ing the sunlight; the silver chains and silver censers gleam¬
ing ; the fresh young voices of the singing children cleaving
the air like a rush of wind; the dark shorn faces of the
priests bowed over open books, the tender sound of little
beUs ringing across the low deep monotony of prayer.
The Church passed them; the dust of the parched road
rose up in a choking mass ; the heavy mist of the incense
htmg darkly on the sunlit air; the tramp of the many feet
startled the birds from their rest, and pierced through the
It passed them, and left them behind it; but the fresh
leaves Avere choked and whitened; the birds were fluttered
and affrightened; the old man coughed, the girl strove to
brush the dust motes from her smarting eyelids.
"That is the Church!" said the stone-breaker, with a
smile. " Dust—terror-—a choked voice—and blinded eyes."
Now she understood; and her beautiful curled lips laughed
The old man rammed some more tobacco into the bowl of
" That is the Church!" he said, " To burn incense and
pray for rain, and to fell the forests that were the rain¬
The procession passed away out of sight, going along tho
highway and winding by the course of the river, calling to
thu bright blue heavens for rain ; Avhilst the little bells rang
and the incense curled and the priests prayed themselves
hoarse, and the peasants toiled footsore, and the eager steps
of the choral children trod the tiny gnat dead in the grasses
and the bright butterfly dead in the dust.
The priests had cast a severer look from out their down-
dropped eyelids; the children had huddled together, with
their voices faltering a little; and the boy choristers had
shot out their lips in gestures of defiance and opprobrium as
they had passed these twain beneath the wayside trees. For
the two were both outcasts.
" Didst thou see the man that kiUed the king ?" whispered
to another one fair and curly-headed baby, who was holding
in the sun her little, white, silver-fringed banner, and catch¬
ing the rise and faU of the sonorous chaunt as well as she
could with her little, lisping tones.
" Didst thou see the daughter of the devil ?" muttered to