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and dreariness of the scene were dissipated by the heavenly light that shone from the countenance of the unconscious little being, who had thus superseded the counsels of his elders.
“Is it so, William ? Am I again a wife and a mother? Now I remember all.”
“It is so," said her husband; “but be still now; say nothing more. The rest of our lives may redeem the past. Only get well, as Willy
Gently he disengaged the child from her arms, and led him out of the room ; her kind nurse closed the curtains, and, exhausted with her emotions, Fanny fell asleep. At the first motion she made when she awoke, the nurse was by her side, offering her some refreshment after sleep.
“ You are Mrs. Hawkins," said Fanny.
“ And is it you that have watched by me night and day during my long illness, taking no rest yourself?”
“God has given me strength to do my duty, and I thank him for it."
“I have never deserved any thing at your hands, and you have been as kind to me as if you had been my mother."
“I have only done what I ought to do."
“But your tenderness and kindness — I had no right to them.”
“Yes, you had, for you were a great sufferer, and I was able to help you.”
“But I had sinned against you," said Fanny, as the tears rolled down her face. “I had laughed at your appearance, I had nicknamed
“ You hurt yourself more than you did me by that. I know I am an odd-looking person. pitied you, and so I helped to nurse you.”
“Do you always return good for evil ? ” " When I can.
“ Did you not despise me when I was so rude to you?”
“I despise no human being."
"You puzzle me; you seem so contented, and yet have nothing to enjoy ; what makes you so satisfied ?”
“ A quiet conscience, and the pleasure I find in doing the work that God gives me to do. He gives us all our work."
“What work do you think he has given to
- The care of the sick."
“ And are you not wearied and disheartened with this work sometimes ?”
“Do you not hope some day to rest from these hard labors, and enjoy your own time, and the recollection of how much good you have done?”
“ Yes, in heaven.”
“I have been very unjust to you," said Fanny; “I ought to have reverenced your selfdevotion, and loved you, instead of laughing at
“Love can't be forced," answered the house keeper.
“Will you forgive me for all my injustice to
“With all my heart,” replied Mrs. Hawkins.
“You say," said Fanny, who was irresistibly induced to talk to her new friend, as she considered her, "you say God gives to all their work; what work do you think he has given me?”
“ It is a part of the duty of a child to find out his father's wishes, and ask of him what is his work. Each one must answer that question for himself. You have great means, and can do much.”
“I am very grateful to you for all your kindness to me,” said Fanny, with a trembling voice, « and most of all for pardoning my injustice and rudeness towards you."
“ I do not want people to feel grateful to me,” answered Mrs. Hawkins.
“ You mean that you would rather be loved than be thanked; your own heart must be full of love to have watched by me, and labored and suffered for my relief and comfort, when I deserved nothing but blame at your hands; and I shall, I will, I do love you, my good, and kind, and forgiving friend. You will let me love
In his own
The tear trembled on the eyelid of Mrs. Hawkins as she said, “ God has made all our hearts for love, and we all crave it. good time he will give to each one his share; I am willing to wait. But you must not talk any more, dear; it will hurt you.” Her voice quivered with emotion as she uttered these words, and Fanny was silent.
The whole of her past life now became present, painfully present to Fanny's recovered mind. She was still too weak to discuss any exciting subject; and her husband's only object was to calm and cheer the present moment. with mingled pain and pleasure that he heard her continually repeat, “ You do then love me, William ?"
“ Better than my own life, dear Fanny," he would answer.
It was « And
will not leave me?" “ Never while you wish me to remain with
“ How is my dear Amy ? has nothing been heard from her?” asked Fanny ; “I pray that her precious life may have been spared; if she had been able to come, she would have been with me in that terrible fever, I know."
Her husband told her that, the day after she was taken ill, he had received a letter from his friend Selmar, announcing the birth of a daughter, and that Amy and her child were doing very well.
“ How long ago was that ?” asked Fanny.
“ Then it is now spring, and Amy promised me to come and see me in the spring, if she should be the happy mother of a living child.”
« And she is coming in a fortnight,” replied her husband, “ if you are well enough to bear the excitement of seeing her.”
“O joy ! joy !” exclaimed Fanny ; “I will be well enough. I am sure I shall be quite strong by that time; never fear, dear William; write to her directly to come, and her husband, and baby : O beautiful! To see Amy would seem to me like gathering hearts-ease again in my