Page:A New England Tale.djvu/86

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75
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

bustle and preparation among the young companions of Martha and Elvira for the school; for Martha, though beyond the usual school-going age, was to complete her education at the new seminary.

The dancing school had passed without a sigh of regret from Jane; but now she felt severely her privation. Her watchful friend, Mary Hull, remarked the melancholy look that was unheeded at her aunt's; and she inquired of Jane, "Why she was so downcast?"

"Ah, Mary!" she replied, "it is a long time since I have felt the merry spirit which the wise man says, is 'medicine to the heart.'"

"That's true, Jane; but then there's nobody, that is, there's nobody that has so little reason for it as you have, that has a more cheerful look."

"I have great reason to be cheerful, Mary, in token of gratitude for my kind friends here; and," added she, taking Mr.Lloyd's infant, who playfully extended her arms to her, "you and I are too young, Rebecca, to be very sad." The child felt the tear that dewed the cheek to which she was pressed; and looking into Jane's face, with instinctive sympathy, burst into tears. Mr. Lloyd entered at this moment, and Jane hastily replacing the child in Mary Hull's lap, and tying on her hat, bade them farewell.

Mr. Lloyd asked for some explanation. Mary believed nothing particular had happened. "But," she said, "the poor girl's spirit wearies with the life she leads, and its no wonder; it is a great