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"I think that it might be managed in some way. If you could not visit Wingsdale, she might come to London-"
Flora looked so uneasy at the proposition that Ada changed the conversation in pure good nature, wondering much in her mind what could have occurred to separate a parent so much beloved from so dutiful a daughter.
I hope that you have not given up your pen, Flora; that you don't think that your talented husband the author does enough in that line for you both?"
"Oh! I write a little sometimes," said Flora, in a tone of indifference.
I never read anything so pretty as your hymns. Do you know, Flora," Ada added more gravely, "that I have often thought over the verses which you wrote during my first visit to Wingsdale, after we heard that solemn sermon from Mr. Ward on the subject of the sower and his seed!"
"I had almost forgotten them," said Flora. "And the sermon too?"
"Well I have heard so many since!"
"Ah! that is the thing, you have lived in such an atmosphere of piety."
"Oh! don't speak so!" cried Flora hurriedly.
"It does seem to me," observed Ada, folding her hands, "that it is a great deal more difficult for some people than for others to lead a religious life. Look how differently you were brought up from what I was,-is there any wonder that we are so different now? I had been taught to think of nothing but gaiety, and shining in the world, and making a sensation, and all that sort of thing; I lived in a perpetual round of amusements: so pleasure was my danger then, and I fancied that when the time for pleasure was past, my difficulties would vanish, and that I should grow serious as I grew old. Well, I follow your example, and marry, and am taken completely from the world; but I am plunged into a little bustling world of my own, and I have so much to think of, so much to do, that I have really no time for religion. Instead of the pleasures, come the cares of this life."
"Cast your cares upon Him, for He careth for you," faintly murmured Lady Legrange. Flora, you were never like any
one else; I always feel better when I am Flora's brow contracted a little,
as if she were in pain, and she turned her head away from the speaker.
"I wish that I could always have you beside me!" continued Ada; "it would be such a comfort to have your wise, calm advice !"
It is so much easier to give advice than to take it home to ourselves," said Flora, with something like a sigh.
The ladies then conversed for some time together on topics of general interest. really enjoyed seeing her old companion, and would gladly have invited both Ada and her husband to her house, to remain there during their stay in London; but she did not venture even to ask them to dinner. Sir Amery, she knew, would have had no objection to the society of the lively Ada; but the Major, a simple, blunt man, with more kindness in his heart than polish in his manners, did not suit the refined taste of the baronet, and must be kept at a proper distance." All that Flora could do was by the cordiality of her own manner to endeavour to smooth
away from the mind of her cousin any sense of unkindness, or even of ingratitude, which might arise from no invitation being given; and Ada left the house satisfied that Flora was not changed, though with a rising doubt as to whether she were happy.
AND was Flora happy in her new life? had much to render her so, according to the opinion of the world. She had made what would be called a brilliant marriage;--she was united to one who loved her, and whom she passionately loved; she was surrounded by all that could please the eye or charm the taste; she had leisure for every graceful occupation; she was not weighed down by a multiplicity of home-cares; she led a life of ease,-it might be deemed of enjoyment: and yet, with all this, Flora was not happy. The sunshine of her existence seemed to have passed away.
Let us examine more closely into the causes
of the melancholy which often rested like a cloud on her soul.
In the first place, Flora was childless; and this, to a loving spirit like hers, was no light trial. She would have given all the grandeur of her home, all the jewels which glittered in her hair, all the beautiful things which met her eye wherever she turned it, to feel little arms clasping her neck, to hear infant lips lisp the sweet name of mother! Flora had never yet, amidst all the outward forms of religion, acquired that which is the very essence of it,— submission to the will of the Almighty. own will had never been brought into the quiet subjection which is the result of confidence in God's wisdom and love, and which is the source of true peace and joy. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, she "murmured," not with her lips, but in the depths of her heart.
And Flora pined for her mother, she longed again to rest her weary head on a parent's bosom, and to be blessed with a parent's counsels. She could not conceal from herself that her marriage had separated her from the home of her childhood. It was not so much, perhaps, that Sir Amery could never quite forgive