Page:A New England Tale.djvu/20

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9
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

member of the church in the town where she lived. She daily read the scriptures, and daily offered sincere prayers. Certainly, the waters of the fountain from whence she drank had a salutary influence, though they failed to heal all her diseases. She was kind, gentle, and uncomplaining, and sustained, with admirable patience, the growing infirmities and irritating faults of her husband. To her child, she performed her duties wisely, and with an anxious zeal; the result, in part, of uncommon maternal tenderness, and, in part, of a painful consciousness of the faults of her own character; and, perhaps, of a secret feeling she had left much undone that she ought to do.

Mr. Elton, after his pecuniary embarrassments were beyond the hope of extrication, maintained by stratagem the appearance of prosperity for some months, when a violent fever ended his straggle with the tide of fortune that had set against him, and consigned him to that place where there is 'no more work nor device.' His wife was left quite destitute with her child, then an interesting little girl, a little more than twelve years old. A more energetic mind than Mrs. Elton's might have been discouraged at the troubles which were now set before her in all their extent, and with tenfold aggravation; and she, irresolute, spiritless, and despondent, sunk under them. She had from nature, a slender constitution; her health declined, and, after lingering for some months, she died with resignation, but not with-