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for the last seven years he had been toiling hard as a city clerk, chained to an office desk for eight hours daily. After several turns he came to a mass of red brick buildings, above which predominated a slender church spire, and passing through a small courtyard, entered the open door of the church. The windows shone without in rich gorgeous colouring, becoming dimmer as the lights within were being extinguished one by one; for the service was over, and the church nearly empty. Still the solemn tones of the organ rolled around, as the player, forgetful of time, passed on from one group of harmonies to another. The fog-laden air and the gathering shadows made the space within seem mysteriously vast, and the lofty roof invisible in the darkness. Kenneth sought the quiet place to which often at this hour he resorted for solitary meditation, like Isaac of old, at eventide. The old sacristan pottered softly about on his rounds, taking care not to disturb the peacefulness of the sanctuary. At last the booming echoes of the organ tones ceased, Kenneth rose, and departed. He had not far to go. He turned into the next street, stopped at No. 72, and let himself in with a latch key.

"Here you are at last, Kenneth!" called out a clear ringing voice from within. "Come quick, I've something to tell you;" and Christina Grahame, a tall fair-haired girl of seventeen, twisted round on her seat at the piano, as her brother entered the room. "Only thinkthe Professor wants me to play at his concert. It is to be this day six weeks, and I'm to play the 'Harmonious Blacksmith,' besides a duet with him. Isn't it an honour? and such a splendid opening for me!”

"What, Christie ?" said he, lifting his eyebrows, without seeming as much impressed by the distinction as his sister could have wished. "Do you mean that you really want to play at a public concert ?" His tone showed a certain annoyance, which she at once perceived, and she hastened to explain.

"A private concert, a matinée d'invitation. Why, of course I'm delighted! you don't mean to say you disapprove? My dear boy, it's the best advertisement I can possibly have! Besides, he says he will recommend me. I shall be certain to get pupils."

"But, Christina—”


"But Kenneth, be reasonable! Now you're not going to be too proud to let me work as well as you. We settled ever so long ago that work is an honour, not a disgrace."

"That is part of our creed, but—”

"Then let us stick to it, like true Scots! It would be Irish to let false scruples of pride, or sentiment, stand in the way of work. I want to wear my brown gown, and never to be too fine. Seriously, Kenneth dear, you know it's my great wish and pleasure as well as my duty to help you, to lessen the burden laid upon you."

Her tones were both earnest and beseeching. She paused for an answer, her clear hazel eyes intently scanning her brother's refined and careworn features. Presently he spoke, very quietly,

"Now, Christie, is your mission art, or work? there's a difference."

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"Yes, I know. I should say both, however. I'm not a genius, but I can do something for music, which I love intensely, though I don't rave about it like the Crowthers, you know."

"I know you are a very sensible young woman," said Kenneth, with a queer half smile. "Look here, I'm not prepared to give you up to the profession. I have my own ideas upon that point, and perhaps I am full of pride and prejudice, but I'll give my gracious consent to your playing at this concert, if it is only a private one."

Christina's ruling passion was her devotion to her brother; and even when she thought him too particular, the desire to please him generally triumphed over her own opinion. Her musical enthusiasm was well under control; still, she felt disappointed, and showed it by whistling a few notes. Kenneth had a fastidious aversion to this trick, but forbore to make any comment.

"I may take all the pupils I can get, mayn't I?" she said suddenly, in rather a sharp tone.

"Yes-that was settled when I let you go and teach the Vicarage children; I saw what it would lead to."

"And you really think the position of an artist inferior to that of a daily governess

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“Not inferior—only different. I don't like it for you. I dare say I'm very old-fashioned. Tell the Professor I'm a great tyrant, but he has been very kind, and for that reason I'll let you make your first —and last-appearance at his concert. Come, will that content you for the present ?"

"Dear old Ken! you are the best of brothers!"

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"Well, there's just enough cold meat.-Oh, and I made a cake this morning, before I went to College."

"All right. Is Charlie in ?"

"Yes, some time ago.


There was no practice after service. went into Granny's room. Please tell her that Mr. Parker is coming; she doesn't like being taken by surprise. I'll see about the tea."

Soon the fire was burning up, and the kettle singing away merrily, while Christina hastened to and fro, preparing the table. The firelight danced and flickered on the old faded furniture of the sitting-room, throwing a mellow glow over everything, and softening the somewhat sharply defined but pretty outline of the girl's Scottish features. Presently Kenneth entered, supporting the frail and slender form of a little old lady, draped in a soft white shawl, with a cap of delicate lace tied under her chin, which encircled a pale kindly face with the watchful halfinquiring expression that deaf people often have. Christina hastened to set her arm-chair nearer the fire, and presently "Granny," as they called her, (though Mrs. Earle was no relation,) was comfortably established in it with her ear-trumpet and work-basket within reach. The next moment there was a ring at the house door, and Kenneth left the room to admit his friend Sydney Parker, the Curate of the neighbouring church, thus anticipating the slower movements of Mrs. Earle's ancient servant, the grim and trustworthy Sarah, who followed them into the room with the lamp. Kenneth's quiet repressed demeanour and thin austere face were a great contrast to the tall broad-shouldered figure and hearty ruddy countenance of his clerical friend, who when at Oxford had won more honours in the cricket field than in the schools. He came in, greeting all with vigorous hand-shakes and good-humoured smiles, receiving a warm welcome from the deaf old lady. The party was completed by little Charlie Grahame, a quiet grave boy of thirteen, with keen dark eyes like his elder brother. He slipped into a seat by Mrs. Earle, and attended to all her wants; his voice was the only one which reached her ear without any great effort, and he made it his business to inform her from time to time of what was passing in conversation while the meal went on.

"You are going to the night school?" asked Sydney. "I'm not sure whether I can get there till the finish. I have some sick people to look up."

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I will be there to-night," said Kenneth. "I can't go on Wednesday, because of the Debating Club."

"Have you promised to speak? What is the subject ?"

"Oh yes, do tell us," said Christina.

“An old historical discussion; guess." 'King Charles? they all.

Cromwell? Mary Queen of Scots ?" asked

"No, older still. The death of Cæsar. I am to speak against Brutus; to try, I suppose, to make an Antonine oration. I shall expound to them the views of Dante as to the fate of traitors, with which I entirely coincide. I never speak against my own conviction, though it is considered good practice, I believe."

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You! you couldn't if you tried," said Sydney. "Well, it's a fruitful subject for discussion, and not hackneyed to most of them, I dare say. What do they know of Roman history ?"

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A little; but it was new to some of them that Shakespeare had written a play called Julius Cæsar. Albert Jackson read it for the first time this week and told me that he was quite surprised to find it so full of familiar quotations."

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Oh, how good it is for them to be made to read and think," said Christina. "I'm so glad you joined that Young Men's Institute."" "The orations are a dreary waste of time very often."

"Isn't the spouting rather good fun ?"

"It is no fun to me. I abhor fine speeches in cockney accents;

I would far rather be at the night school."


Well, you get so much of clerks and warehousemen all day that the roughs may be a refreshing change."

"Honest barbarism versus false culture? Yes, but there are a few nice fellows in the Institute, and I'm glad I joined it."

"Ay, it was the right thing to do, and I'm sure the tone of the place is improved. They seem very glad to have you there too."

I suppose they look on me now more as a man and a brother, instead of a stuck-up sulky Scotchman," said Kenneth, with a half smile at Christina.


Yes, it was in consequence of the great social reform which I introduced," said his sister.

"How so? When was that?" asked Sydney.


'Why, last year, when she got me to let her invite the Snapes and Crowthers to tea. Eh, Christie ?"

"Well, I did think it was the right thing," she said, "good for them and for us too. When I found out that the College girls thought me stiff and proud, I didn't like it."

"So we thought we would try and do our duty to our equals," said

Kenneth, "for such they are nominally at least. Snape is a clerk, Miss Crowther a teacher. And we endure their society now and then as you know, with tolerable fortitude. George Crowther is a real good fellow. But there is the postman's knock. Run and see what he brings, Charlie."

"A letter for you, Kenneth."

"From dear old Rutherford," said his brother, opening it. "Ha! Lethbridge has sold Glendarroch," and his face flushed as he went on reading.


"Our old home, you know," said Christina to Sydney. See, there is the picture of it."

"Ah, yes," said the Curate, getting up to look. "You have put it between the portraits of Montrose and Dundee,—the two chivalrous Grahames."

"Who has bought it, Ken ?"

"The man who rented the place last year, Sir George Dacre," said Kenneth, folding up the letter. "Rutherford says he'll take good care of everything."

"Till it comes back to the Grahames!" cried Christina.

"There's no good in talking about such castles in Spain, or Scotland either," said Kenneth, with a half-impatient frown. "Past seven! we

must be going presently."


"I must go now," said Sydney. "I promised my old man to be with him as soon as I could. We meet again at the school ?"

"All right," returned his friend.

When Sydney was gone, Kenneth crossed the room, and stood for some minutes silently studying the faded water-colour sketch of an old turreted mansion half surrounded by fir-trees; while Christina and Charlie collected the tea-things and carried them into the kitchen. Mrs. Earle watched Kenneth inquiringly, but she was too timid to ask him any questions. As soon as he was gone, Christina satisfied her curiosity.

"Ah well, my dear, he'll get the old place back again some day."

"Of course he will!" said the girl, proudly. She had the most absolute faith in Kenneth's ultimate triumph, and it was a great spur to her own exertions. At present, however, she had to darn and mend for an hour or two; and not till Sarah had carried off Mrs. Earle to bed was she able to set to work again at the piano. She was still prac


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