Imagens da página

money given. These old men have been saved from the workhouse, where they would have gone. But we don't like workhouses, they are cold, uncomfortable places at the best ; and so my brother, by dint of a little talking, and a little arranging of matters, and making people see their duty to their old relations, has contrived to keep them out—and I am very glad of it.” .

It was Miss Judith’s habit to connect every little act of kindness with her brother. She had the highest respect for him, and very deservedly; but more than half of every wise and kind arrangement was really attributable to her, though in her utter absence of self she never seemed aware of it.

“I am glad you are come to-day, for you will see my little cowslip-gatherers, and, perhaps, help me to entertain them. I expect them in very soon.”

Effie responded to this immediately, anál asked Miss Judith what the cowslips were for.

“For wine, my dear; we make it every

year, and our old housekeeper prides herself very much upon it. And really it is worth while, if only to see the beautiful golden flowers, and the pretty little creatures that come trooping in with them, as fresh as the flowers themselves. And it's a happy day for them, for they end it here, and have a game of play on the lawn, and a slice of plum-cake and some new milk. And though these are small things, they go a great way in making little hearts happy. But then, I think, we are fond of children, and that which might be a trouble to other people is just a pleasure to us. There now, if you go to the window you will see my brother putting up a swing. I can see him yonder, and he'll put little Jessie Allan and her brother in together, and there will be such merriment. I wish my dear sister could come down amongst us; but she will see us from her window, and the children will sing to her. Speaking of children, Miss Burnet, do you remember hearing of the Turners last winier?"

“Oh, yes,” said Helen—" you mean the orphans whom you went up to town to see after their mother's death. Where are they?

“Why, my dear, they have been at school, and I have had a letter from little Mary to-day, full of lamentation. She says they are to pass the holidays at school, for their uncle, who promised to have them, is going abroad for three months, and now that's not right. My brother is their guardian, you know, and he says they shall come here (just like hiin, to make such a nice plan); and so we shall be full of arrangements for the next fortnight, and I think you must come and help me.

“Are they all coming, Miss Judith ?”

“Yes, my dear, to be sure. It would be hard to keep the brothers and sisters apart when they have not met since Christmas, poor dears! Their love for one another is all they have to cling to now. I am so glad they are coming, and the country will be such a

« AnteriorContinuar »