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I had been suffering from long illness, and a sorrow of heart which seemed to me even harder to endure, and pined with an almost sickly longing to find myself in some quiet lonely spot where I could look my sorrow in the face, with none save natural sights and sounds, to break that deep sad intercommunion. I fancied that, away from the busy haunts of men, I should be strengthened to render up my own will more entirely into the will of GOD, and of all the places I had ever visited, or read of, the one to which my sick heart turned with fondest longing was the beautiful Isle of Wight. Not indeed to those parts of it which are commonly frequented by the gay world, in its summer quest of amusements and re-invigorated health, but those still solitary nooks, in which the invalid and the weary-hearted seek and find the blessedness of solitude and fair fresh country scenes.

There was, however, one obstacle which met us at every turn, as we hunted over maps and through guide-books in search of the most sequestered corners. Beauty indeed was to be met with everywhere; tranquillity and unworldliness in many places, and quiet summer dwellings were to be found in all; yet one thing was wanting still, one, without which I could not have chosen the fairest of those fair spots, for even a temporary home.' Nowhere could we find a parish church, ordered in obedience to the Church's holy law, and from place after place we turned back in despair, as our inquiries for a Daily Service that one best source of constant consolation for the weary and the desolate, the absence of which casts a blank over nature's loveliest scenes,-met everywhere with disappointment. In all that lonely Island, though resorted to by so many, to whom illness and abundant leisure, must, one would think, make the pri vilege of joining constantly in the Church's prayers more than ever dear and necessary, there was no village church to be found in which service was regularly performed twice, or even once a day.

My sister, who, with her husband, a clergyman, had promised to accompany me on my excursion, was scarcely less disappointed than myself at this unforeseen difficulty. One morning, at the breakfast-table, we took up, for the

last time, our list of picturesque villages and hamlets, running over the names together, in the vain hope that one at least might have been overlooked in our inquiries, when my brother suddenly interrupted us. "Kingsleigh," said he, "Kingsleigh; surely there must be a Daily Service there; for I remember passing some weeks in the neighbourhood with my poor friend Langton during his long illness, and nothing would have reconciled him to a prayerless abode." It has all been altered since then," replied my sister, "there is the town of indeed, but that is two miles distant; much too far for a daily walk."


A sudden smile lighted up my brother's countenance. "Ah; I remember now," he exclaimed. "Well: I will run down in a day or two and judge for myself, and unless my memory plays me false, falser than ever hope or memory did before, we shall find all we need, and much more than either of you fair ladies imagine," he added, nodding to us triumphantly as he left the room. He started the same afternoon, and Kingsleigh was the one topic of our thoughts and words until his return. Yet we feared more than we hoped, for there, amongst our heaps of unsatisfactory letters, lay one, the authenticity of which could not be impugned, written, not ten days since, by the curate of Kingsleigh, and enumerating, in parsimonious order, the scanty services. "Two on Sundays; one every Wednesday evening."

On the evening of the second day my brother returned, success in every feature. "Oh Frank, what have you heard what have you seen?" "All right," said he, "just as I promised you." "But do tell us all about it. Have you seen the church and the Rector ?" "Neither the one nor the other," was his summary reply, "but I have arranged everything to my own satisfaction, taken the prettiest cottage I could see, and if you are willing to confide in me, you may start on your journey to the silver Solent at a moment's notice."

We were only too ready to obey, and in less than a week we emerged from the lumbering railway carriage, and stood upon the pier at Gosport, waiting to enter the steamer which was to convey us to the spot we had so

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long desired to visit. It was a burning day in June, not a breath of air stirring, and the heat so great, that even in our twenty minutes passage across, I was almost overpowered with faintness, and truly thankful to find myself upon the long wooden pier at Ryde, crowded as it was with faces, some of them too familiar to be passed without the exchange of a hasty greeting. A carriage was soon ready for us, and as we drove through the still green lanes and watched the bright sun sinking lower and lower till it dipped below the golden waves, we rejoiced in deep silent thankfulness at the verdure and beauty of the fair world around.

Yet a strange feeling, less of joy than of sadness crept over me, as I leaned back in the carriage and thought how vain must ever be the attempt to find peace-true peace, in any earthly scene, however pure and calm. Not that I had indulged so wild a dream, but I had longed, perhaps too passionately, to find myself once more amidst scenes that had formerly been familiar to me, and now that the wish, so long indulged, was realized, my heart sickened for a moment with the painful consciousness, that although all around was as lovely as before, the sunny joy of youth, the buoyant freshness of mind that had delighted in it once was now gone for ever. It was but for a moment, however, that I indulged such feelings; there was a change within me, deeper far than the loss of youth's gay spirits could ever have effected, and I bowed my head in silent gratitude to Him Who had made my sorrow the nurse of holier and humbler thoughts.

That evening we spent in viewing the spot which was to be our summer home, and lovely indeed it was, and undisturbed by any sound, save the deep murmuring ocean, which washed up to the foot of our little lawn, and the voices of happy birds in the thick shrubberies and more distant copse. My brother still kept our curiosity upon the stretch, as to the church and daily prayers, which he had promised should not be wanting to complete our happiness. In arranging our plans for the following morning, we cunningly inquired at what hour the service began, and whether we should have far to walk?

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hoping thereby to elicit some satisfactory information, but we gained nothing beyond a playful command to be dressed betimes; and ready, with Prayer Books in our hands to accompany him at seven o'clock. I was ready and waiting before the clock struck seven, and when my brother and sister came down, we set off on our way to church, along, as it seemed to me, the most tangled and unfrequented paths that could be discovered. My sister and I exchanged glances, but we said nothing, knowing that the mystery must be speedily unravelled, and at last, when we stood on the smooth greensward at the top of the cliff, Frank, giving an arm to each, told us that there was indeed no daily service in the parish church of Kingsleigh, but, that within ten minutes' walk of the cottage he had chosen for our dwelling, there stood the ruins of a chapel, once annexed to an Abbey which had been dismantled either at the Reformation or in the Great Rebellion. He and his friend Langton had found it out first when they were living at Kingsleigh, and had read prayers there daily, and "sometimes," said my brother, "we collected quite a little congregation there on the summer mornings. When first I recollected the circumstance I was afraid to mention it to you, lest the years which have intervened since that time should have made it quite a ruin, or thrown it open to the public eye, but when I came down," added he, "I found everything almost as we had left it, perhaps a somewhat thicker tapestry of ivy upon the broken windows and roofless towers, but the old chapel looked even more solemn in its gray and mouldering beauty than when I last saw it." Even the pavement of the chancel was uninjured, as if time itself had spared the stones beneath which slept the dust of so many saints of old, and the steps marking the spot where the altar once stood, were still remaining, although broken and imperfect. "Here," said he, "we can say our daily prayers together; the place has lost nothing of its sacredness, though it is so long since any regular priest officiated within its walls, and perhaps in the absence of any living congregation we shall be led to realize more fully that holy Communion of saints which our Church bids us believe in and pray for."

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As he spoke, we descended a narrow pathway on the side of the cliff, and presently found ourselves in what had once been an open space, although now much overgrown by tangled weeds and brushwood. The cliff, which rose on one side high above our heads, sheltering the spot on which we stood from the north-westerly breezes, was clothed with a tangled undergrowth of roses and wild honeysuckle. The east window of the ruined chapel looked across the sea, and through its broken shafts and fretted tracery the sunlight poured in a flood of radiance while the gentle morning breeze lifted the long wreaths. of ivy and honeysuckle, and, as they waved to and fro filled the holy place with a dewy fragrance, which we, in our silent hearts, wished might be accepted in heaven in lieu of that incense of prayer which no longer ascended from the desecrated spot. It was not a time for words, and while my sister and myself knelt on the pavement of the chancel, my brother ascended the altar-steps and turning towards the east, chanted in low solemn tones the beautiful Office for Morning Prayer. The halfrepining thoughts which had been busy at my heart for many melancholy days, seemed suddenly, as I knelt, to pass away, and the memory of the dead there sleeping, who had loved and sorrowed once like me, and now were each gathered to their rest, filled my heart with an ineffable sensation of joy and peace. After the blessing had been pronounced, we still continued kneeling in silent prayer, and in the breathless hush that followed I fancied I heard a light rustling step and the swing of a closing door at no great distance, but I saw nothing when I rose, nor had either of my companions noticed the sound.

Silently and reverently we walked round the lonely spot, and it seemed strange and unaccountable that while the nave and such other parts of the chapel as were still standing were overgrown with grass and nettles, and many a rank unwholesome weed; the marble pavement of the chancel, though broken and weather-stained, was perfectly free from any such rank growth, while round the arches and broken windows ivy and roses twined as if some loving hand had guided them. As I looked out

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