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And, oh, it is nice to be with happy people! It “Was it cold-very cold indeed, like this?” makes the old feel fresh and almost young again, questioned Eva. and even the young themselves feel better, holier, If the weather itself had been cold, at least the and more true to each other.

hearts of the listeners had not been in that conIt is holiday-time now in Mrs. Moran's school; dition on the day referred to. but the school-room itself is not on that account “I'll draw you a picture, then, children dear," deserted.

mother went on, sweetly. “Only that it will be Several are assembled within it-her best and drawn in words, not with either pencil or pen. most dearly-loved pupils, as mother always calls Then perhaps you will quite understand me. 'Tis them.

only a very simple one-a wee and tired little They are seated in a circle around the blazing singing-girl, wrapped in an old shawl, is peeping fire, and in the centre of all sits Mrs. Moran, wistfully out of a cab window-_”

“Oh, no, mother! Not that old, old story again, Only that her memory at this instant is not quite please. Never! That dreadful tale! Forget it, so much at rest as it might seem, and she is please, and make me do the same." And Nell remembering everything-this very particular day was now kneeling shudderingly upon the schoolin the whole year. “And you have won the prize, room matting, and had buried her face in mother's then, after all ?”

lap. Jack could not answer for an instant. Then At night, mother,” she went on, " it sometimes came, “ Yes, mother. My drawing-design they comes to me in dreams that I have again lost you call it-has pleased the partners in the office far both-you and Jack ; that I have turned round the best. They say it is the most correct and quickly to catch hold of your dress - as you know artist-like, to use their own words; and there. was really the case-and that then you are gonefore-_"

gone-I never can think how! And then I can't Were the other words so difficult that he really bear it any longer, and wake up frightened.” could not utter them?

" And then, you know, darling, you find it's all a * And therefore,” she now broke in, softly, “ you dream. isn't that nice?" have won twenty pounds. God bless you, my own Nell shivered again. Not, indeed, that she was brave boy!” And then she remembered what she now suffering from cold and sorrow. No; it was had once told him long ago, that drawing would only at the remembrance of all that season of indeed prove his chief and best talent, if carefully trouble. improved.

** Next time you are lost, however,” suggested And now another voice was heard-oh, so Jack, caressingly, “ remember the name of the sweet in its childish simplicity! Almost the very place where you live-No. 3, Mistletoe Grove." same words, too, that she had made use of long “Yes, Nell will be wiser next time, certainly," ago

and the mother kissed her darling tenderly. “We “What! Twenty pounds! And you've really

are all wise when a trouble of the kind is over." won it at last, Jack? And by your drawing, too? And old Meg grew wiser too,” broke in Nell, Mother, then, was right. Mother's always right." now very gravely, “when Uncle Joe scolded her Nell, then, evidently remembered also. Oh, what for having kept me with her all that time. a lot of money!” she went on, musing.

She said she had never once heard in all her life " It's mother's," began Jack, bending down what was the right thing to do.” And then Nell meanwhile over her, and whispering something suddenly ceased speaking. softly in her ear-so softly that no one but Nell Her trouble seemed all to have come back to her could overhear the words. “It's yours, to keep that instant. always, mother dear. We promised it—that's Nell Meg Ferry was good enough to you, at any and 1-long, long ago. It is to pay for a lovely rate," put in Jack. cottage somewhere in the country—where you "Oh, yes!” and there was curious earnestness in always wish to be-far, far away from noisy, Nell's words. So very, very good! She shared smoky London.”

her crusts with me-gave me all the treats she “Dear boy! Darlings !” and then their mother could-looking at Punch and Judy, and all sorts of could not, it seemed, speak for happiness.

funny sights.” “ Where you will have no more headaches," And you were able afterwards to return her whispered Nell again.

kindness-in part, I mean ; only a very little, of “You remember," asked Mrs. Moran presently, course--when she was so ill and in sorrow at part“ what happened just a year ago this very day?” ing with her little blessing, as she used to call you."




“And now to think that she's gone to Heaven !!! whispered Nell as softly.

“It was just like Eva there, giving her halfcrown away to the little singing-girl ;” and Jack laughed, then glanced at Eva.

" It was the funniest thing possible,” exclaimed that young lady, “giving it to my own cousin !” and she did not speak in the least proudly to-day.

“It was not funny in the least,” interrupted mother. “The event was simply God-sent, as is every other blessing in life. You little thought, Eva, what you were doing when you placed that money in Nell's hand.

Eva only shook her head at first.
Then came very suddenly-

won't be jealous of me any more, Nell, will you ?” she said imploringly. “You won't mind my loving ‘mother,' just one little bit, even although she's not my own real mother? Just because, you know," and Eva's voice quivered a moment, “I haven't any of my own.”

Yes; Nell and Eva had indeed been rivals for a little while. Each could not bear that the other should take her place.

“Silly children ! Don't you think I love you both ?" said Mrs. Moran comfortingly. “And Wilton, over there," she asked, “what has he to say?"

“That-father's—coming,” said Wilton very slowly, but still distinctly.

“ You're just in time, Uncle Joe. Eva has learnt

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to play that nice old Christmas carol at last. Go, Eva, child, and do your very best.

It will give your father pleasure.”

Then Uncle Joe gazed into the fire, and thought of all that had happened since he had first called there.

“Oh! isn't it lovely? Don't you like it, father?” and Eva jumped down gaily from the high stool.

You like that better, then, do you, than ‘In my Cottage near a Wood ?'"

“ Mother taught it me," exclaimed Eva, stoutly“ not Miss Polwhele. That, makes all the difference.”

“Oh, does it?"

“And Nell's piano, that you gave her, you know, is such a beauty-far, far better than my old thing ever used to be.”

Only that Mrs. Moran now looked up and checked her. Why would Eva's tongue always run on so fast? And yet on she still went.

“Only that the carol is not so pretty—no, not a quarter-as the song you sang in the street, she whispered. “Sing it, Nell—will you? But not with the music—not even near the piano. No; sing it standing up, won't you?” And she caught Nell by the hand and drew her gently forward into the very middle of the assembled circle.

“Just, you know, as you used to do in the wide streets of London-only that Edwin was not there to listen.”




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Both pause before the tempting meal
Which they have now commenced to steal.
They cower near the sheltering cheese-
They thought they heard the house-cat sneeze;
Trembling each fears the coming strife
In deadly terror for his life.

“Oh, dear !" they groan and sigh,

“to-night We are indeed in sad, sad plightWe wish we'd minded mother now! If we escape, we'll make a vow, “Never again,” But 'twas too late! The time had come to meet their

fate, For Pussy, with fierce-gleam

ing eyes,
Sprang forward and secured

each prize.


cat ;

Near to a Cheddar cheese crept

they, And ate, and ate, and ate

away. But hark! what warning do

they hear, A sound of dread but very

near ?

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HE weather-charts published in some of seaman-no agriculturist or gardener, from the

the daily newspapers must be familiar to largest farmer to the commonest field-labourer,

the eyes of most of our readers ; though ever doubts for a single moment the influence of it is not likely that many young persons new and full moon on fair weather and foul.” It have taken the trouble to study them. They may seem a bold thing to overturn an idea of such are, however, deserving of notice as the out. antiquity, and so deeply set in the popular mind; come of the most worthy attempt that has but we must, on good and sufficient grounds, set the yet been made to forecast the weather on a moon aside as a means of forecasting the weather. scientific basis. No one requires to be told The invention of the barometer marked a new era how fickle the weather is, nor how desirable in meteorological observation. This instrument is it is to be able to foretell its changes. From familiar to all of us. It hangs in nearly every the remotest times, the influence of the con. lobby or hall, and the height of its column of ditions of the atmosphere on out-of-door mercury is scanned each morning by those who operations has necessarily been recognised, propose to go outside for either business or and efforts have been made to predict their pleasure. It faithfully records every fluctuation in

fluctuations ; yet it is a fact that until quite the density of the air, and is regarded, in a general recently no recognised “ weather-sign” has been way, as a trustworthy indicator of coming weather absolutely trustworthy, nor can it be said that we changes. The most common form of this instruhave yet established anything but a meagre outline ment is that of an oblong case with a dial on its of an acceptable scheme of weather prediction. lower part, on which the words “ fair,” “rain,"

Before the invention of the barometer, observers “change,” &c., are marked. Two hands are of the weather had to rely for hints as to changes pivoted on this dial, one of which is moved by a on the habits of certain animals and insects, on the float on the surface of the mercury, while the other aspect of the sky, the changes of the moon, and the is adjustable by the observer, and is used to indidirection of the wind. None of these, however, are cate how the other hand stood at any given hour. guides that can be thoroughly trusted, while some In this way the rise or fall in a certain space of of them are not in the remotest way affected by time may be noted. The inscribing of the dial approaching changes in the weather.

with the words mentioned is a fanciful idea, and Sailors are, of course, very much interested in not at all based on the results of experience. In the weather, and they have a great reputation as the later forms of the instrument (a small engravprophets of atmospheric changes. Ask one of ing of a barometer of this kind is given above) the those weather-beaten mariners at the seaside what dial is got rid of, and on plates at either side of sort of weather may be expected, and he will the top of the column of mercury the general survey the heavens, sniff the air, and tell you, with principles on which rises and falls are to be read an apparent consciousness of infallibility, what is in are printed. store. Within a limited range, his forecasts will in The readings of the barometer, however, supply a majority of cases prove more or less correct ; but only part of the information which is necessary to he must be put aside in the search for a thoroughly forming an accurate forecast of the weather. The useful weather-guide.

temperature of the air, as indicated by the ther. From time immemorial, the moon has been mometer, must be considered ; and also the quantity credited with an influence on the weather, and no of moisture present, as shown by the hygrometer. amount of reasoning on the part of scientific men It is likewise necessary to consider the direction has sufficed to lead to the abandonment of this and force of the wind. Thus it will be seen that notion.

If bad weather should prevail, it is the observation of the weather with a view to common to hear people say that a change of the constructing a forecast is a complicated operation, moon- that is, a passage from one quarter to and that there are considerable difficulties in the another—will be sure to bring better weather. way of arriving at a correct conclusion. Nor is this What was said many years ago on this subject all ; for it is necessary not only to know the state remains true to a large extent, notwithstanding the of barometer, thermometer, and hygrometer in one's advance that has been made in meteorological immediate locality, but to know also what the science, and the repeated publication of the results readings are at various places at a distance. of observations showing the contrary :-"No navi- It is on information collected from numerous gator, from the captain or master to the commonest points that the weather-charts are constructed, and


this reminds us that were it not for the electric currents. "The counterpart of the “cyclone” is the telegraph such information could not be made “ anticyclone,” which is an area of high pressure, available. Let us look for a moment at the weather- from whose centre the barometrical readings dechart, and see what it indicates and how it indi. crease outwards. Having ascertained the nature cates. Arrows show the direction of the wind, and of his information as to the state of the atmotheir form indicates its force; the state of the sea sphere over the region of observation, the compiler and of the atmosphere is given in words; the of weather forecasts is able to tell us with some temperature at various points in figures ; and there degree of accuracy the direction and force of the are lines sweeping in curves over the face of the winds that may be expected in various parts during map, or forming complete circles, which link to- the next four-and-twenty hours. If he has dis. gether places at which a similar barometric pressure covered a well-marked cyclone existing over a prevails. These latter are called "isobars," or particular district, he has no difficulty in marking lines of equal pressure, and they play a very im- off the directions of the wind in surrounding places, portant part among the weather-signs. From for round the centre of low pressure the air currents all the information thus set down, the officials at will move in the opposite direction to the hands of the Meteorological Office draw certain conclusions a watch, while in the case of an anticyclone the and predictions, and these are given in print motion follows the same direction as the hands. underneath the map.

But it not infrequently happens that the area of Strictly speaking, weather is determined by the the cyclone or of the anticyclone is so extensive movements of the air. This subtle fluid which that its centre lies far beyond the limits of the envelops the earth is constantly disturbed by a region of observation, and then almost straight variety of causes which space will not admit of our lines appear on the weather-chart. The principle describing here. Now, it is condensed over great of interpreting their significance is, however, the areas, and by its increased weight sends up the

A weak point in the matter is the fact that mercury in the barometer ; again, it becomes rare- the duration of a cyclone or anticyclone cannot fied, and produces low barometric readings. Against be calculated, and unexpected dispersions of the the agencies which are at work to form it into light or heavy air are apt to bring discredit on volumes of varying density, the law by which all the predictions based on the barometric readings. fluids endeavour to distribute themselves evenly Thus far we have dealt with the means by operates, and the consequence is that there is a which the direction and force of the wind are constant movement-a flowing from one point to predicted, and the curious young reader will no another.

doubt be anxious to know how the coming of rain What the meteorologists who prepare the weather- or snow is ascertained. Well, this is simply a charts and elaborate predictions from them have to matter of observing the direction of the wind and do, in the first place, is to examine the barometric the temperature of the air. readings received from the observing stations, A rapid rise or a rapid fall of the barometer is which, it will be seen from the map, are situated a sure sign that a strong wind is about to blow, and not only at a number of points within the United it is equally certain that if the wind should come Kingdom, but in several of the continental countries up from the west or north-west it will be charged extending from Norway to Spain and Portugal. with moisture from the Atlantic, and a fall of rain Those stations at which a similar pressure exists may be expected. Of the moist condition of the are connected on the skeleton map by “isobars," air before rain actually begins to come down the and the other information as to temperature, &c., hygrometer gives indications. Should the gale be is also laid down.

from the north-east-and we have strong winds Let us suppose, for the sake of illustration, that frequently from that quarter in winter--the air the barometric readings have revealed the existence will be cold, and, under certain conditions, snow of an area of low pressure over the midland coun- will fall. ties of England, indicated on the weather-chart by If it be added that the quantity and formation of a circle enclosing that region. As we recede from cloud visible have also to be taken into consideration that centre, the air will be found to become gradually by the forecaster of the weather, all the prominent more dense all round, and in that case the circle phenomena with which he has to deal will have first drawn will be surrounded at some distance by been enumerated, and the difficulties of his task another marking an increase of pressure, and so will have been made apparent. Great progress on. The centre of the area thus mapped off is has been made in meteorology in recent years, but called a “cyclone,” because the air, in seeking to it will be readily seen that any kind of real certainty recover its equilibrium, sweeps round it in circular in forecasts is a thing hardly to be dreamed of.

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