Page:A New England Tale.djvu/23

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12
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

features immoveable; and when, during the sermon, an address was made to her personally by the clergyman, she was utterly unable to rise, one of her aunts, shocked at the omission of what she considered an essential decorum, took her by the arm, and almost lifted her from her seat. She stood like a statue, her senses seeming to take no cognizance of any thing. Not a tear escaped, nor a sigh burst from her breaking heart. The sorrow of childhood is usually noisy; and this mute and motionless grief, in a creature so young, and one that had been so happy, touched every heart.

When the services were over, the clergyman supported the trembling frame of the poor child to the place of interment. The coffin was slowly let down into the house appointed for all. Every one who has followed a dear friend to the grave, remembers with shuddering the hollow sound of the first clods that are thrown on the coffin. As they fell heavily, poor Jane shrieked, "oh, mother!" and springing forward, bent over the grave, which, to her, seemed to contain all the world. The sexton, used as he was to pursue his trade amidst the wailings of mourners, saw something peculiar in the misery of the lone child. He dropped the spade, and hastily brushing away the tears that blinded him with the sleeve of his coat, "Why does not some one," he said, "take away the child? This is no place for such a heart-broken thing." There was a general bustle in the crowd, and two young ladies, more considerate, or perhaps more tender-hearted, than the rest, kindly