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"I am but a child, have no worldly experience, but I mean to study out the great, divine plan. Of this, and other great wrongs like unto it, I will take account. I will watch, and wait and see the work of the Lord. I will keep my heart clean, my life pure, full of deeds of love and mercy. I will never commit a sin, then I shall see the spirit of the Lord. And though I walk through darkness and dangers, I shall not fail, for I will breathe one never-ceasing, everascending prayer to my Father above, to keep me always."
“Dear child, thee should have been one of us, then thee would sit high in Meeting !"
“ And that means that I should preach! I am well as sured that never will be my calling. I shall never preach, but I shall practice. I shall never be conspicuous in any way, for the work I shall do will lie deep down, below the surface, beginning with the sources. I will have nothing to do with high-sounding words, arrogant claims, or vague assertions-meaningless all, or but traps to catch the unwary ; my only aim shall be to work, work, work, on and on, ever on, always for the Right. There, I have nothing more to say -I did not think to have said so much."
There was a light tap-a-tap at the door, and being bid. den, Rose and Lydia came tripping in to "see what conspiracy was hatching." My dress was just done, and all thought it sweetly pretty. After all our commendations were given, I took my dress upon my arm, and ran up to my room, it being time now to begin our evening toilette. Lydia coming up a moment after, brought word from her mother, saying, that my jet necklace would not be objectionable, but quite proper, so the whole matter was settled at once.
Lydia and Martha Cadwallader looked very lovely in heir fawn-colored dresses, and for this occasion, set off with rich ribbons of mazarine blue, their soft brown hair, satinsmooth, needed no adorning. Rose, dearest and best, was lovelier than the queen of fairies, Titania's self. Her dress was of pea-green chally, worked with sprigs of gold-colored
silk, with a delicate vine of myrtle binding her lovely hair.
Madam Cadwallader was satisfied with us, and we were hap:. py. Miss Porson's first soiree was as brilliant as any thing
of the kind could be. There was some fine singing, agreeable conversation, graceful dancing, and an elegant little sup
per, the whole very much like many that came before and after e it, without any particular distinction, and without disaster.
* * * Spring had opened with unusual promise, and i in merry bands we had gathered to pay our homage to the - smiling Goddess. This past, and our thoughts were turned homeward.
A few days were given to visits and calls of ceremony and friendship. A suitable escort had been provided, we i took leave of the kind family and lastly of Madam Cadwallader, with many pleasant memories to soften our regret.
Rose and I were in extacies of delight, when, on our arrival in New York, we found papa awaiting us, and protesting IT against the smallest delay, took the evening boat and went u gliding swiftly and silently up the noble river, and came to
our landing just as the moon rose above the towering crags beyond Glenelvan.
John was ready with the carriage, and his broad and cu ruddy face was a goodly sight to see. Our people were at be their cottage doors to give a smiling welcome to us as we
passed. Indeed, our return home, after an absence of more
than half a year, was little likely to be passed over without s, some demonstration of unusual joy. But I cannot stop for
these, I must hasten on to the more interesting events to be ti related in the following chapter.
" Coming events cast their shadows before.” We had been at home something over a week, and the joy of our return was just subsiding into a calm and healthful home-happiness, when mamma received a letter from our uncle, Stanly Hastings, bidding her to look for his speedy arrival.
How all the varied and nice preparations for this arrival were brought to perfection ; how papa's agent in the city was to be on the alert ; how large bed-rooms were put in condition to have a fire quickly lighted ; for, although it was summer time, our uncle had for many years lived, and his daughter was born, in a southern clime : how all these various evidences of a tender regard were wrought out, passes my power of delineation ; in fact, I do not believe I ever half comprehended. But, on the evening that our sturdy coachman was dispatched with the family coach to meet them at the steamboat landing, I could fully appreciate every tone, look, word, color, or shade of expression and of feeling
I caught the sound of wheels, and the next moment the carriage came sweeping up the graveled way, beneath the kingly elms, and stopt in front of the arched entrance.
Yoppa was instantly at the horses' heads ; our worthy Hans stood in waiting beside John, as he let down the steps, and papa advanced quickly to the door of the carriage, to welcome our guests. I looked at mamma—she was a shade paler than her wont—at Mildred, who stood beside her in all the glorious beauty of her early womanhood—and Rosemy Rose—the loveliest of Eve's daughters ; then, suddenly recalling my wandering regards, I saw, stepping out of the carriage door, a tall, rather thin, dark, sallow looking man, of a grave but not unpleasing demeanor. There was an expression of frankness in his pale face, a sweet serenity dwelling in his deep eyes, which at once gave my eager and questioning soul an assurance of truest worth ; that there I might rest my hope--there I should find greatness—there I might put my trust. He seemed greatly fatigued, and murmured something which I could not understand.
He came to us, as we stood in the great vestibule, and embraced mamma with much apparent affection. Mildred and Rose were first presented, then looking round with some eagerness, he said-
“Where is the dear girl, who wrote me that kind letter ; it was that which has brought me here ?”
Now, I was not in the least shy, but behaved toward my uncle just as if he had been an old friend, greatly to the surprise and satisfaction of dear mamma, who had hardly dared to bope so much from me. Next, I saw that John was lifting the little lady down the steps, and handed her over with the utmost respect. Her father presented the little Haidee to mamma, and so she stood there, quietly and silently, receiving those gentle caresses. I used my eyes, so long desrauded of this lovely picture.
Haidee—that was my cousin's name--must have been about twelve, with an oval face—and even more of a bru• vette than 1-a bright olive complexion, large lustrous eyes
of midnight darkness, and waving hair, black and glossy as raven's wing. Her traveling-dress was of richest Thibet cloth, of tyrian purple, faced up to the throat and around the sleeves with black velvet. A magnificent scarf, from Eastern looms, was folded about her shoulders, and the "cunningest” little hat of English straw, tied with a white satin ribbon, checked the wild flow of her raven curls. .
She was evidently weary, and perhaps our manners were strange to her, yet I felt my heart warm toward her the
moment our eyes met, and I þelieved I might find a way to win her to love me.
Haidee's English governess and maid were brought from the carriage and duly installed in their separate rooms, the former with, the latter in one adjoining that appropriated to their young charge.
As soon as we were seated in the parlor, our uncle Hastings said to mamma
“Annie, after all these years of absence, of searching and delaying, I can bring you only this one lone flower of all that remains to me of family and home.”
“ The one drop of fragrance from thousands of roses," mamma said, very kindly. Then added—“I thank you very much, my brother, for bringing us this dear child ; we shall love her most tenderly for her own sake, and for that she is to you the one precious flower blooming amid life's desert waste.”
My uncle attempted a playful rejoinder, but his manner changed quickly, and a heavy shade rested on his fine face, and in an altered tone, he added
"I would not encumber your household with my people, and have brought only such as were indispensable to our comfort. Haidee's intellectual and physical Priestesses, and my valet, who will (I hope) soon arrive with our boxes."
John was at once commissioned to superintend their safe deposit in the luggage-room, from whence Captain Hastings would have brought to his own apartment as the occasion might suggest..
The conversation immediately turned upon the deeds of other days, upon places and people whose names were strange to me, so I gave little heed.
Meantime, Haidee sat in a low cushioned chair, mute, motionless—the occasional restless turn and sudden flashing of her dark eyes, contrasting with the profound quiet of her outward manner. I thought of her as a wild bird of the tropics, caught, but all untamed, watching warily for the