curbstone, where for an hour he had waited impatiently, with a burning heart fairly palpitating in his throat, and frozen fingers in his pockets. They linked arms, and started for the residence of her parents. After a few moments' hesitating,, silence, he said, "Jane, we have known each other long. You must know just how I feel. You must have seen that clear down at the bottom—O Moses!"
He had slipped down on the ice with so much force that his spine was driven up into his hat, and his hat was tipped over his nose; but she was a tender-hearted girl; she did not laugh, but she carefully helped him to his feet, and said,—
"You were saying, John, when you slipped, that the foundation—Oh, goodness!"
She slipped herself that time, and saw little stars come down to dance before her eyes; but he pulled her up in haste, and went on,—
"Yes; just as I said, clean down at the bottom of my heart is a fervent love, on which I build my hopes. That love has helped me stand and face—Thunder!"
He was down again, but scrambled up before she could stoop to help him; and she said, breathlessly,—
"Yes, yes, John. You remember you just said a love which helped you stand and face thunder. And that you founded your hopes on — This pesky ice!"
There she sat. John grasped the loose part of her sack, between the shoulders, with one hand, and raised her to her feet, as one would lift a kitten from a pail of water by the back of the neck. Then he said, with increased earnestness,—
"Of course, darling; and I have longed for an opportunity to tell my love, and to hear those sweet lips whisper—Whoop!"
Somehow John's feet had slipped from under him, and he had come down like a capital V with his head and feet pointing skyward. She twined her taper fingers in his curling locks, and raised him to the stature of a man, set his hat firmly over his eyes with both hands, and cried, in breathless haste,—
"I understand! and let me assure you, John, that if it is in my power to lighten your cares, and make lighter your journey through life to—Jerusalem!"
John stood alone, and said with breathless vehemence,—
"O my precious! and thus shall it be my lifelong pleasure