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visible signs, and to imagine that where these were wanting, there must be inferiority of some kind. The evil showed itself most in Maria, as she was of an age to care most . about it, and her disposition was naturally im
perious and haughty. Flora's delicate health and natural indolence of temperament kept her from much outward manifestation. Percy, though so young, was proud and unconciliating, and looked upon the young villagers as a race altogether distinct from his own, believing the most trifling service on his part an act of condescension; and the little Louisa reflected back these sentiments as from a mirror.
Mrs. Thornton saw not the evil, or rather she deemed it no evil, for it was but a faithful transcript of her own feelings, and these she had long cherished under the deceptive guise of refinement, education, and consistency with her station. And so things went on, and the young characters were forming, stone by stone; and thus it is that our faults are reproduced by the generation that is rising around us. They copy what we are, not what we say-we are living models, though we know it not; and the selfishness, and worldliness, and pride, which we think to conceal from the observant eye of childhood, are carefully noted down, to appear in some fresh combination of character, marring, perhaps, all its beauty and usefulness.
Effie Burnet was as much interested in the little Thorntons' prospects as though she had known them all her life. With her natural vivacity of temper, she coloured everything according to her own perception of it at the time, and scarcely a day passed without her welcome face passing under the school-room window, to inquire whether anything more was known, though she was well aware that no letters could arrive until the regular packet-day. It was about the middle of May, and one afternoon, as she went through Mrs. Thornton's garden-gate, she found Flora busy sowing seeds in her garden.
“Oh, Miss Burnet, I am so glad you are come,” said the little girl, laying down her gardening tools, and seizing Effie's hand. “Come into the summer-house, and talk about mama."
“ So I will, dear; but where are the others?”
“They are all out, and grandmama said I need not go, because I wanted to plant my seeds; but I would much rather come and talk to you, for I always feel as though mama would come quicker after you have been here."
“Well, Flora, I have thought and talked about her till I almost want to see her as much as you do."
“Oh, that can hardly be,” said Flora ; “but where is your mama, dear Miss Burnet?”
“I have no mother, Flora ; she died when I was a very little girl; but I can remember her, and from that time to this I have never ceased to want her; so you see that is one reason why I can enter into your glad feelings now. It must be such a blessed thing to have some one who can understand all you want, and all you would say, who can make allowances for your faults, and comfort you when sorrowful. Do you remember your mother, Flora ?"
“Yes, a little; and you know we have her picture. I can remember once her singing me to sleep when I was ill, and I know she has such soft, loving eyes. Whenever I am ill or unhappy I can remember her face.”
“And, I suppose, she often writes to you ?”
“Yes, very often. I like mama's letters, bccause she tells me how to be good, and she is not angry about my faults as Miss Willis is. I don't like Miss Willis."
“Well then we won't talk about her. Do you think mama will stay here with your grandmama, or go to London ?”.
“Oh, I don't know ; I think most likely we shall all stay here; but grandmama says it will all depend upon mama's state of health, Maria hopes we shall go to London.”
“And what do you hope ?”
“I don't care much, but I don't want to leave grandmama and the garden. We are making the garden so beautiful for mama, and see! my Banksia rose will be in full bloom."
Effie gave her warmest admiration to the beautiful little rose-tree; and having gratified the child by examining all the little slips and flowers which her own hand had planted, she prepared to go.
“Oh don't go yet, Miss Burnet.”
“Yes, dear, I can't stay, because Helen will be waiting for me. She is gone on to Dame Fuller's cottage, and I am to call for her, and go with her to Miss Marsh's.”
“Oh then you will like that. There are so many pretty things in that house, and such a lovely cat."
Effic smiled at the probable causes of her enjoyment, and was soon on her road to join her cousin.