Page:A New England Tale.djvu/22

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11
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

gree: practical good sense, industrious, efficient habits, and handy ways. She never presumed formally to offer her advice to Mrs. Elton; her instincts seemed to define the line of propriety to her; but she had a way of suggesting hints, of which Mrs. Elton learnt the value by experience. This good woman had been called to a distant place to attend her dying mother, just before the death of Mrs. Elton; and thus Jane was deprived of an able assistant, and most tender friend, and left to pass through the dismal scene of death, without any other than occasional assistance from her compassionate neighbours.

On the day of Mrs. Elton's interment, a concourse of people assembled to listen to the funeral sermon, and to follow to the grave one who had been the object of the envy of some, and of the respect and love of many. Three sisters of Mr. Elton were assembled with their families. Mrs. Elton had come from a distant part of the country, and had no relatives in ———.

Jane's relations wore the decent gravity that became the occasion; but they were of a hard race, and neither the wreck their brother had made, nor the deep grief of the solitary little creature, awakened their pity. They even seemed to shun manifesting towards her the kindness of common sympathy, lest it should be construed into an intention of taking charge of the orphan.

Jane, lost in the depths of her sufferings, seemed insensible to all external things. Her countenance was of a death-like paleness, and her