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unreturning past. So poor Milly found it; and ere the first year of her bereavement ended, the midnight darkness of her earlier hours of trial had given place to a quiet sorrow like the gray stillness of a winter morning.

After a successful cruise of more than two years, Eben Boylston came home, master and part owner of the White Cloud; and, rejoicing in hopes of the near realization of his longcherished dreams, hastened up the well-known path to the door of the parsonage. All was still and silent; weeds had grown up in the neat garden beds and between the crevices of the door-steps, lichens had crept over the wooden bench in the little porch, the floor of which was strewed with dead leaves from the unpruned honeysuckle, whose straggling sprays drooped over the unused door-way and through the broken lattice-work.

Startled by the utter desolation, the young man returned to the village, to find some one who would give him the information he almost dreaded to ask; and as he left the familiar steps the dropping of a soft spring rain seemed like tears of regret for the loved and lost, and of pity for him who should meet them on earth

no more.

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But sad as were the tidings he heard, they were better than he feared.

The next evening found him by Milly's side, and, like the night dew in the soft starlight, tears shed over past sorrow brightened beneath the light of hope and love.

Eight happy years were passed by the sailor's young wife, in the home to which he took her on their marriage. She always spoke of it with such delight and affectionthe sunny garden sloping to the south; the prairie rose that climbed even to the roof of the little white house ; the green lawn leading to the road; and the far view seaward, where she soon learned to know his new vessel, the Sea Drift, from a hundred other sail, long before she could distinguish the gay flag her own hands had worked floating from the mast-head.

Captain Boylston had left the whaling business and followed the coasting-trade, so that his absences from home might be less protracted; and few happier households could be found than that of the little sea-side cottage.

Poor Mrs. Boylston ! how she lingered over this part of her story. Living again as in a dream her short period of bliss; shrinking from the sad conclusion as if she could still avert the blow.

In a severe storm the Sea Drift was wrecked, and Captain Boylston was ruined; but his high character and acknowledged seamanship procured him a berth as mate on a vessel sailing from New York, and owned by a firm whose junior partner had been Eben's schoolfellow.

It was a great and painful change for this family to leave their lovely home they had so long inhabited, for two rooms in a side street in New York. But they were still spared to each other, and several months went peacefully by—Milly finding full occupation by taking

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in sewing, to aid in meeting their expenses, increased by a city life. She continued the daily instruction of her children, who, having no other companion, amply rewarded her care by their rapid improvement. Eben Boylston's last voyage had been to Savannah, and thence to Liverpool; and the vessel had now been due for several weeks. Tidings had been received of her sailing from Liverpool, but she had not since been heard from.

I know he is lost," said the poor wife, sorrowfully, but in a tone of perfect conviction. “Four weeks ago I was asleep, quite late at night; the lamp was burning low in the fireplace, and there was a bright moonlight. I was awakened by a step in my room.

“I had fastened the door before I went to bed, and the sound startled me wide awake. I turned, and by my bedside stood my husband. He looked very pale, but his eyes seemed to shine. He gazed at me steadily but so sadly; then bent and kissed my forehead, and his lips were icy cold.

“I tried to speak but could not. He said not a word, but stood looking at me for some minutes, and at last turned away. In a moment I seemed to recover the power of motion, and sprang up; but he was gone !

but he was gone! I examined the room—there was no one; the door was locked, and the children were asleep. Then I knew that he was dead. The next day I went down to Messrs. Longworth and Bradleigh's office to see if they had news of the ship. None since her sailing from Liverpool. They spoke of hoping still to hear; but I could not hope.”

From this point in her story she added little more;

but Doctor and Mrs. Sumner could readily understand how her already failing health had been impaired still more by this great sorrow : how her exertions, even to the utmost of her diminishing strength, could ill provide for her children. Her conviction of her husband's death made her reluctant to draw money possibly not due to her, or to incur any debt that she might not live to pay.

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