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in the world, and live for some object more noble than to flutter through a round of gaiety amidst those whose friendship would be as lightly lost as it had been lightly given.

The effect of Ada's visit was very different upon Flora It had not humbled, but rather confirmed her in her false estimate of her own character. At the same time it had awakened within her bosom a secret discontent at her own quiet lot, a yearning for the more brilliant and exciting scenes which her cousin loved to describe. Flora began to thinkthough she breathed the thought to no onethat living in the complete seclusion in which the will of Providence had placed her, was in truth a serious disadvantage. She cared less for the beauties of her garden, spent more time at her toilette, and as she looked at the lovely reflection in her mirror, she turned over in her mind, as a miser might his treasures, the flattering words of admiration which she had heard from the lips of Ada. Her school children seemed to her duller than usual; her thoughts wandered greatly at prayers; the conversation of the poor old lame captain grew insufferably tedious; and when Miss Butterfield paid one

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of her long, tiresome visits, Flora took care not to appear at all, but left her mother to entertain the old lady. As Eve, amidst all the charms of Eden, looked longingly at the one forbidden tree, so Flora, surrounded by blessings, inwardly repined at the decrees of Providence, yearning for the one thing denied to her, denied to her by divine wisdom and love! Mrs. Vernon had less leisure to observe any change in her beloved daughter, from being much occupied in making preparations for the reception of the family from Barbadoes. She studiously regarded Flora's comfort in all her arrangements, while she quite neglected her own; but it was impossible to receive so large an addition to her limited household without making some changes which necessarily somewhat affected the convenience of her daughter. Flora felt the petty sacrifices which she was compelled to make, more than can be readily imagined by those who, from having been members of large families, have been accustomed from childhood to submit to them. She had been the object of her mother's almost undivided attention and care, and had grown a little selfish without being aware of it.


Nevertheless, Flora had a gentle, kindly heart. The situation of her sister-in-law touched her compassion; she felt for the young widow, bowed down by the double trial of poverty and bereavement, quitting her native land to come amongst those who were strangers to her. She was sure that she would love the dear helpless little orphans; and she spoke so sweetly on the subject, seemed to make so light of difficulties, was so ready to give herself to the congenial task of comforting the afflicted, that never had her mother more fervently thanked Heaven for such a child, or visitors left the house more impressed with the idea that Flora was the impersonification of every Christian virtue, as she was of every feminine charm!

At length dawned the long expected day of the arrival. In a place so retired as the village of Wingsdale, comparatively trifling occurrences rose to the rank of important events. Flora, who was imaginative and poetical, had drawn in her mind so touching a picture of the pale widow and her goldenhaired cherubs, had rehearsed to herself so often the scene of the meeting, that she had worked herself into a state of eager impatience.

Unable to settle steadily to anything, she fluttered from room to room, now altering the arrangement of the flowers with which she had adorned the widow's pretty boudoir, now bringing some elegant trifle of her own to add to the beauty of the effect. She pulled up the blind, that the view might be seen; then drew it down again hastily, lest the glare from without should fall painfully on the eye of sorrow. She had amused herself for several evenings by preparing a pretty book of pictures for the children, and had pleased herself by collecting little toys, with which she doubted not to find a speedy road to their hearts.

At last, in the quiet village, appeared the unexpected apparition of a post-chaise and four-an equipage which had never been seen there since the county member came to canvass in Wingsdale. All the little rustics ran eagerly to look at the unusual sight, and the cottagers stood in their doorways as the vehicle rolled past in a cloud of dust, with a quantity of luggage piled on the top, box upon box, the whole heap surmounted by a parrot cage with its screaming tenant. But what most excited the wonder of the rustics was the negro who

sat upon the box. The children stared with open eyes and mouths at his black face, curly woollen hair, and thick lips, which, parted in a merry, self-satisfied grin, displayed two rows. of shining white teeth.

Through the village, sweeping past the church, up the shady lane, dashed the postchaise ! The gate of Mrs. Vernon's little shrubbery stood open, and along the narrow drive rolled the dusty wheels, the horses' hoofs tearing up the carefully smoothed gravel, which even the doctor had always respected, tying up his black nag at the gate. At the sound of the arrival of the vehicle, Mrs. Vernon and Flora hastened to the entrance, their faces expressive of the welcome which their lips eagerly pronounced. The carriage-door was opened by Flora, too impatient to wait till the grinning negro tumbled down from the box: she stretched out her hands to receive some infant treasure from the crowded chaise, and a cage with a squirrel, followed by a bundle of shawls and a broken bonnet-box, were hastily thrust into them. Before she could disencumber herself of the luggage, three of the children had been handed, or rather tumbled, out of the carriage,

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