« AnteriorContinuar »
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 wo 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.
LIFE IN EARNEST.
"Oh! what a glory doth this world put on,
"mama says, will you go with her to-day, after luncheon, Miss Burnet, to see our new house?"
"Yes, Percy, I shall like it very much. Is mama going to walk?"
"Oh, no; she will drive there. We are all going, I believe, and those who like it will walk home. Effie will go, will she not?"
"That I will," said Effie, who just entered.
"Then I will tell mama to call for you."
The house, which, after sundry consultations, examinations,andinvestigations,hadbeenfinal]y decided on, was situated in the hamlet to which Mr. Marsh's house (Heathside) belonged, and was not more than ten minutes' walk from it. The hamlet was beautifully situated, half-way up a fine ridge of hills, and commanded an extensive and beautiful view. The house was well furnished, and in all respects fitted for the reception of such a family as the Thorntons; and Mrs. Thornton engaged it for one year certain, with the prospect and hope, very strong in her mind, of making it a permanent home. The garden and grounds attached to it were of moderate size, and all in perfect order, therefore there would be nothing to . prevent their taking immediate possession, as soon as the necessary arrangements were made. The children, with the light-heartedness and love of novelty which attaches to that age, were enchanted with everything they saw. They ran in and out of the rooms, into tho garden, back again into the greenhouse, forming all sorts of sunny schemes for the futare,
and calling to one another at every turn. All but Flora, whose quieter spirit and deeper love for her grandmother than the others, threw a slight shade of sadness over her at the approaching separation. Effie observed this, and being very much in the same mood of mind herself, she took Flora's hand, and they continued together during the greater part of the afternoon.
Mrs. Thornton and Helen sat together in a summer-house, and the conversation naturally turned upon tho new life which was before them both, and upon the spirit in which both desired to enter upon its duties. "I think we shall have need of great patience," said Mrs. Thornton, "and we must not be surprised or disappointed, if a long time elapses before we are permitted to see any fruits. I do not wish to conceal from you, my dear friend, any of my children's faults, and I know they are such as will require time and labour, with faith and prayer, to reach."
"We shall have no counteracting in