« AnteriorContinuar »
“ Of me!”
“Will you do me the great kindness of coming to reside with me?”
The sudden flush of joy and surprise in Helen's face spoke more than words could do, when she replied, “In what way, Mrs. Thornton ?"
“As my children's governess-if you prefer to call it so: as my dear and valued friend and companion-so I shall consider you.”
Helen replied by such a burst of unfeigned joy and gratitude, that her friend, who had never seen her under the influence of such strong feeling before, was greatly moved. “ Who could have thought,” said she, as she kept wiping away the tears of joy, which, notwithstanding all her efforts, poured down like rain—"Who could have thought that out of so much sorrow should spring such abundant joy! Oh, how happy my life will be ! Faithless, unbelieving creature that I have been! how little do I deserve such kindness. But, dear friend,” added she, and her countenance suddenly seemed to return to some. thing more than its usual calm expression, “I do not think you know how few my acquirements are. I am afraid I dare not undertake what you ought to require.”
But Mrs. Thornton laid her hand upon Helen's, and interrupted her. “My dear Miss Burnet, I want nothing more than is to be found in you, and if you will consent to be my helper and friend, I shall be most thankful to you. I want neither languages nor accomplishments; my children have had too much of both already. The tendency of all their past education seems to me to have been fitting them for this world alone. My desire is to prepare them for the next, and I know of no one who can so well and so efficiently assist me as yourself. I little thought that in the combination of circumstances, such a blessing as this would ever, by the providence of God, be brought to my door. It seems like an answer to my prayers, for I have been so anxious upon this point."
And now Effie returned to the room, and her own transient feeling of disappointment was speedily converted into one of unfeigned rejoicing at her cousin's happiness. She sat down upon the ground like a child, at the feet of her two friends, begging them to tell her everything; and looking first at one, and then at the other, with a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye. “I wish I was a child again! I wish I was one of your children, Mrs. Thornton, and had Helen to guide me still! Oh, I cannot think what I shall do without her! To go away with Aunt Herbert, and no Helen !” And for a moment Effie hid her face in her hands, and gave way to a sudden burst of grief. She had been too much engrossed in the thought of her cousin up to this time, to give one moment's consideration to her own loss, and now it seemed to rush upon her all at once; but she very soon mastered her emotion, and looking up brightly at her cousin, she said, “ Your teaching shall not be all lost, Helen; but we little knew,
three months ago, did we, what changes were awaiting us both ?"
“No, my dear young friends," said Mrs. Thornton, “we none of us knew; but this we do know, that He who is unchangeable has ordered it all, and will continue to guide us, if in trusting confidence we keep close to Him."
Soon after this the trio separated, and Mrs. Thornton returned home.