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the darkness and the moonlight, the music that made it all wonderful. The Signor was playing a strange piece of old music when the two came in. It was an old litany, and Lottie thought as she listened that she could hear an unseen choir in the far distance, high among the grey pinnacles, on the edge of the clouds, intoning in intricate delicate circles of harmony the responses. Was it the old monks? Was it the angels ? Who could tell ? “Lottie, my love, that is the vox humana stop," said the kind old Captain, who knew something about it; and as he, too, was no wiser than other people, he began to whisper an explanation to her of how it was. But Lottie cared nothing about stops. She could hear the solemn singers of the past quiring far off at some unseen altar, the softened distant sweetness of the reply. Her heart rose up into the great floating circling atmosphere of song. She seemed to get breath again, to get rest to her soul: a strange impulse came over her. She who was so shy, so uncertain of her power, so bitterly unwilling to adopt the trade that was being forced upon her: it was all that she could do to keep herself from singing, joining to those mystical spiritual voices her own that was full of life and youth. Her breast swelled, her lips came apart, her voice all but escaped from her, soaring into that celestial distance. All at once the strain stopped, and she with it, coming down to the Abbey nave again, where she stood in the midst of the dim reflected rubies and amethysts and silvery whites of a great painted window, giddy and leaning upon the old Chevalier.
"It was the vox humana. It is too theatrical for my taste, my dear. It was invented by
“Oh, hush, hush,” cried Lottie, under her breath ; " be is beginning
This time it was the Pastoral Symphony the Signor played_music that was never intended for the chill of winter, but for the gleaming stars, the soft falling dews, the ineffable paleness and tenderness of spring. It came upon Lottie like those same dews from heaven. She grasped the old man's arm, but she could not keep nerself from the response which no longer seemed to come back from any unseen and mystic shrine. Why should the old monks come back to sing, or the angels have the trouble, who have so much else to do, when Lottie was there? When the Pastoral Symphony was over, the Signor went on and she with him. Surely there must have been some secret understanding that no one knew of-not themselves. He played on unconscious, and she lifted up her head to the moonlight and her voice to heaven, and sang
There were shepherds watching their flocks by night, Lottie let go her hold of the Captain's arm.
She wanted no support She wanted nothing but to go on, to tell all that divine story from end to end. It got possession of her. She did not remember even the changes of the voices; the end of one strain and another was nothing to her. She sang through the whole of the songs that follow each
other without a pause or a falter. And like her, without questioning, without hesitation, the Signor played on. It was not till she had proclaimed into the gloom that “His yoke is easy and His burden light," that she came to herself. The last chords thrilled and vibrated through the great arches and died away in lingering echoes in the vast gloom of the roof. And then there was a pause.
Lottie came to herself. She was not overwhelmed and exhausted by the effort as she had been at the Deanery. She felt herself come down, as out of heaven, and slowly became aware of Captain Temple looking at her with a disturbed countenance, and old Wykeham in all the agitation of alarm. “If I'd have known, I'd never have let you in. It's as much as my place is worth,” the old man was saying; and Captain Temple, very kind and fatherly, but troubled too, and by no means happy, gave ber his arm hurriedly. “I think we bad better go, my dear," he said ; “I think we had better go.”
Some one stopped them at the door. Some one who took her hand in his with a warmth which enthusiasm permitted.
“I knew it must be you, if it were not one of the angels,” he said ; one or the other.
I have just come; and what a welcome I have had - too good for a king!"
“I did not know you were here, Mr. Ridsdale," said Lottie, faintly, holding fast by Captain Temple's arm.
“But I knew you were here; it was in the air," he said, hall whispering. “Good-night; but good-night lasts only till tomorrow, thank heaven."