Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/328

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They bore her home—for she was passive and helpless—home to the sick old grandmother, who laid her withered hand on those bright locks, and kissed the cold cheek, and took her to her bosom, as though she had been an infant. And Lucy smiled, and talked of playing by the brook, and chasing the runaway bees, and of toys for her baby-house, and wondered why they were all weeping, particularly dear grandmamma, who ought to be so happy. But this lasted only a few days, and then another grave was made, and yet another, in the poor’s corner; and the grandmother and her shattered idol slept together. The grave is a blessed couch and pillow to the wretched. Rest thee there, poor Lucy!


I laughed and crowed above this water, when I was a baby, and, therefore, I love it. I played beside it, when the days were years of summer-time, and the summers were young eternities of brightness, and, therefore, I love it. It was the scene of my first grief, too. Shall I tell you? There is not much to tell, but I have a notion that there are people above us, up in the air, and behind the clouds, that consider little girls doings about as important as those of men and women. The birds and the angels are great levellers.

It was a dry season; the brook was low, and a gay trout in a coat of golden brown, dotted over with crimson, and a silver pinafore, lay, weather-bound, on the half-dry stones, all heated and panting, with about a tea-spoonful of lukewarm water, turning lazily from its head, and creeping down its back at too slow a pace to afford the sufferer hope of emancipation. My sympathies—little girls, you must know, are made up of love and sympathy, and such like follies, which afterwards contract into—n’importe! I was saying, my sympathies were aroused; and, quite forgetting that water would take the gloss from my new red morocco shoes, I