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Ellen opened the window. The rain was over; the lovely light of a fair September morning was beautifying every thing it shone upon. Ellen had been accustomed to amuse herself a good deal at this window, though nothing was to be seen from it but an ugly city prospect of back walls of houses, with the yards belonging to them, and a bit of narrow street. But she had watched the people that showed themselves at the windows, and the children that played in the yards, and the women that went to the pumps, till she had become pretty well acquainted with the neighbourhood; and though they were for the most part dingy, dirty, and disagreeable—wa men, children, houses, and all-she certainly had taken a good deal of interest in their proceedings. It was all gone now. She could not bear to look at them; she felt as if it
l ; made her sick; and turning away her eyes she lifted them to the bright sky above her head, and gazed into its clear depth of blue till she almost forgot that there was such a thing as a city in the world. Little white clouds were chasing across it, driven by the fresh wind that was blowing away Ellen's bair from her face, and cooling her hot cheeks. That wind could not have been long in coming from the place of woods and flowers, it was so sweet still. Ellen looked till, she didn't know why, she felt calmed and soothed, -as if
somebody was saying to ber softly, “Cheer up, my child, cheer up ;-things are not as bad as they might be:-things will be better." Her attention was attracted at length by voices below; she looked down, and saw there, in one of the yards, a poor deformed child, whom she had often noticed before, and always with sorrowful interest. Besides his bodily infirmity, he had a further claim on her sympathy, in having lost his mother within a few months. Ellen's heart was easily touched this morning; she felt for him very much. "Poor, poor little fellow!” she thought; “ he's a great deal worse off than I am. His mother is dead; mine is only going away for a few months—not for ever-oh, what a dif ference! and then the joy of coming back again !” poor Ellen was weeping already at the thought—"and I will do, oh, how much! while she is gone-I'll do more than she can possibly expect from me I'll astonish ber-I'll delight heri'll work harder than ever I did in my life before, I'll mend all my faults, and give her so much pleasure! But oh! if sbe only
needn't go away! Oh, mamma!" Tears of mingled sweet and bitter were poured out fast, but the bitter had the largest share.
The breakfast-table was still standing, and her father gone, when Ellen went down stairs. Mrs. Montgomery welcomed her with her usual quiet smile, and held out her hand. Ellen tried 'to smile in answer, but she was glad to hide her face in her mother's bosom; and the long close embrace was too close and too long ;—it told of sorrow as well as love; and tears fell from the eyes of each that the other did not see.
“Need I go to school to-day, mamma?” whispered Ellen.
“No; I spoke to your father about that; you shall not go any more; we will be together now while we can."
Ellen wanted to ask how long that would be, but could aot make up her mind to it.
Sit down, daughter, and take some breakfast." “Have you done, mamma ?" “No; I waited for you."
“Thank you, dear mamma," with another embrace; “how good you are; but I don't think I want any."
They drew their chairs to the table, but it was plain neither had much heart to eat; although Mrs. Montgomery with her own hands laid on Ellen's plate half of the little bird that had been broiled for her own breakfast. The half was too much for each of them.
What made you so late this morning, daughter ?" "lo
got up late in the first place, mamma; and then I was a long time at the window."*
“At the window !. were you examining into your neighbour's affairs as usual ?” said Mrs. Montgomery, surprised that it should have been so..
“Oh, no, mamma, I didn't look at them at all-except poor little Billy ;-I was looking at the sky."
“ And what did you see there that pleased you so much ?"
“I don't know, mamma; it looked so lovely and peaceful —that pure blue spread over my head, and the little white clouds flying across it, I loved to look at it; it seemed to do me good.”
"Could you look at it, Ellen, without thinking of Him who made it?"
No, mamma," said Ellen, ceasing her breakfast, and now speaking with difficulty; "I did think of Him; perhaps that was the reason."
“And what did you think of Hinn, daughter ?":
“I hoped, mamma—I felt-I thought—He would take care of me," said Ellen, bursting into tears, and throwing her arms again round her other.
“He will, my dear daughter, He will, if you will only put your trust in Him, Ellen."
Ellen struggled hard to get back her composure, and after a few minutes succeeded.
“Mamma, will you tell me what you mean exactly by my putting my trust in Him.” "Don't you trust me, Ellen ?" “ Certainly, mamma. “How do you trust me?—in what ???
“Why, mamma:-in the first place I trust every word you say—entirely-I know nothing could be truer; if you were to tell me black is white, mamma, I should think my eyes had been mistaken. Then every thing you tell or advise me to do, I know it is right, perfectly. And I always feel safe when you are near me, because I know you'll take care of me. And I am glad to think I belong to you, and you have the management of me entirely, and I needn't manage myself, because I know I can't; and if I could, I'd rather you would, mamma."
“My daughter, it is just so; it is just so: that I wish you to trust in God. He is truer, wiser, stronger, kinder, by far, than I am, even if I could always be with you; and what will you do when I am away from you ?-and what would you do, my child, if I were to be parted from you for ever?"
"O, mamma!” said Ellen, bursting into tears, and clasping her arms round her mother again—“O dear mamma, don't talk about it !"
Her mother fondly returned her caress, and one or two tears fell on Ellen's head as she did so, but that was all, and she said no more. Feeling severely the effects of the excitement and anxiety of the preceding day and night, she now stretched herself on the sofa and lay quite still. Ellen placed herself on a little bench at her side, with her back to the head of the sofa, that her mother might not see her face; and possessing herself of one of her hands, sat with her little head resting upon her mother, as quiet as she. They remained thus for two or three hours, without speaking; and Mrs. Montgomery was part of the time slumbering; but now and then a tear ran down the side of the sofa and dropped on the carpet where Ellen sat; and now and then her lips were softly pressed to the hand she held, as if they would grow there.
The doctor's entrance at last disturbed them. Doctor Green found his patient decidedly worse than he had reason to expect; and his sagacious eye had not passed back and forth
many times between the mother and daughter before he saw how it was. He made no remark upon it, however, but continued for some moments a pleasant chatty conversation which he had begun with Mrs. Montgomery. He then called Ellen to him; he had rather taken a fancy to her.
“Well, Miss Ellen,” he said, rubbing one of her hands in his; “ what do you think of this fine scheme of mine ?"
“What scheme, sir ?''
“Why, this scheme of sending this sick lady over the water to get well; what do you think of it, eh ?”
" Will it make her quite well, do you think, sir ?" asked Ellen earnestly.
666 Will it make her well! to be sure it will; do you think I don't know better than to send people all the way across the ocean for nothing? Who do you think would want Dr. Green if he sent people on wild-goose chases in that fashion ?"
*;«Will she have to stay long there before she is cured, sir ?" asked Ellen.
“O, that I can't tell ; that depends entirely on circumstances—perhaps longer, perhaps shorter. But now, Miss Ellen, I've got a word of business to say to you; you know you agreed to be my little nurse. Mrs. Nurse, this lady whom I put under your care the other day, isn't quite as well as she ought to be this morning; I'm afraid you haven't taken proper care of her; she looks to me as if she had been too much excited. I've a notion she has been secretly taking half a bottle of wine, or reading some furious kind of a novel, or something of that sort-you understand ?-Now mind, Mrs. Nurse," said the doctor, changing his tone—“she must not be excited—you must take care that she is not-it
isn't good for her. You mustn't let her talk much, or laugh much, or cry at all, on any account; she mustn't be worried
; in the least—will you remember? Now you know what I shall expect of you; you must be very careful—if that piece of toast of yours should chance to get burned, one of these fine evenings I won't answer for the consequences. Goodby,” said he, shaking Ellen's hand — "you needn't look sober about it, -all you have to do is to let your mamma be as much like an oyster as possible;—you understand? Good. by.” And Dr. Green took his leave.
“Poor woman !" said the doctor to himself as he went down stairs (he was a humane man). “I wonder if she'll live till she gets to the other side! That's a nice little girl too. Poor child! poor child !"
Both mother and daughter silently acknowledged the justice of the doctor's advice and determined to follow it. By common consent, as it seemed, each for several days avoided bringing the subject of sorrow to the other's mind; though no doubt it was constantly present to both. It was not spoken of_indeed, little of any kind was spoken of, but that never. Mrs. Montgomery was doubtless employed during this interval in preparing for what she believed was before her; endeavouring to resign herself and her child to Him in whose hands they were, and struggling to withdraw her affections from a world which she had a secret misgiving she was fast leaving. As for Ellen, the doctor's warning had served to strengthen the resolve she had already made, that she would not distress her mother with the sight of her sorrow; and she kept it, as far as she could. She did not let her mother see but very few tears, and those were quiet ones; though she drooped her head like a withered flower, and went about the house with an air of submissive sadness that tried her mother sorely. But when she was alone, , and knew no one could see, sorrow had its way; and then - there were sometimes agonies of grief that would almost have broken Mrs. Montgomery's resolution had she known them.
This, however, could not last. Ellen was a child, and of most buoyant and elastic spirit naturally ; it was not for one sorrow, however great, to utterly crush her. It would have taken years to do that. Moreover, she entertained not the slightest hope of being able by any means to alter her