Page:Live and Let Live.djvu/106
LIVE AND LET LIVE.
Lucy's joy may be imagined when the most blessed day of all the week came. One of the uses of this day is, that it reminds the careless of their duties; and Mrs. Ardley's conscience being quickened by its ministry, she told Lucy she might stay all day, and moreover ordered a basket to be filled with tea, sugar, and other luxuries, for Lucy's "sick father, and," she added, with a smile, "for that little Jemmie that Lucy made such a wonderful fuss about." Mrs. Ardley was never deficient in that species of generosity manifested in giving. Lucy found matters not improved at home. Her father was still declining, her mother toiling beyond her strength, and Jemmie as sad as ever at her absence. "Oh, Lucy!" he said, holding her fast down to his bosom, "seeing you is just like the seeing the sun shine into the window—no, no, a great deal better than anything that only makes us feel good outside!" Lucy was, indeed, a moral sunshine to this humble home.
She spread on the stand at her father's bedside some of the delicacies from her basket. She selected a book for Martha, and another for Anne, and set the rest in a row at the foot of Jemmie's cradle. Never did a fanatical bibliopolist survey his acquisitions with keener pleasure; and when she saw him,