Next Sunday evening, Mrs. Little and he being at tea together, she said to him quietly--"Well, Harry, I have seen her."
"But how did you know her? By her beauty?"
Mrs. Little smiled, and took a roll of paper out of her muff, that lay on the sofa. She unfolded it, and displayed a drawing. It represented Grace Carden in her bonnet, and was a very good likeness.
The lover bounced on it, and devoured it with astonishment and delight.
"Taken from the bust, and retouched from nature," said Mrs. Little. "Yes, dear, I went to St. Margaret's, and asked a pew-opener where she sat. I placed myself where I could command her features; and you may be sure, I read her very closely. Well, dear, she bears examination. It is a bright face, a handsome face, and a good face; and almost as much in love as you are."
"What makes you fancy that? Oh, you spoke to her?"
"Certainly not. But I observed her. Restless and listless by turns--her body in one place, her mind in another. She was so taken up with her own thoughts she could not follow the service. I saw the poor girl try very hard several times, but at last she gave it up in despair. Sometimes she knitted her brow and a young girl seldom does that unless she is thwarted in her love. And I'll tell you a surer sign still: sometimes tears came for no visible reason, and stood in her eyes. She is in love; and it can not be with Mr. Coventry of Bollinghope; for, if she loved him, she would have nothing to brood on but her wedding-dress; and they never knit their brows, nor bedew their eyes, thinking of that; that's a smiling subject. No, it is true love on both sides, I do believe; and that makes my woman's heart yearn. Harry, dear, I'll make you a confession. You have heard that a mother's love is purer and more unselfish than any other love: and so it is. But even mothers are not quite angels always. Sometimes they are just a little jealous: not, I think, where they are blessed with many children; but you are my one child, my playmate, my companion, my friend, my only love. That sweet girl has come, and I must be dethroned. I felt this, and--no, nothing could ever make me downright thwart your happiness; but a mother's jealousy made me passive, where I might have assisted you if I had been all a mother should be."
"No, no, mother; I am the one to blame. You see, it looked so hopeless at first, I used to be ashamed to talk freely to you. It's only of late I have opened my heart to you as I ought."
reward that they would win from him if they carried his
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