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"Exactly so!" cried I. "We both have
the same end in view; and, honorably seeking
it, and fully trusting one another, and having
but one interest, ours will be a prosperous and
happy partnership."

"I am sure of it!" returned John Spatter.
And we shook hands most affectionately.

I took John home to my Castle, and we had
a very happy day. Our partnership throve
well. My friend and partner supplied what
I wanted, as I had foreseen that he would; and
by improving both the business and myself,
amply acknowledged any little rise in life to
which I had helped him.

I am not (said the poor relation, looking
at the fire as he slowly rubbed his hands), not
very rich, for I never cared to be that; but I
have enough, and am above all moderate
wants and anxieties. My Castle is not a
splendid place, but it is very comfortable, and
it has a warm and cheerful air, and is
quite a picture of Home.

Our eldest girl, who is very like her mother,
married John Spatter's eldest son. Our two
families are closely united in other ties of
attachment. It is very pleasant of an evening,
when we are all assembled togetherwhich
frequently happensand when John and I
talk over old times, and the one interest there
has always been between us.

I really do not know, in my Castle, what
loneliness is. Some of our children or
grandchildren are always about it, and the young
voices of my descendants are delightfulO,
how delightful!— to me to hear. My dearest
and most devoted wife, ever faithful, ever
loving,ever helpful and sustaining and
consoling, is the priceless blessing of my house;
from whom all its other blessings spring.
We are rather a musical family, and when
Christiana sees me, at any time, a little weary
or depressed, she steals to the piano and sings
a gentle air she used to sing when we were
first betrothed. So weak a man am I, that I
cannot bear to hear it from any other source.
They played it once, at the Theatre, when I
was there with Little Frank; and the child
said, wondering, "Cousin Michael, whose
hot tears are these that have fallen on my

Such is my Castle, and such are the real
particulars of my life therein preserved. I
often take Little Frank home there. He is
very welcome to my grandchildren, and they
play together. At this time of the year
the Christmas and New Year timeI am
seldom out of my Castle. For, the associations
of the season seem to hold me there, and the
precepts of the season seem to teach me that
it is well to be there.

"And the Castle is —— " observed a grave, kind
voice among the company.

"Yes. My Castle," said the poor relation,
shaking his head as he still looked at the fire,
"is in the Air. John our esteemed host
suggests its situation accurately. My Castle
is in the Air ! I have done. Will you be so
good as to pass the story."


ONCE upon a time, a good many years ago,
there was a traveller, and he set out upon a
journey. It was a magic journey, and was to
seem very long when he began it, and very
short when he got half way through.

He travelled along a rather dark path for
some little time, without meeting anything,
until at last he came to a beautiful child. So
he said to the child, "What do you do here?"
And the child said, "I am always at play.
Come and play with me!"

So, he played with that child, the whole day
long, and they were very merry. The sky
was so blue, the sun was so bright, the water
was so sparkling, the leaves were so green,
the flowers were so lovely, and they heard such
singing-birds and saw so many butterflies,
that everything was beautiful. This was in
fine weather. When it rained, they loved to
watch the falling drops, and to smell the fresh
scents. When it blew, it was delightful to
listen to the wind, and fancy what it said, as
it came rushing from its homewhere was
that, they wondered!— whistling and howling,
driving the clouds before it, bending the
trees, rumbling in the chimnies, shaking the
house, and making the sea roar in fury. But,
when it snowed, that was best of all; for, they
liked nothing so well as to look up at the
white flakes falling fast and thick, like down
from the breasts of millions of white birds;
and to see how smooth and deep the drift
was; and to listen to the hush upon the paths
and roads.

They had plenty of the finest toys in the
world, and the most astonishing picture-
books: all about scimitars and slippers and
turbans, and dwarfs and giants and genii and
fairies, and blue-beards and bean-stalks and
riches and caverns and forests and Valentines
and Orsons: and all new and all true.

But, one day, of a sudden, the traveller
lost the child. He called to him over and
over again, but got no answer. So, he went
upon his road, and went on for a little while
without meeting anything, until at last he
came to a handsome boy. So, he said to the
boy, "What do you do here?" And the boy
said, "I am always learning. Come and
learn with me."

So he learned with that boy about Jupiter
and Juno, and the Greeks and the Romans, and
I don't know what, and learned more than
I could tellor he either, for he soon forgot a
great deal of it. But, they were not always
learning; they had the merriest games that
ever were played. They rowed upon the
river in summer, and skated on the ice in
winter; they were active afoot, and active on
horseback; at cricket, and all games at ball;
at prisoners' base, hare and hounds, follow

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