Page:Gaskell - North and South, vol. I, 1855.djvu/175

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CHAPTER XIV.

THE MEETING.

"I was used To sleep at nights as sweetly as a child, — Now if the wiad blew rough, it made me start, And think of my poor boy tossing about Upon the roaring seas. And then I seemed To feel that it was hard to take him from me For such a little fault." SOUTHET.

It was a comfort to Margaret about this time, to find that her mother drew more tenderly and inti- mately towards her than she had ever done since the days of her childhood. She took her to her heart as a confidential friend — the post Margaret had alwaj^s longed to fill, and had envied Dixon for being preferred to. Margaret took pains to respond to every call made upon her for sympathy — and they were many — even when they bore relation to trifles, which she would no more have noticed or regarded herself than the elephant would perceive the little pin at his feet, which yet he lifts carefully up at the bidding of his keeper. All unconsciously Margaret drew near to a reward. One evening, Mr. Hale being absent, her mother began to talk to her about her brother Frederick,