Page:A New England Tale.djvu/36

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Or haply prest with cares and woes,
Too soon thou hast began.
To wander forth.—Burns.

Jane received the intelligence of her destination without the slightest emotion. The world was "all before her," and she cared not whither led her "mournful way."

Happily for her, the humble friend mentioned in the beginning of her history, Mary Hull, returned on that day, after having performed the last act of filial duty. Jane poured all her sorrows into Mary's bosom, and felt already a degree of relief that she had not believed her condition admitted.

Such is the elastic nature of childhood; its moral, like its physical constitution, is subject to the most sudden changes.

Mary having assuaged the wounds of her youthful friend with the balm of tender sympathy and just consolation, undertook the painful, but necessary, task of exposing to Jane, the evils before her, that she might fortify her against them; that, as she said, being "fore-warned, she might be fore-armed."