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Easter Sunday

We followed the singers for an hour, listening to the ancient song, which sounded sweetly through the narrow streets in the midnight stillness. My two companions talked on as usual, but I could not. I was haunted by that picture of ten years ago.

Easter-Sunday morning I went to church alone; Sara would not go with me. John Hoffman sat near me. I mentioned it when I returned home.

"I hate such religion as his," said Sara. She was lying on the couch, with her defiant eyes fixed on the blank wall opposite.

"Dear child," I said, "do not speak in that tone. It is ten years since you knew him, and indeed I do think he is quite earnest and sincere. No doubt he has changed—"

"He has not changed," interrupted Sara; "he is the same cold, hard, proud—"

Her voice ceased, and looking up, I saw that she had turned her face to the wall, and was silently weeping.

In the evening I begged her to come with me to the Sunday-school festival. " It will do you good to see the children, and hear them sing," I said.

She went passively; she had regained her composure, and moved about, pale and calm.

The church stood on the Plaza; it was small, but beautiful and complete, with chancel and memorial windows of stained glass. Flowers adorned it, intertwined with the soft cloudy gray moss, a profusion of blossoms which could not be equaled in any Northern church, because of its very carelessness. Not the least impressive incident, at least to Northern eyes, was the fact that the ranks of the children singing, "Onward, Christian soldiers," were headed by an officer in the United States uniform, the colonel commanding the post, who was also the superintendent of the Sunday-school. And when, in reading his report, the superintendent bowed his head in acknowledgment of the rector's cordial aid and sympathy, those who know that the rector had been himself a soldier all through those four long years, and fighting, too, on the other side, felt their hearts stirred within them to see the two now meeting as Christian soldiers, bound together in love for Christ's kingdom, while around them, bearing flower-crowned banners, stood children both from the North and from the South, to whom the late war was as much a thing of the dead past as the Revolution of seventy-six.

As we came out of the church the rising moon was shining over Anastasia Island, lighting up the inlet with a golden path.

"Let us go up once more to the old fort," whispered Sara, keeping me in the deep shadow of the trees as John Hoffman passed by, evidently seeking us.

"Alone?"

"Yes; there are two of us, and it will be quite safe, for the whole town is abroad in the moonlight. Do content me, Martha. I want to stand once more on that far point of the glacis under my look-out tower. That tower is my fate, you know. Come; it will be the last time."

We walked up the sea-wall and out on to the glacis, with the light-house flashing and fading opposite; the look-out tower rose high and dark against the sky. Feeling wearied, I sat down and leaned my head against one of the old cannon; but Sara went out to the far point, and gazed up at the look-out.

"My fate?" she murmured; "my fate!"

A quick step sounded on the stone; from the other side, leaping over the wall, came John Hoffman; he did not see me as I sat in the shadow, but went out on to the point where the solitary figure stood looking up at the ruined tower.

"Sara," ho said, taking her hand, "shall we go back to ten years ago?"

And Fate, in the person of the old watchtower, let a star shine out through her ruined windows as a token that all was well.   ♦

Look-out tower of the old fort

Vol. L. —No. 3
HARPER'S NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.



THE RIVALS.

The Rivals A KING of a most royal line
Stood at his gates, as History saith;
He stretched -his hand, he made the sign
To put a captive there to death.
 
As those who can no further fly
Turn sharp and grasp the deadly swords,
So the poor wretch about to die
Abused the king with bitter words.
 
" What does he say?" the king began,
To whom his jargon was unknown.
His Vizier, a kind-hearted man,
Who knew that language like his own,
 
Answered him : " Oh, my lord!' he cries,
`Who stay their hasty hands from blood—
God made for such men Paradise:
He loves, He will defend the good.'"
 
The king's great heart was touched at this :
"The captive's blood shall not be shed."
Then—for a serpent needs must hiss—
A rival of the Vizier said :
 
" It is not decorous that we
Whose blood comes down from noble springs—
No matter what the end may be,
We should speak truth before our kings.

 
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