Page:A New England Tale.djvu/70

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"I shall not use them, Elvira. I should dread their being stripped off."

"Oh, not at all. Mother seldom takes the trouble to inquire into it; and if she does, now and then, by accident, detect it, the storm soon blows over. She has caught me in many a white lie, and black one too, and she has not been half so angry as when I have torn my frock, or lost a glove. Why, child, if you are going to fight your battles with Mother with plain truth, you will find yourself without shield or buckler."

"Ah, Elvira!" replied Jane, smiling.

"That's no battle, ev'ry body knows,
Where one side only gives the blows."

"That's true enough, Jane. Well, if you will not help me off from the conference, I must go.—Sweet Vivaldi," said she, kissing her book, and carefully hiding it in a dark comer of the garret, "must I part with thee?"

"One would think," said Jane, "you was parting with your lover."

"I am, my dear. I always fancy, when I read a novel, that I am the heroine, and the hero is one of my favourites; and then I realize it all, and it spears so natural."

Elvira was not, at hearty an ill-natured girl; but having a weak understanding, and rather a a fearful unresisting temper, she had been driven by her Mother's mode of treatment into the practice of deceit; and she being the weaker party,