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“Dear Ellen, it is very casy. There is One who has promised to hear and answer you when you cry to him; he will make you in his own likeness again ; and to know and love him and not be happy, is impossible. That blessed Saviour !”—said Alice,—“oh, what should you and I do without him, Ellen ?—'as rivers of waters in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land;'—how beautiful ! how true! how often I think of that."

Ellen was silent, though entering into the feeling of the words.

“ Remember him dear Ellen ;-remember your best friend. Learn more of Christ, our dear Saviour, and you can't help but be happy. Never fancy you are helpless and friendless while you have him to go to. Whenever you

feel wearied and sorry, flee to the shadow of that great rock; will you ?-and do you understand me?”

Yes, ma'am,-yes, ma'am,” said Ellen, as she lifted her lips to kiss her friend. Alice heartily returned the kiss, and pressing Ellen in her arms said,

“Now Ellen, dear, you must go; I dare not keep you any longer. It will be too late now, I fear, before you reach home."

Quick they mounted the little path again, and soon were at the house; and Ellen was putting on her things.

“Next Tuesday remember, but before that! Sunday, you are to spend Sunday with me; come bright and early.”

“How early ?"

“O as early as you please—before breakfast—and our Sunday morning breakfasts aren't late, Ellen; we have to set off betimes to go to church.”

Kisses and good-by's; and then Ellen was running down the road at a great rate, for twilight was beginning to gather, and she had a good way to go.

She ran till out of breath; then walked a while to gather breath; then ran again. Running down hill is a pretty quick way of travelling; so before very long she saw her aunt's house at a distance. She walked now. She had come all the way in good spirits, though with a sense upon her mind of something disagreeable to come; when she saw the house this disagreeable something swallowed up all her thoughts,

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and she walked leisurely on, pondering what she had to do and what she was like to meet in the doing of it.

« If aunt Fortune should be in a bad humour-and say something to vex me--but I'll not be vexed. But it will be very hard to help it ;—but I will not be vexed ;-I have done wrong, and I'll tell her so, and ask her to forgive me; -it will be hard, --but I'll do it-I'll say what I ought to say, and then however she takes it I shall have the comfort of knowing I have done right." "But," said conscience, "you must not say it stiffly and proudly; you must say it humbly and as if you really felt and meant it.” “I will,” said Ellen.

She paused in the shed and looked through the window to see what was the promise of things within. Not good; her aunt's step sounded heavy and ominous; Ellen guessed she was not in a pleasant state of mind. She opened the door, no doubt of it,—the whole air of Miss Fortune's figure, to the very handkerchief that was tied round her head, spoke displeasure.

“She isn't in a good mood,” said Ellen, as she went up stairs to leave her bonnet and cape there;—“I never knew her to be good-humoured when she had that handkerchief on.

She returned to the kitchen immediately. Her aunt was busied in washing and wiping the dishes.

“ I have come home rather late," said Ellen pleasantly ;“shall I help you, aunt Fortune ?"

Her aunt cast a look at her.

“Yes, you may help me. Go and put on a pair of white gloves and a silk apron, and then you'll be ready."

Ellen looked down at herself. O my merino! I forgot about that. I'll go and change it.”

Miss Fortune said nothing, and Ellen went.

When she came back the things were all wiped, and as she was about to put some of them away, her aunt took them out of her hands, bidding her “go and sit down !"

Ellen obeyed and was mute; while Miss Fortune dashed round with a display of energy there seemed to be no particular call for, and speedily had every thing in its place and all straight and square about the kitchen. When she was, as a last thing, brushing the crumbs from the floor into the fire she broke the silence again. The old grandmother

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sat in the chimney corner, but she seldom was very talkative in the presence of her stern daughter.

“What did you come home for to-night? Why didn't you stay at Mr. Humphrey's ?"

“ Miss Alice didn't ask me.” 6. That means I suppose

that
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would if she had ?” “I don't know, ma'am; Miss Alice wouldn't have asked me to do any thing that wasn't right."

“O no !-of course not;—Miss Alice is a piece of perfec tion; every body says so; and I suppose you'd sing the same song who haven't seen her three times.”

“Indeed I would,” said Ellen; “I could have told that in one seeing. I'd do any thing in the world for Miss Alice."

“Ay-1 dare şay—that's the way of it. You can show not one bit of goodness or pleasantness to the person that does the most for you and has all the care of you,-but the first stranger that comes along you can be all honey to them, and make yourself out too good for common folks, and go and tell great tales how you are used at home I suppose. I am sick of it !” said Miss Fortune, setting up the andirons and throwing the tongs and shovel into the corner, that made the iron ring again. “One might as good be a stepmother at once, and done with it! Come, mother, it's time for you to go to bed.”

The old lady rose with the meekness of habitual submission, and went up stairs with her daughter. Ellen had time to bethink herself while they were gone, and resolved to lose no time when her aunt came back in doing what she had to do. She would fain have persuaded herself to put it ofi. “It is late,” she said to herself

, “it isn't a good time. It will be better to go to bed now, and ask aunt Fortune's pardon to-morrow.' But conscience said, “ First be reconciled to thy brother.”

Miss Fortune came down stairs presently. But before Ellen could get any words out, her aunt prevented her.

“Come, light your candle and be off; I want you out of the

way; I can't do anything with half a dozen people about.” Ellen rose. “I want to say something to you first, aunt Fortune."

"Say it and be quick; I haven't time to stand talking.” " Aunt Fortune," said Ellen, stumbling over her words,

in a way

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“I want to tell

you that I know I was wrong this morning, and I am sorry, and I hope you'll forgive me.

A kind of indignant laugh escaped from Miss Fortune's lips.

“ It's easy talking ; I'd rather have acting. I'd rather see people mend their ways than stand and make speeches about them. Being sorry don't help the matter much."

“But I will try not to do so any more,” said Ellen.

“When I see you don't I shall begin to think there is something in it. Actions speak louder than words. I don't believe in this jumping into goodness all at once.”

“Well, I will try not to, at any rate,” said Ellen sighing.

“I shall be very glad to see it. What has brought you into this sudden fit of dutifulness and fine talking ?" “Miss Alice told me I ought to ask your pardon for what

I I had done wrong,” said Ellen, scarce able to ke from crying; "and I know I did wrong this morning, and I did wrong the other day about the letter; and I am sorry, whether

you

believe it or no.” “Miss Alice told you, did she? So all this is to please Miss Alice. I suppose you were afraid your friend Miss Alice would hear of some of your goings on, and thought you had better make up with me. Is that it ?"

Ellen answered, “No, ma'am," in a low tone, but had no voice to say more.

“I wish Miss Alice would look after her own affairs, and let other people's houses alone. That's always the way with your pieces of perfection;—they're eternally finding out something that isn't as it ought to be among their neighbours. I think people that don't set up for being quite such great things get along quite as well in the world.'

Ellen was strongly tempted to reply, but kept her lips shut.

“I'll tell you what,” said Miss Fortune,—“if you want me to believe that all this talk means something I'll tell you what you shall do,—you

shall just tell Mr. Van Brunt to-morrow about it all, and how ugly you have been these two days, and let him know you were wrong and I was right. I believe he thinks you cannot do any thing wrong, and I should like him to know it for once.”

Ellen struggled hard with herself before she could speak; Miss Fortune's lips began to wear a scornful smile.

I'll see

“I'll tell him !” said Ellen, at length; “I'll tell him I was wrong, if you wish me to."

I do wish it. I like people's eyes to be opened. It'll do him good, I guess, and you too. Now, have you any thing more to say ?"

Ellen hesitated ;—the colour came and went; she knew it wasn't a good time, but how could she wait?

“Aunt Fortune,” she said, “you know I told you I behaved very ill about that letter, --won't you forgive me?"

“Forgive you ? yes, child; I don't care any thing about it." “Then will you be so good as to let me have my

letter again ?".said Ellen, timidly.

“O, I can't be bothered to look for it now; about it some other time; take

your candle and go to bed now if you've nothing more to say."

Ellen took her candle and went. Some tears were wrung from her by hurt feeling and disappointment; but she had the smile of conscience, and as she believed of Him whose witness conscience is. She remembered that “great rock in a weary land,” and she went to sleep in the shadow of it.

The next day was Saturday. Ellen was up early, and after carefully performing her toilet duties, she had a nice long hour before it was time to go down stairs. The use she made of this hour had fitted her to do cheerfully and well her morning work; and Ellen would have sat down to break

; fast in excellent spirits if it had not been for her promised disclosure to Mr. Van Brunt. It vexed her a little. “I told aunt Fortune,—that was all right; but why should I be obliged to tell Mr. Van Brunt I don't know. But if it convinces aunt Fortune that I am in earnest, and meant what I say ?—then I had better."

Mr. Van Brunt looked uncommonly grave, she thought; her aunt, uncommonly satisfied. Ellen had more than half a guess at the reason of both; but make up her mind to speak, she could not, during all breakfast time. She eat without knowing what she was eating.

Mr. Van Brunt at length, having finished his meal without saying a syllable, arose and was about to go forth, when Miss Fortune stopped him. “Wait a minute, Mr. Van Brunt,” she said, “ Ellen has something to say to you. Go ahead, Ellen."

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