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I BEG to announce to the readers of this Journal, that on the completion of the
present Twentieth Volume, on the Twenty Eighth of November, in the present year,
I shall commence an entirely NEW SERIES of ALL THE YEAR ROUND. The change is
not only due to the convenience of the public (with which a set of such books, extending
beyond twenty large volumes, would be quite incompatible), but is also resolved upon
for the purpose of effecting some desirable improvements in respect of type, paper, and
size of page, which could not otherwise be made. To the Literature of the New
Series it would not become me to refer, beyond glancing at the pages of this Journal,
and of its predecessor, through a score of years; inasmuch as my regular fellow-
labourers and I will be at our old posts, in company with those younger comrades
whom I have had the pleasure of enrolling from time to time, and whose number it is
always one of my pleasantest editorial duties to enlarge.

As it is better that every kind of work, honestly undertaken and discharged, should
speak for itself than be spoken for, I will only remark further on one intended omission
in the New Series. The Extra Christmas Number has now been so extensively, and
regularly, and often imitated, that it is in very great danger of becoming tiresome. I
have therefore resolved (though I cannot add, willingly) to abolish it, at the highest
tide of its success.





THE person who opened the door for Hester
was a little plump pleasant looking nun, comely
and fresh, with a fair round face under her
plaited wimple, most like a pink-and-white
daisy. Her long black rosary clanked against
the knee of this little portress from the struggles
she had been making with the great chains and
bolts of the mighty door. Doubtless in the
days when this portal had been fashioned it had
been the duty of at least two strong men to
manage such ponderous bars upon the gate
of their noble master. But a soft-handed
young maiden sufficed to deal with them to-day.

She did not look much older than Hester,
and the two girls stood gazing before them
some moments, each in the most thorough
amazement at the unexpected apparition of the
other. Hester had never seen any one in such
a garb as this before, and the little nun, if she
had ever met with the like costumes as this of
Hester's during the term of her short
acquaintanceship with the world, yet had certainly
not looked to see a frightened Red Ridinghood
on the threshold of her convent door of a

But before there was time for a word to be
spoken, the bright well-slept eyes of the little
nun had travelled to Hester's weary lids, the
look of surprise had passed away, and the
paper which Hester carried being read, a very
warm glow of sympathy kindled the countenance
of the portress.

"This is for the mother," she said, briskly.
"The sisters are singing matins in the choir.
But the mother will be with you at once.
Come in."

So saying she laid hold of Hester's hand like
a child, and led her down the hall. This hall
was long and wide and lofty, as the entrance to
such a dwelling should be, but it was neither