Page:A New England Tale.djvu/32

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21
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

still wet with her tears, and the deep sadness of a face of uncommon sweetness, would have warmed with compassion any breast that had not been steeled by selfishness.

"Shame, shame, upon you!" said the maniac; "has pride turned your hearts to stone, that ye cannot shelter this poor little ewe-lamb in your fold? Ah! ye may spread your branches, like the green bay tree, but the tempest will come, and those who look for you shall not find you; but this little frost-bitten bud shall bloom in the paradise of God for ever and ever."

Untying a piece of crape which she had wound around her throat, (for she was never without some badge of mourning,) she stooped and gently wiped the tears from. Jane's cheek, saying, in a low tone, "Bottles full of odours, which are the tears of saints;" then rising, she carefully closed the curtains, and busied herself for some minutes in pinning them together. She then softly, and on tiptoe, returned to her seat; and taking some ivy from her broken straw bonnet, began twisting it with the crape. "This," said she, "is a weed for Elder Carrol's hat; he lost his wife yesterday, and I have been to the very top of Tauconnick to get him a weed, that shall last fresh as long as his grief. See," added she, and she held it up, laughing, "it has begun to wilt already; it is a true token."

She then rose from her seat, and with a quick step, between running and walking, left the room; but returning as suddenly, she said slowly and em-