LITTLE Mary went with her mother and her aunt to spend a season in St. Augustine, Florida. She had always lived in the city of Boston, and the quaint old stone buildings, and the narrow streets of the Southern city were curious enough to the little girl.

Day after day she wandered through the streets with her mother, asking questions about the many curious things which she saw; and though her mother was feeble in health, she never tired of answering the little girl's questions and of telling her stories about the town.

"Is it true," asked Mary one day, "that this was the first city built in the new world?"

"It is," said her mother, "and some day, when you are a little older, you will learn all about it in your history."

"But you will tell me the story about the Sea-Wail Prison, won't you?" said Mary.

"If it is a pleasant day, we will go out to the old castle on the sea-wall tomorrow, and then I will tell you the story," answered her mother.

The next day dawned bright and clear, and the little girl was astir almost as soon as the sun was up.  After she had eaten her breakfast, she started out with her mother and her aunt, who had provided herself with a basket to gather some leaves from the rare old vines, which grew on the castle walls. A short walk brought them to the castle, where they ascended a flight of tumbledown, stone stairs to the top of the wall, a few feet from a door, which opened into the castle. 

The door opened with but little trouble, and they passed through a long hall, in the middle of the building, to another door, which opened to a kind of veranda, overlooking the sea. 

The wild vines which grew from the ground on the other side of the wall, had climbed up the sides of the building, and hung down over the veranda, forming a cool shade from the rays of the sun. The little girl found a pleasant seat for her mother, on the outer wall of the veranda, and after resting a short time, the mother began her story.

"Just below where we are sitting, in the side of the wall," she said, "is a little door opening into a small room, about large enough for a man to turn round in. The door is the only opening to the room, and it is so constructed that a person cannot get out of the room without help. An entrance to the room is made by approaching in a boat from below, and ascending on a rope ladder. When the wind blows strong from the east for several days, the water rises almost to the top of the wall and the little room is filled with water. The wall was built to keep the water from rushing back into the streets of the city, when the wind blows from the east in this way.

"Many years ago, a colony of French Protestants settled on the coast several miles north of St Augustine, and they were prospering finely; when the governor of this place, who was a Spanish Roman Catholic, and a very bad man, hearing of the prosperity of the little colony, resolved to destroy it. So he fitted out several ships and started northward on his evil design. 

But the colony had heard of his intentions in some way, and they all put out to sea so as to be ready for him when he should come; but a storm wrecked their vessels, and most of the people were captured and cruelly put to death. The leader of the colony and several others escaped into the woods, but they were taken after a short time, and brought back to St. Augustine.

"Now," said the cruel governor, when the prisoner was brought before him, "you are in my power, and I can do with you as I like. Your colony is destroyed, and you have nothing to return to; but I will give you one chance for your life. Give up your creed, and accept our faith, and your life shall be spared."

"Never!" answered the brave man. 

"You have taken away everything that was dear to me in this life, but never will you take away my faith in the God who will give me a home in the world to come."

"'I will give you three days to make up your mind,' said the enraged governor. 'In the meantime you shall be shut up in the Sea-Wall Prison.'

"The prisoner well knew the character of the governor, but his courage did not falter, and he was led away to the terrible prison. Every day for three days the guard came to him, asking if he would yield to the governor, and every time the answer was returned, firmly refusing to give up the right. On the night of the third day, the wind began to blow 

from the east, and by the evening of the next day, the water had risen to the top of the sea-wall.

"The governor died soon after, and the Sea-Wall Prison was entirely forgotten, until a few years ago, it was discovered by accident, and entered. 

The skeleton of a man, and a few old papers were all that was left to tell the story."

The little girl had listened with breathless attention while her mother was telling the story, and when it was finished, she sat for some time looking at the swallows as they flew in and out from the crevices of the rocks; then, turning suddenly, she asked, 

"Mother, do you think that man died for Jesus?"

"I do," said the mother;" and if he could die for Jesus, does not my little girl think that she could live for him?"

The little girl made no reply, but her mother knew from her thoughtful mood as they walked home together, that her story had not been without effect. 

E. L.

WALKED along the forest side

Where light the shadow chases, 

And blooms, my footsteps to betide, 

Sprang thick in truant places.

"Oh, tell me why your loveliness 

This lonely by-way graces?" 

They nodded back, "We grow to bless 

And fill up empty places."

 Youth's Companion.