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Cummins, Maria Susanna, 1827-1866 [1857], Mabel Vaughan. By the author of The lamplighter. (John P. Jewett and Company, Boston) [word count] [eaf533].
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God calls our loved ones, but we lose not wholly
What He hath given;
They live on earth, in thought and deed, as truly
As in His Heaven.
J. G. Whittier.

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As soon as Harry could be released from the cares attending
the harvesting of his crops, he came again to his father's
partly to share his sister's joy in the old gentleman's restoration
to health and peace of mind, and still more to persuade Mabel,
if possible, to return home with him. Both he and Helen had,
on their former visit, observed her unusual paleness, varied
only by a feverish flush which seemed to denote an exhausted
state of the system; and they had only awaited Mr. Vaughan's
complete recovery, to insist upon her coming to them for recreation
and change of scene.

Mabel, who felt no other symptoms of illness than an unusual
lassitude and occasional headache, would have resisted Harry's
pleadings; but her father, realizing how severely her strength
had recently been taxed, warmly seconded the proposition, and
even intimated the probability that, if they found themselves
equal to the jaunt, he and Sabiah would join her at the farm,
in the course of a few weeks.

It was pleasant to see the joyousness which mantled Harry's
face at this voluntary suggestion on the part of Mr. Vaughan.
“Come up early next month,” exclaimed he (it was now October),
“and stay with us until after Thanksgiving! All of you,
I mean,” added he, glancing at Sabiah, and from her to the
boys; “that is a day which allows of no exceptions; and Helen
and I shall be rejoiced to make it an occasion for welcoming
you all at once.”

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“We have everything to be thankful for, my son,” said Mr.
Vaughan, surveying the little group collected around him, with
a pride far deeper than that of former days; “we will meet
together as you propose, and praise God in our hearts for his
wonderful goodness to us.”

It being thus arranged that the rest of the household were
to follow in a few weeks, Harry hurried Mabel with her preparations,
and the next day she accompanied him to the abode
of plenty and contentment, where his happy young wife was
impatiently awaiting their arrival.

“Now remember, Mabel,” said Helen, when the former was
at length installed in the room which Harry in building the
house had denominated Mabel's, “you are to do nothing while
you are here, but ride, and walk, and talk, and waste time, if
you choose to term it so, in every possible way. You have
had more than your share of cares and duties for the last five
years, and lately have been quite worn out with them; so now
you are to consider that no one has the slightest claim upon
you. You are to keep your hands folded in this fashion (and
she playfully placed them in a most indolent attitude), and are
to make it the chief business of your life to be idle.”

Mabel declared with a languid air, which was more felt than
feigned, that she should have no difficulty in obeying these
rules, for if the weather continued as at present, she could
spend whole days satisfactorily in gazing out of the window.

This unusual lassitude, and low, feverish tendency, which
had been observed in her before she left home, became more
marked, now that she was freed from all necessity for exertion;
and Harry, no less than Helen, sought to dissipate the effects
of too much anxiety and confinement, by insisting that she
should spare herself all fatigue, and keep as much as possible
in the open air. Thus, every day, upon some pretext or other,
her brother persuaded her to accompany him in his drives
about the farm, usually leaving her in some shaded spot, while
he went to oversee his laborers; when she, partly occupied
with a book, and partly engaged in the observation of nature,

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enjoyed the healthy recreation, and quiet sense of repose, of
which she stood greatly in need.

One morning, when they were returning from one of these
excursions, they perceived a neat little pleasure carriage standing
before the door, which Harry recognized as belonging to
Percival; and, at the same moment, Mabel saw through the
window the unmistakable form of his venerable mother who,
at the announcement of Mabel's approach, had risen from her
seat, and with a smiling countenance was awaiting the arrival
of her young friend.

The old lady's figure was firm and erect as ever; her eye
had lost nothing of its brightness; and her countenance, though
more strongly marked with the lines of age, still wore its mild
and winning benignity of expression. Nor had time had
power to diminish the tender interest which she cherished for
Mabel, as was evident from the heartiness with which she
advanced to meet the eager and excited girl, and fold her in a
warm embrace, saying, “Ah, my dear child, I see you then at
last. I began to think this was a pleasure which was to be
forever denied me!”

Mabel could not find words to express the joy she felt at the
unexpected meeting; but Madam Percival who read her countenance
aright, and saw that she was well nigh overpowered by
the train of moving associations which it called up, responded to
her broken ejaculations of surprise and delight, by pressing her
once more to her side, saying—“These re-unions are blessed
things my dear!—and here is my patient Bessie, too, waiting
to claim you as an old friend.”

Mabel, who had not had a thought for any one but Madam
Persival, now followed the direction of the old lady's eyes, and
her face lighted up with fresh satisfaction as she beheld Bayard's
favorite niece and her own devoted champion, scarcely altered in
appearance since she had seen her last, and with her enthusiasm
for Mabel undiminished, as was evident from the beaming face
with which she watched her movements, and now, as she saw
herself recognized, came forward with outstretched hand.

“And do you know my sister? have you made the

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acquaintance of Mrs. Vaughan,” asked Mabel, as having exchanged
cordial salutations with Bessie, she glanced towards Helen, who
was a deeply interested and smiling spectator of the scene.

“Yes, my dear,” said Madam Percival, “I have been impatient
for some time past to make Mrs. Vaughan's acquaintance,
and must acknowledge that she was the sole object of
our visit to-day; we had no idea of the double pleasure that
was in store for us.”

Numerous questions and responses now succeeded. Madam
Pervival had earnest inquiries to make concerning every
member of Mr. Vaughan's family, especially the boys, to an
account of whose growth and progress she was lending a most
attentive ear, while Helen and Bessie were busily chatting
together, when the entrance of Harry, who had been detained
by one of his neighbors, served to give a more general tone to
the conversation.

Madam Percival still kept Mabel close beside her, however,
and at length remarked, with some little anxiety in her tone,—
“They tell me, my dear, that you are not well—that you have
had too much care of late;—so, though I should not judge it
from your face (Mabel's face was a little flushed by the excitement
of the interview), I wish to make it a plea for begging
you away from Mrs. Vaughan for a few days; that is if you
will trust yourself to an old friend's care, as readily as you once
did when she was a stranger. Come,” added she, laying her
hand earnestly on Mabel's shoulder, by way of enforcing the
request—“will you indulge me so far as to go home with us
to-day?—we will restore you on Sunday when we meet your
brother at church.”

Mabel thanked her most warmly, professed unbounded confidence
in that kindness and care of which she had formerly
experienced the benefit, but at the same time hesitated, and
gave a somewhat evasive reply to the invitation, saying that
she considered herself under Helen's orders, and doubted her

“Oh, please do as grandmamma proposes,” exclaimed Bessie,
while Madam Percival turned to Helen to urge her claims;

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“we shall be so delighted to have you with us! uncle Bayard
is absent attending court all the time and we miss him so

Perhaps Bessie, who still cherished a painful recollection of
her uncle's severe and unjust criticism of Mabel, might have
suspected that he was an object of her avoidance and dislike, and
so artfully added this last clause by way of assuring her that
she would not be subjected to his society; if so, her suspicions
were probably confirmed by the fact that when Madam Percival
triumphantly announced Helen's consent to grant the required
leave of absence, Mabel no longer manifested any want
of alacrity in accepting the invitation, and expressed without
reserve the pleasure she should have in accompanying them.

“But, there is a condition!” exclaimed Harry. “My dear
Madam—you will not overlook the proviso in the case. I have
already had your horses led to the stable, and Mrs. Vaughan
depends upon your company to dinner.”

“I intended to return immediately,” said Madam Percival,
“and left word to that effect at home; but as Mrs. Vaughan
assures me that an early dinner is no inconvenience in her
household, and my young friend here may need a little time to
prepare for a three days absence, I think, Bessie, we will astonish
Mrs. Patten by playing truant to-day.”

And the venerable lady, who knew how to accommodate herself
with ready grace to all circumstances in life, allowed Mabel
to assist in the removal of her bonnet and shawl, and during
the space of a couple of hours, which was the limit of her visit,
entered with cordial zeal into the interests of the youthful group
by whom she was surrounded, and by the charm of her manners
and conversation imparted both ease and spirit to the social
occasion, without once derogating in the least from the dignity
which became her years.

As dinner was served with great punctuality, and Madam
Percival was anxious to reach home before sundown, no further
delay was suffered to interfere with her departure, and at an
early hour in the afternoon the party set off; Mabel and the old
lady on the back seat of the light pleasure carriage, and Bessie

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stationed in front, beside a serious looking youth who officiated
as coachman to the establishment.

It was one of those lovely days belonging to the somewhat
disputed period of the Indian summer, which, whether it occurs
earlier or later, is marked by characteristics peculiar to the
American Autumn. The atmosphere was suffused with that
peculiar haziness which, without obscuring the sun, subdues
and mellows its rays, and imparts a singular brilliancy to the
rich and variegated foliage. The sky, unspotted by a cloud,
was of the clearest and brightest blue, while the outline of the
distant horizon was rendered shadowy and indistinct by the
light curtain of mist which enveloped all nature; and as the eye
at intervals roamed across the boundless waves of the rolling
prairie, the great hay ricks discerned through the distance and
fog might almost be mistaken for islands in mid ocean or ships
with outspread sails. For the last half of the way, the road
leading to Lake Farm stretched through Percival's own land,
now winding like a thread amid corn and wheat fields of nearly
a mile in extent, where the golden grain was peeping from the
husk and inviting the sickle of the husbandman, and now leading
the traveller beneath the refreshing shade of grand primeval
forests, which an English nobleman might covet. Sometimes
the sound of the horses' feet would startle a squirrel or a rabbit
and send it darting across their path; or a partridge would rise
with a whirring sound from the tall waving grain; or, as the
travellers entered the cool thicket, birds of various note would
greet them with a concert of song.

Nor was this harmony of sight and sound marred by any
sense of effort or constraint on the part of Mabel and her companions,
who discoursed with unaffected ease, or maintained, at
pleasure, that silence which is sometimes so satisfactory among
those who are confident of each other's sympathetic enjoyment.
As they drew within half a mile of their destination, the road
led through a little grove of maples and oaks, gorgeous with
brilliantly-dyed leaves, a portion of which had already fallen
and bestrewed the ground; and, for the rest of the distance,
Mabel was conscious that they were gradually ascending to a

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higher point of land. She was not prepared, however, for the
scene which awaited her, when at length, emerging from the
wood, she saw the house directly before her, and took in at a
glance the expansive view which the little eminence commanded.
The simple but tasteful structure was built of the
pale yellow stone peculiar to the region, forming a soft and
beautiful contrast to the heavy verdure of a few old pines and
hemlocks which stood in its immediate vicinity. It was long
and low, being only a story and a half in height, but covering a
wide extent of ground, having wings on either side, and including
all the principal rooms on the lower floor; while across the
front ran a light verandah, festooned with the graceful American
woodbine, now crimson with the tints of autumn. As far
as the eye could reach in every direction, save one, it was met
by an open expanse of prairie, grain land, and forest, with here
and there a little collection of farm-houses and a village church,
but fair and extensive as was this view of the rich and open
country, the involuntary exclamation of delight which burst
from Mabel's lips, as she looked forth upon the prospect, was
chiefly due to the emotion of joyful surprise with which she
beheld, stretching far out to the eastern horizon, dancing and
sparkling in the sunlight, the clear, blue waters of Lake Michigan.

“It is beautiful!” said Madam Percival, in response to
Mabel's half-expressed ecstasy of pleasure; while Bessie turned
her back upon the prospect to read its reflection in Mabel's
eyes. “Familiar as I am with the scene,” continued the old
lady, “I never drive up this slope without a fresh sense of the
greatness and beauty of that vast inland-ocean, in which the
giant nature of the West mirrors its face; and I am always
ready to congratulate my son anew on the patience with which
he occupied a most primitive dwelling, until he had acquired
the means to build a house to his own taste, and on the spot of
his choice. It looks uncommonly pleasant this afternoon.
Home is home, after a twenty miles trip, especially when Mrs.
Patten stands at the door to give one welcome.”

The faithful serving-woman was already on the verandah to

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meet her mistress, whose unusual excursion and lengthened
absence had occasioned her some anxiety. “You will not
think I have been gone too long, Patten,” said Madam Percival,
“when you see whom I have brought back with me;”
and, as Mabel leaned forward, bowed, and was recognized, the
good woman confirmed her mistress' remark, by holding up
both hands and exclaiming, “Bless my eyes! it's Miss Vaughan,
for all the world; and the nicest young lady that ever I
see,—asking your pardon, Miss Bessie,” she added in a low
voice, “for you never was so tried, and there's no knowing
what folks is till they're tried. And, how's them children,
Miss?” she continued, when Mabel had alighted, and cordially
shaken her by the hand. “Almost men now, I dare say?”

“Yes, almost, Mrs. Patten; and I was afraid I had got beyond
your knowledge too.”

“You? dear me, no,—you look just as much like a pictur
as ever, only a little pale like; but I dare say you're tired, and
my mistress too, so do walk in—walk in and get rested.”
And the good soul led the way to the sitting-room, where a fire
was already kindled, in anticipation of a cool evening. And for
one half hour she was unwearied in her efforts to render them
all, as she said, “right comfortable.”

And right comfortable it seemed to Mabel, as the twilight
hours came on and found them grouped round the wide hearth;
Madam Percival, as she sat upright in her easy-chair, relating
to the girls on either side of her those most delightful of all
narratives, the experiences of bygone days; while the flickering
flames cast a subdued, but cheerful light round the room,
and were reflected in the polished furniture and the old family
tea-urn under the antiquated sideboard.

The rough, new, and undeveloped character of almost every
thing pertaining to Western life furnishing a wide field for the
energy and activity both of body and mind, may nerve and
strengthen the powers for the performance of many a trying
task; but to one wearied from the overtasking of these powers,
and yearning for the rest which even the youthful spirit occasionally
craves, there is something unspeakably refreshing in

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such ancient, and time-honored tokens as everywhere pervaded
the establishment over which Madam Percival presided with that
venerable dignity characteristic of the past. To Mabel especially,
who had been taxed with a responsibility disproportioned
to her years, and had well nigh sunk beneath the burden of
recent labors, there was sweet and welcome repose in being
thus sheltered under the wing of her aged friend's tender and
protecting care; and even the heavily-carved chairs and tables,
the Turkey carpet, the antique fire-set, and the quaint, old
family plate, which were here preserved as ancestral heirlooms,
all bore their part in giving to the place the secluded and
familiar air of a cherished home. Thus, the first evening of
her visit proved one of unmixed satisfaction, and the night that
followed, brought with it sweet and dreamless rest.

“Do you feel equal to a short walk, my dear?” said Madam
Percival, as she joined her young friends on the verandah the
next morning, and addressed herself to Mabel, who, under
Bessie's instruction, was becoming acquainted with every
feature in the wide landscape.

Mabel promptly replied in the affirmative.

“Then,” said Madam Percival, “I should be happy to have
you both go with me to the house of my son's agent. It is
only about half a mile distant; you can see the smoke from the
chimney yonder; the path leads directly through the maple
grove, which will furnish us with a gay carpet and awning,
and the good man's wife will give us all a hearty welcome, I
am sure.”

Bessie, no less than Mabel, expressed her pleasure at the
proposition, and, while the latter went to her room to prepare
for the walk, the former ran for her own and her grandmother's

“Now, my dear,” said Madam Percival, as she took Mabel's
offered arm, bearing no weight upon it, however, for she was
at present the stronger of the two,—“I must tell you something
of the individual whom we hope to see this morning.”
She then proceeded with an interesting narative of their trusty
farm-agent's experiences, dated from the young man's arrival

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in the West, and continued up to the present period. He had
brought a small sum of money with him, but his first investment
had been disastrous, the situation of his land proving
unhealthy, and his crops suffering from blight; while, to crown
his misfortunes, the title to his estate became a matter of dispute,
and he suddenly found himself involved in legal difficulties.
It was at this crisis, that he was first brought to the
notice of Mr. Percival, to whom he applied for professional
assistance; and Bayard's favorable impressions of the man
being confirmed by a slight knowledge which his mother had
previously gained of his character and worth, a proposition
was made and accepted, which proved equally advantageous to
both parties; the young lawyer, who was now oppressed with
business, gaining a valuable and reliable agent, and the disappointed,
but manly and energetic farmer, obtaining a sure and
gradually increasing competence.”

“And how ended the law-suit?” asked Mabel.

“It resulted in favor of my son's client,” replied Madam
Percival, “and he still holds possession of his estate, which,
in spite of its disadvantages, has nearly doubled in value.”

“And this is the farm-house!” said Mabel, as they now
came in sight of a comfortable two story dwelling, surrounded
by spacious and substantial barns and granaries. “How neat
and thrifty everything looks!”

“That is due in no small degree to our farmer's wife,” said
Madam Percival; “she is one of the most good-humored,
capable, and industrious women in the neighborhood, and very
attractive too, as you will think when you see her pretty, round
face. That row of glittering pans and pails hanging outside
the house, will give you an idea of the extent of her dairy,
and it was some of her sweet butter which you praised at
breakfast. We may go in without knocking,” she continued,
as they approached,—“our good housewife is always ready
for company.”

Thus invited, Mabel entered at the door which stood hospitably
open, and passed on to a sitting-room on the right.
It was furnished in the simple style of a farmer's family; was

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in perfect order, and unoccupied; there seemed nothing to
startle and astonish a visitor, and yet Mabel stopped short,
and stood gazing at the opposite window, like one lost in a
dream. What was there in a little rush-bottomed arm-chair,
a wooden foot-stool, an old leather-covered bible, and an open
daguerreotype case, which could have power to transfix her in
silent wonder, and send the tears coursing down her cheek?—
what but the power of association,—that deep, magnetic
thrill with which we gaze on the simplest memorials of one
who has passed from earth, but still lives enshrined amid love's
sacred memories? what but the holy awe which fills the soul
as imagination calls up in vivid array, the form, the countenance,
the voice, of one whose mortal has put on immortality?

Yes, there was no mistaking these mute witnesses, which
had seemed a part of Rosy's little life; and for an instant
Mabel stood transfixed opposite the vacant arm-chair, tearful,
bewildered, and unconscious of the surprise she herself excited
in Madam Percival and Bessie by her singular demeanor.
The next moment, a door opened from the kitchen, and an
elderly woman, with an infant in her arms, entered, and was
advancing with a respectful air to speak to Madam Percival,
but, seeing Mabel, she stopped short, uttered an exclamation
of joy, and forgetting her customary awe of her more stately
visitor,—forgetting everything but the engrossing interest of
the moment, she placed the child, without apology, in Bessie's
arms, and exclaiming in a broken voice, “Dear Miss Mabel!
my own darling child's best friend!” she ran towards the latter,
threw her arms impulsively around her, then sat down in
Rosy's chair, covered her face with her hands, and wept.

Mabel, who at the sound of her voice had recognized the
mother of Rose, and had cordially returned her greeting, now
turned to Madam Percival to ask an explanation from one
who, on her part, wore a countenance full of astonishment and
inquiry, when Lydia, who had been summoned by loud cry
from the baby, made her appearance on the scene, smoothing
down her apron, and buttoning the sleeves which had been
turned up to her elbows. If Madam Percival and Bessie

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were already astonished spectators, it may well be believed
that their amazement now reached its height, as Lydia, the
same excitable creature as ever, gave a sudden start, threw
herself on her knees beside Mabel, caught her hand, kissed it
repeatedly, laughed, cried, then laughed again, and, snatching
her infant from Bessie, placed it in Mabel's arms, saying,
“See my baby! isn't she a beauty?” and finally burst into
tears once more, as she whispered, “Her name is Rose.”

“Excuse us, Ma'am! excuse us, Miss Bessie!” said she,
as, with an attempt to recover her self-possession, she came
forward to pay her respects to Madam Percival and her granddaughter,
“but Miss Vaughan has been such an angel of goodness
to us, and our dear little Rose loved her so much!”

The excuse was not needed, however, as was evident from
the cordial sympathy which shone in Madam Percival's face,
as she gleaned from the mutual expressions of interest which
were exchanged between Mabel and these humble friends, the
nature of the tie which bound them so strongly to one another;
and the good-hearted Bessie had only waited to be relieved
from the care of the child, to turn her face towards the window
and wipe away a tear.

“I have been telling you, my dear, as we came through the
wood,” said Madam Percival to Mabel, who was caressing the
infant, “the experience of a mutual friend of ours, but I little
suspected that I was omitting the most interesting feature of
the tale; here he is, however, to speak for himself. Good
morning, Mr. Dowst! You are the only person wanting to
make this scene complete.”

The astonishment of Mabel, the blushing bashfulness of
Lydia, the contented smile of her mother, the crowing applause
on the part of the baby, and the sympathetic satisfaction
of Madam Percival and Bessie, indeed reached their climax,
as the sturdy form of the honest Owen now appeared in the
door-way, his eye bright with pleasure, and his face glowing
with earnestness. “Miss Vaughan!” exclaimed he, taking off
his hat, and coming forward with both his strong, hard hands

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extended, “this is a day to be thankful for, and a sight to
make a humble man proud.”

“You speak the truth, Mr. Dowst,” said Mabel. “Such a
home, and wife, and child, and good name, as you can call
yours, are indeed something to be proud of; and I am proud,
I assure you, to claim you as an old friend.”

“Ah, miss,” said Owen, with his own genial smile, “I've
many blessings as you say, but it's the crowning one of all
that brings you under our roof. Where is my little woman?”
continued he, searching round the room with his eyes for
Lydia, who stood behind him, with a modest, blushing face.
“She's been looking forward to this day ever since she first
set foot on a prairie, though one would think to see her now,
that she was ashamed of being an honest man's wife.”

“She is ashamed of having kept her secret from me so long,”
said Mabel. “What will the boys say when they learn that
Lydia is Mrs. Owen Dowst?”

“Well, 't was all along of her love for you, Miss Mabel,”
said Owen, apologetically. “Owen, says she, don't you hint
to Mr. Harry Vaughan, or any of 'em, who you've got for a
wife,—just wait till Miss Mabel comes into these parts, and
sees for herself.”

“A true woman,” interposed Madam Percival. “I can
understand it, Mrs. Dowst, for, old as I am, I have been counting
ever since Miss Vaughan arrived on her surprise at finding
your husband settled among us, little suspecting that there was
a still greater pleasure in store for her.”

“And how is Jack?” asked Mabel, when, composure being
at length restored, she found herself seated next to Mrs. Hope,
who had by this time claimed her sacred prerogative,—the
charge of Rosy's namesake.

“Bless your heart, dear, for remembering my boy!” said
the mother, with animation. “Lyddy is a good child, and
never shows any of her little tempers now-a-days, and Owen
has been a faithful friend to me and mine, first for Rosy's sake,
and then for the love that grew out of that; but I sometimes
think it's Jack, after all, that's to be the joy of my old age.

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There never was a mother had a better son, Miss Mabel.
He's foreman of some works not far from here, where they
manufacture farming machines; he always was an ingenious
fellow, and what with Rosy helping him with his plans and
figures, and so on, he got an extra good idea of mechanics,
and now it stands him in good stead. He makes a handsome
living,—Jack does,—and is frugal, too, though he's got an
open hand and heart.”

“Oh, I am very glad!” said Mabel. “I always liked Jack;
I thought he would live to be a comfort to you, Mrs. Hope.”

“How could he help it?” asked the widow in a low, earnest
voice. “As long as Rosy lived, didn't he have his sister to
keep him in the right way? and ever since she died, hasn't he
had an angel? Jack was a silent boy, always; and he's a
silent sort of a man. He don't tell his mind as some folks
do, but if you could see him when he sits down in her chair,
or reads in her bible, or calls this baby by her name, you'd
think as I do, that though it's a voice for the heart only, Rosy,
like the holy man in Scripture, `being dead, yet speaketh.' ”

“She does indeed speak to us all,” said Mabel. “Though
her life was short and full of suffering, it is a beautiful thought
how many have been made better for the dear child's having
lived, and loved, and died. I, as well as Jack, have often felt,
Mrs. Hope, that the memory of Rose's virtues was like a continual
message of good cheer from a glorified saint.”

“She was a precious lamb!” said the mother, sobbing. “The
Lord has her in His holy keeping. I only hope we'll all find
our way one of these days into that same fold.”

“Such heartfelt gratitude and affection as have been manifested
towards you to-day, my dear,” said Madam Percival to
Mabel, when they were once more returning homeward through
the grove, “are a sweet compensation for the hours stolen from
gayer pleasures and devoted to works of charity and love.”

“The sincere regard of these good friends is of priceless
value to me,” answered Mabel, “but it is a voluntary offering,
not a compensation. The hours were few, indeed, which, during
my New York life, were devoted to anything but selfish

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pleasures. This family is the only one to whom I rendered the
slightest service, and in this instance I was always the principal
gainer. I can feel nothing but mortification, when I reflect
how wholly I neglected my opportunities of usefulness.”

“You do yourself an injustice,” said Madam Percival. “I
have not yet to learn the particulars of your kindness to Mrs.
Hope and her sick child. They have been related to me with
all a mother's enthusiasm, though I never until now knew the
name of Rosy's benefactor. I was peculiarly interested in the
account, for I, too, had some tender recollections of Rose, having
seen her frequently, when many years ago she was under
medical treatment at a public institution in New York; and I
could in some degree estimate the love she cherished for you,
my dear, when I learned that she bequeathed you, as a dying
legacy, a little engraving, originally presented to her by my
son, and always prized (so her mother tells me) as zealously
as when her intense admiration for it first appealed to Bayard's
generosity. Have you the picture yet?”

“I have,” said Mabel. “It hangs in our parlor at home;”
and as she spoke she called to mind the interest, even amounting
to curiosity, with which Percival, on his recent visit, had
appeared to examine both engraving and frame, no doubt identifying
them as having once been his property.

“Its subject is one,” said Madam Percival, “which appealed
strongly to the child's heart, and which she fully exemplified
in her life. She has long since gained the rest of the Eternal
City; but her works yet follow her, and the road which her
feet have trod is fragrant with her virtues, encouraging the
succession of pilgrims who follow in her pathway, to exclaim,
with consecrated purpose and will, `In the name of our God,
will we set up our banners.' ”

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Cummins, Maria Susanna, 1827-1866 [1857], Mabel Vaughan. By the author of The lamplighter. (John P. Jewett and Company, Boston) [word count] [eaf533].
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