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state of their feelings, and they walked home arm in arm in comparative silence. When they arrived, they found their aunt still absent, and Effie was glad to retire to her own room, to look over in solitude the new treasures of thought which had that day been given into her keeping.

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CHAPTER VIII.

THE NEW CHURCH ON FAIRLEIGH GREEN.

“In the elder days of art,

Builders wrought with greatest caro
Each minute and unseen part;

For the gods are everywhere.

" Let us do our work as well,

Both the unseen and the seen;
Make the house where gods may dwell,
Beautiful, entire, and clean.”

LONGFELLOW.

A few days after this, Ellen Lester and her sister went into the village to purchase a few little articles for their mother. They had also a private commission of their own to execute, for that dear mother's birthday was close at hand, and many were the little innocent subterfuges they had had recourse to, to hide from

her the pretty book-marker and little flowerbasket which their own hands so assiduously had made. And now, with their little treasure of hoarded pence, and bright visions of rose-coloured ribbon flitting before them on their way, they were going to the largest shop the village afforded, and talking about their intended purchase with as much interest, and far more real happiness than many a child of affluence who has hundreds at her command.

Mrs. Lester, who knew what was passing in her children's minds, had planned this walk on purpose to give them the opportunity they so much needed; and as she stood by the garden-gate, and watched her treasures till they were out of sight, a feeling of thanks. giving rose to her heart and lips, for those great blessings which made life still precious to her, and she went back into the house, and with renewed vigour resumed her household duties, for the spirit of love had infused his blessed influence anew amid them all, and the toil was forgotten in gratitude and joy.

The children arrived at Mr. Draper's, and were busily engaged at the further end of the shop, looking over a drawer of ribbons, when the two Miss Thorntons with their governess came in, Maria talking loud as she often did, and looking as though she thought it a condescension to buy anything in so small a shop. They did not see the Lesters, or, if they did, they took no notice of them, and Ellen Lester, who was naturally very timid, always shrank away from Maria Thornton, whose decided and somewhat imperious manner impressed her with a feeling of fear.

They turned over several drawers of goods, complaining of the want of variety; bought several expensive things for ornamental fancywork, begged Mr. Draper would send to London for a particular kind of netting-silk, and gave as much trouble, within the time, as two such very young ladies could well do. Maria paid for the things she had bought, and in giving the change, Mr. Draper apologized for being obliged to give halfpence, as he had not

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