the outburst of grief was the most terrible I had ever witnessed. Totally regardless of my presence, she flung herself down on the turf, burying her face in the grass, and with her hands clasped round the little marble cross. `Oh, my darling, my darling!' she sobbed. `And God meant your life to be so beautiful!'

I was startled to hear, thus repeated by Lady Muriel, the very words of the darling child whom I had seen weeping so bitterly over the dead hare. Had some mysterious influence passed, from that sweet fairy-spirit, ere she went back to Fairyland, into the human spirit that loved her so dearly? The idea seemed too wild for belief. And yet, are there not `more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy'?

`God meant it to be beautiful,' I whispered, `and surely it was beautiful? God's purpose never fails!' I dared say no more, but rose and left her. At the entrance-gate to the Earl's house I waited, leaning on the gate and watching the sun set, revolving many memories -- some happy, some sorrowful -- until Lady Muriel joined me.

She was quite calm again now. `Do come in,' she said. `My father will be so pleased to see you!'

The old man rose from his chair, with a smile, to welcome me; but his self-command was far less than his daughter's, and the tears coursed down his face as he grasped both my hands in his, and pressed them warmly.

My heart was too full to speak; and we all sat silent for a minute or two. Then Lady Muriel rang the bell for tea. `You do take five o'clock tea, I know!' she said to me, with the sweet playfulness of manner I remembered so well, `even though you ca'n't work your wicked will on the Law of Gravity, and make the teacups descend into Infinite Space, a little faster than the tea!'

This remark gave the tone to our conversation. By a tacit mutual consent, we avoided, during this our first meeting after her great sorrow, the painful topics that filled our thoughts, and talked like light-hearted children who had never known a care.

`Did you ever ask yourself the question,' Lady Muriel began, à propos of nothing, `what is the chief advantage of being a Man instead of a Dog?'

`No, indeed,' I said: `but I think there are advantages on the Dog's side of the question as well.'

`No doubt,' she replied, with that pretty mock-gravity that became her so well: `but, on Man's side, the chief advantage seems to me to consist in having pockets! It was borne in upon me -- upon us, I should say; for my father and I were returning from a walk -- only yesterday. We met a dog carrying home a bone. What it wanted it for, I've no idea: certainly there was no meat on it --'

A strange sensation came over me, that I had heard all this, or something exactly like it, before: and I almost expected her next words to be `perhaps he meant to make a cloak for the winter?' However what she really said was `and my father tried to account for it by some wretched joke about pro bono publico. Well, the dog laid down the bone -- not in disgust with the pun, which would have shown it to be a dog of taste -- but simply to rest its jaws, poor thing! I did pity it so! Won't you join my Charitable Association for supplying dogs with pockets? How would you like to have to carry your walking-stick in your mouth?'

Ignoring the difficult question as to the raison d'être of a walking-stick, supposing one had no hands, I mentioned a curious instance, I had once witnessed, of reasoning by a dog. A gentleman, with a lady, and child, and a large dog, were down at the end of a pier on which I was walking. To amuse his child, I suppose, the gentleman put down on the ground his umbrella and the lady's parasol, and then led the way to the other end of the pier, from which he sent the dog back for the deserted articles. I was watching with some curiosity. The dog came racing back to where I stood, but found an unexpected difficulty in picking up the things it had come for. With the umbrella in its mouth, its jaws were so far

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