caught my attention as we entered. Her step as she preceded us was long and free. Something in her bearing and trailing dress, perhaps, gave her a mediæval aspect which suited with the house. The latter I have been told, was formerly a baronial holding, and the fair Enid and the young Elaine appeared to be at one with her own childhood. They were no longer centuries apart from the slender, fair-haired lady who now lay on a couch by our side,-they were a portion of her own existence, of a nature obedient to tradition, obedient to home, obedient to love. The world has made large advance, and the sound of the wheels of progress was not unheard in the lady's room at Farringford. She was ready to sympathize with every form of emancipation; but for herself, her poet's life was her life, and his necessity was her great opportunity.

I recall Mrs. Browning once saying. to me, "Ah, Tennyson is too much indulged. His wife is too much his secWhen I first saw Lady Tennyson she ond self; she does not criticise was in the prime of life. Her two enough." But Tennyson was not a sons, boys of eight and ten years per second Browning. The delicate framehaps, were by her side. Farringford work of his imagination, filled in by was at that time almost the same elemental harmonies, was not to be beautiful solitude the lovers had found carelessly touched. She understood it years before, when it was first their his work and his nature, and he stood home. Occasionally a curious sight- firm where he had early planted himseer, or a poet-worshipper, had been self by her side in worshipping affecknown to stray across the grounds or tion and devotion. "Alfred carried the to climb a tree in order to view the sheets of his new poem up to Longreen retired spot; but as a rule don," she said one day, "and showed Tennyson could still wander un- them to Mr. Monckton Milnes, who watched and unseen through the gar- persuaded him to leave out one of the

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