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into those every-day duties which, unhappily, too many allow to devolve on their employés. He considered himself as responsible for the souls of the parish committed to him, to his Divine Lord, and preferred rather to die at his post, and in the exercise of those daily rounds which it was his wont to make, than to relinquish, as he would say, in these trying times of the Church, his charge to any man.
Mrs. Vivian's fears were, indeed, painfully realized. He sank rapidly, after a comparatively short, but severe illness. It was a painful separation; nothing but her sweet resignation of character and sterling piety enabled poor Mrs. Vivian to recover herself at all after this dreadful blow. But she called to mind all their sweet conversations upon trials, and entire submission to the Lord's appointments, and seemed to hear her loved hus.. band still. To remain in the hitherto sweet little parsonage was impossible. Another gentleman had been already appointed in her lamented husband's stead, and Turton, as a residence, in or near the village, would have been insupportable to her; so, after much wise consideration, and making her future plans a matter of prayer for direction, it occurred to her, that with her children, two boys and a girl, left fatherless in the world, having few relations remaining of her own, it might be advisable to fix her residence in the neighbourhood of her late husband's brother, his only surviving one, Sir Hugh Vivian.
With a very slender income derived only from her marriage settlement, Mrs. Vivian, six months after her husband's death, therefore established herself at Summerfield, a very pretty cottage standing in its own little pleasure ground, at less than threequarters of a mile from Everton, Sir Hugh's seat; and in the three years of her residence in the little cottage where we now find her, she had found no cause to regret the step she had taken.
Sir Hugh's family consisted of a son and daughter; the latter, the eldest, deprived early of maternal care, had resided with a sister of her mother's all her life, her father having been ever averse to either marrying again, or having governesses at home. Every year Emmeline was in the habit of paying her father a visit. Allyne, her only brother, and junior by three years, had a tutor at home.
Sir Hugh Vivian was a peculiar, if not an eccentric man. Very proud and reserved, and difficult of access, nevertheless, under this somewhat stern exterior, his was a noble and a generous heart; he had been sincerely attached to his brother, though he did not conceal his dislike of his “extreme views," as he called them; but at his death, when his sisterin-law established herself in his neighbourhood, he evinced more kindness than either she expected, or those who were well acquainted with him would have given him credit for. And she found in him a valuable friend for her two boys-of whom she was justly proud.
Hugh, the eldest, so named after his uncle, and just fourteen, according to his advice, had been for the last two years at an excellent school in preparation for Sandhurst ; for, as his early desire--much against his poor father's wish—had been for the army, his uncle had strongly advised Mrs. Vivian to yield, and educate him for that profession, generously offering to pay for him at Sandhurst, and, furthermore, should he turn out well, give him his commission. She had always in her heart set him apart for the church, and many a prayer had been inwardly breathed by her, that she might have the joy of some day seeing her dear boy follow in the steps of his father. But we have digressed from our subject, and must return to where we left Mrs. Vivian, about to descend to see her visitor.
“How kind this is of you, my dear Lady Fitzwilliam, I am delighted to see you,” said Mrs. Vivian, on entering the drawing room, and advancing to meet the former.
“I had no idea you had returned," and Lady Fitzwilliam extended her hand to Mrs. Vivian as she spoke, "until ten days ago when Edward told me he had seen your two boys. I have been intending ever since to pay you a visit ; but the arrival of my little niece, Edith Trevor, my poor brother's child, and other things, however, have prevented my doing this earlier.”
“Poor Lady Grey! ah! how very melancholy her death was! and unexpected too, was it not ?" inquired Mrs. Vivian,
“Most unexpected, indeed ; for though my sisterin-law was never strong, the first intelligence of her having so well got over her confinement, ill-prepared us” returned Lady Fitzwilliam, "for the next post, bringing the sad news of my brother's loss, in the death of both mother and infant. It has been a severe blow to him."
" And his little girl,” resumed Mrs. Vivian, “ I remember well last summer, when I had the pleasure of meeting Lady Grey at Paington Abbey; what a darling she appeared to be of her mamma's --she must feel her loss sadly."
“Edith is so very young,” replied Lady Fitzwilliam—"not yet seven; and it is now nearly three months since my sister-in-law died. At her age, grief,” my dear Mrs. Vivian, “is not of long duration. She appears perfectly reconciled and happy. By-the-bye, I wanted to ask if I am rightly informed that you already know our new clergyman at Everton; I was not myself at church last Sunday, but I am told he is quite a dissenter."
“ You were, indeed, misinformed," quietly rejoined Mrs. Vivian, “Mr. Graham's views are, perhaps, * LOW CHURCH,' as it is termed-to my mind better named evangelical."
os And what do you call low Church? I really am puzzled with so much high and low Church, and intend to keep myself very clear of either party,” said Lady Fitzwilliam, “ though I do not at all admire those strict people who think it so very sinful to go to a ball, or give a dinner; but as to rising
CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE.
early, and daily going to a cold miserable church, winter and summer, before breakfast—so much religion would make me quite ill—I never could bear it.”
“It is to be regretted,” thoughtfully and seriously returned Mrs. Vivian, without saying all she might have felt at this last remark of Lady Fitzwilliam, “ greatly to be regretted, that there is so much difference just now in religious opinions; for my own part, I dislike, especially, the term high or low Church ; there is but one Church after all, and that is the Church of Christ. All those who zealously and affectionately act up to the doctrines of his Gospel, comprise that Church, be they dissenters or Churchmen. Mr. Graham is a Churchman, and by his consistent walk, is a very bright ornament of the established Church—the Church of England. He was much esteemed by my dear husband, for whom, during his last illness (a momentary shadow crossing her calm features, at the painful recollections this recalled), he officiated ; and it was most kind of my brother-in-law appointing him to Everton; but,” added Mrs. Vivian, with a half-smile, “ Mr. Graham has no daily service, dear Lady Fitzwilliam."
“ How is Sir Hugh,” inquired her ladyship, very glad to turn the subject, by no means interesting to her. " I was sorry to hear from Sir James that he had been ill ; indeed, I intended to-day calling at Everton on my way home from you. Is Miss Vivian just now at home ?”