'The expansive benevolence of his moral sentiments powerfully influenced his political opinions, and his deep sympathy with the poor not only rendered him inexorably severe to the vices of the rich, but made him regard with aversion and distrust the aristocratic elements of our institutions, and rendered him an ardent promoter of the most extensive schemes of progressive reform. But while he clung with inflexible constancy to his own opinions, no man was more tolerant of the opinions of others. In conversation he was animated, brilliant, amusing, and profound, bringing sincerity, single-mindedness, and knowledge to bear upon every discussion. His life, though short, uneventful, and retired, was passed in the contemplation of subjects of interest, and worthiest to occupy the thoughts of a good and wise man; and the few intimacies he cultivated were with congenial minds, estimable for their moral excellence or distinguished by their intellectual qualities and attainments. The world at large will never know what virtues and talents have been prematurely snatched away from it, for those only who have seen Edward Villiers in the unrestraint and unreserve of domestic familiarity can appreciate the charm of his disposition and the vigour of his understanding. No stranger would have divined that under that cold and grave exterior there lay concealed an exquisite sensibility, the most ardent affections, and a mind fertile in every good and noble quality. To the relations and friends who were devotedly attached to him the loss is irreparable and will long be deplored, and the only consolation which offers itself is to be found in the circumstances of his end. He was surrounded by kind and affectionate friends, and expired in the arms of his wife, whose conduct he himself described to have been that of a heroine as well as an angel. He was in possession of all his faculties, and was free from bodily pain. He died with the cheerfulness of a philosopher and the resignation of a Christian - happy, devout and hopeful, and joyfully contemplating death in an assured faith of a resurrection from the dead.'

Only those who have been brought up by a widowed mother whose whole life had been snapped asunder by such a loss can quite realise how very peculiar and unlike other homes it is.

How rare it is to be perfectly natural under a great grief! There is so often an element of self-consciousness, an honest wondering how our attitude will strike others. If we use self-control and try to let life flow in its usual currents, we fear to be thought indifferent, cold, and hard. If once the smallest display of grief becomes in any way a habit, it is difficult to resume again that perfect sincerity of manner which, after all, is the only outward expression of true feeling. A short time ago in 'The Weekly Sun,' in one of Mr. T. P. O'Connor's wonderful reviews of a Life of Tolstoi, he quotes a passage which is a very vivid picture of self-consciousness in grief. 'Tolstoi describes his visit to his mother's death-chamber: "I could not believe it was her face." How this comes home to us all! The change made by death, the effort of the brain to recognise that what we see before us is the loved object whom, living, we should instantly have recognised among a million. Tolstoi continues: "I looked fixedly at it, and by degrees began to recognise in it the dear familiar features. I shuddered when I did so, and knew that this something was my mother. But why had her closed eyes sunk thus into her head? Why was she so dreadfully pale? and why was a dark spot visible through her transparent skin on one of her cheeks? Why was the expression of her face so stern and so cold? Why were her lips so bloodless and their lines so fair, so grand? Why did they express such unearthly calmness that a cold shiver passed through me as I looked at them? . . . Both before the funeral and after I did not cease to weep and feel melancholy. But I do not like to remember it, because a feeling of self-love mingled with all its manifestations; either a desire to show that I was more afflicted than the rest, or thoughts about the impression I produced upon others; or idle curiosity which made me examine Mimi's cap or the faces of those around me." The reviewer adds: 'Now I call this passage morbid.' It may be, but the description is extraordinarily true to many under the influence of grief, though they fail to analyse or understand their own mental state.

We all say, we all think, we all know, that 'in the midst of life we are in death'; and yet when the blow falls with appalling startlingness on someone who is near to us, how we all must feel - with a piercing, heartrending reality - 'If I had known'!

If I had known, 0 loyal heart,

When hand to hand we said 'Farewell,'

How for all times our paths would part, What shadow o'er our friendship fell,

I should have clasped your hand so close In the warm pressure of my own

That memory still might keep its grasp -If I had known.

If I had known when far and wide We loitered through the summer land

What presence wandered by our side, And o'er you stretched its awful hand,

I should have hushed my careless speech To listen well to every tone

That from your lips fell low and sweet -If I had known.

If I had known when your kind eyes Met mine in parting, true and sad Eyes gravely tender, gently wise,

And earnest rather more than glad How soon the lids would lie above, As cold and white as sculptured stone,

I should have treasured every glance - If I had known.

If I had known that, until Death

Shall with his fingers touch my brow,

And still the quickening of the breath That stirs with life's full meaning now,

So long my feet must tread the way

Of our accustomed paths alone, I should have prized your presence more - If I had known.

Christian Reed ('Weekly Sun,' 1897).

Oh! the anguish of that thought - that we can never atone to our dead for the stinted affection we gave them, for the light answers we returned to their plaints or their pleadings, for the little reverence we showed to that sacred human soul that lived so close to us and was the divinest thing God had given us to know.