The Vicarage was a good-sized, solid, comfortable house, where the Yicar, had for many years been in the habit of giving very successf'ul little dinners. The food was excellent, the wine was of the best; and when his guests had done .justice to both, it was their worthy host's custom to lead them, either into the garden, of which he was justly proud, or into a spacious study, where easy-ehairs and a blazing f'ire awaited them — aceording as the seasons were. Nobody was ever asked to enter the drawing-room, which had the cheerless aspect cornmon to the drawing-rooma of al houses in which tliere are no ladies; the Rector's reception-room was his study. There was the well-selected library which he so seldom found time to consult; there was the enormous stuffed fish caught in the lake, whose weight I have forgotten and wil not attempt to recollect, for fear of being r.ccusod of exaggeration; there, modestly hiding in a corner between one of the bookcases and the wall, was a small cupboard, through the glass doors of which could be distinhuislied guns and fishingrods; there distressed parishioners used to receive daily aid: good advice and support of a more material kind. All this was before his daughter's time. Her coming home had naturally brought about a change both in the appearance of the house and in the habits of those who freouented it, and her skill had effected a transformation in the drawingroom which mv aunt either had not been nble or had not cared to bring about in ours. In those days the national taste with regard to domestic decoration had not been raiscd to its present height; neverthelesp it was into au extremelv pr^tty room that I followed my aunt on the ovening of the dinner-party. I don 't suppose much money had been laid out upon it. The carpet, the sofas and the chairs were the old familiar ones, which had probably been nurchased by the late Mrs. dennison before her daughter's birth; but sonie neople have a wonderful skill in re-arrangement. and can bring about tlie most astonishing results with the simplest furniture. I did not then examine details as one learns to do with advancing years: all I saw was, that,
bij some magie or other, a wilderness had been turned into a garden. The were f'lowers every where; many of them could be seen in the dim conservatory upon which one of the windows opened. ïhe liglit did not come from bright lamps placed on a level with one's eyes like ours at home, but feil softly from wax candles. Wlien we came in the Rector was standing 011 the liearthrug, and now lie advanced holding out both hands.