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Yes, what an awful night for a fire. It must have been far down town, the bells near us ceased so much the soonest."

Almost as she spoke the doctor entered, and, after bidding all good-morning, he sat down to breakfast, tossing the morning paper, unopened, on the sofa. When the meal was nearly concluded, he unfolded the sheet, but saw a sight that made his cheek turn pale, in spite of all his habitual self-command.

" What is the matter ?exclaimed his wife.

“Look here,” said he, in a changed voice, “this is an awful fire;" and he displayed the paper containing a list of houses and numbers, three columns long, nearly every item in the appalling account bearing the words, “fire still raging :" while, as if all this were not enough, statements were added, of the impossibility of obtaining water, notwithstanding the almost superhuman exertions of the firemen; of the frozen pumps and hose; of the sufferings of the brave men who worked the engines, and on whom the water, as it fell, turned to complete ice armor, yet who continued their almost hopeless labor, till they actually dropped from exhaustion.

The doctor hurried away to the scene of terror, and the family lingered in the room with a vague dislike of separating, and a pervading feeling of anxious dread.

That day can never be forgotten by any one who experienced it. The gloom and quiet of all streets remote from the burning district; the restless anxiety that rendered the preformance of daily duties almost impossible; the undefined but unconquerable horror that fell with the night; the dreary peal of bells renewed at intervals, though all unneeded; the glare on the darkening horizon gradually becoming more intense; the hoarse cry of some passer hastening to or returning from the scene of unavailing effort; the hasty reports received from time to time of the steady progress of the flames; and, not least in fearful suggestiveness, the proposal to arrest the progress of the destroyer by blowing up the houses in its path with gunpowder.

In the afternoon Mrs. Lyndsay and her daughters came. They declared they could not bear to stay at home; they had the horrors all day, and had left word for Mr. Lyndsay to call for them, and started out to seek some change.

Mrs. Lyndsay sat down by Mrs. Sumner, to give her a detailed account of all she had heard and suffered, while the girls turned to the window, where Marion and Cornelia were sewing, and Helen and Milly reading aloud by turns.

“How can you sew and read so quietly ?! said Matilda. “I have done nothing all day.”

“I am sure I should not have worked, either,” said Helen;

“but I am glad Marion persuaded us,

for I am far more comfortable now than if I had fidgeted about as I was doing.”

But what is the use ? it don't make any difference whether you work to-day or to-morrow."

“I think it makes a great difference,” said

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Marion. "The exertion increases our selfcommand, and if we do not exercise this in trifles, it will fail us in great emergencies ; besides, the very occupation, by interesting us in something apart from our anxieties, tranquillizes us after awhile.”

“I believe you are right, Marion,” said Julia. “I wish I could be with you a little more. I might get to be worth something; but there is no good to be learned at our house."

Julia, Julia, don't speak so; there is good to be learned everywhere, if we look for it."

“I can't find it, and there is no one to teach

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me.

“There is one Teacher, dear, that we can always find if we seek Him," said Marion, gently.

“I know," said Julia, in a softer voice; “but one wants human help and sympathy some. times, especially at first.”

Perhaps it is best for some of us not to have it. We might depend too much on it.”

Julia sighed and leaned her head on Marion's shoulder, but did not speak for awhile, and as this conversation had been somewhat apart, they now heard Matilda's voice, talking eagerly.

“You are too absurd, Helen, not to go to this greatest ball of the season, on account of the fire! It has not hurt you, has it ?"

“No. But I could not enjoy dancing and merriment, when there is so much suffering around us.” “Did aunt Amy say you must not go

?“No: she left it to me, but I would rather not."

“Well ! before I'd give up such a ball for such nonsense,

I'd " Matilda paused in despair of finding a sufficiently energetic disclaimer:

“What dress will you wear, Matilda ?” asked Milly. “Your pink satin? It is so becoming."

“No, I have worn it twice this season; I must have a new dress."

"You extravagant child! when you have so many pretty dresses."

“That's what father says: but mother always

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