As soon as dinner was over, the girls proposed to walk to the new church, that
Anne might see it at her leisure before the Consecration. The younger children
were very urgent to be allowed to accompany them, but Mrs. Woodbourne would
only consent to Dora's doing so, on her eldest sister's promise to return before
her bed- time.
'And, Mamma,' said Elizabeth, as soon as this question was decided, and the
other two children had taken out their basket of bricks at the other end of the
room, 'have you settled whether Edward is to go to the Consecration to-morrow?'
'I really think he is almost too young, my dear,' said Mrs. Woodbourne; 'you know
it is a very long service.'
'Oh! Mamma,' said Dora, 'he is five years old now, and he says he will be very
good, and he will be very much disappointed if he has to stay at home, now he
has had his new frock and trousers; and Winifred and I are going.'
'Really, Dora,' said Elizabeth, 'I think he had better not go, unless he has some
reason for wishing to do so, better than what you have mentioned.'
'I believe he understands it all as well as we do,' said Dora; 'we have all been
talking about it in the nursery, this evening, at supper:--and you know, Mamma,
he has quite left off being naughty in church.'
'Still, my dear,' said Mrs. Woodbourne, 'I scarcely think that we can take him; I
cannot have him sitting with me, among the people whom we have invited, and
he will certainly grow tired and restless.'
'I do not think his being tired just at last will signify,' said Elizabeth; 'he will attend
at first, I am sure, and it is a thing he must never forget all his life. I will take care
of him and Winifred, and Dora can behave well without being watched.'
'Very well, my dear,' said Mrs. Woodbourne in her plaintive voice, 'I shall be glad
for him to go, if you can undertake to keep him in order, but you must take care
you do not tire yourself. You will have almost too much to do afterwards, and you
must not let yourself be harassed by his restlessness.'
'Oh no, Mamma, thank you,' said Elizabeth, 'he will not fidget, and I am not afraid
of anything in the summer, and on such a great day as to-morrow. I could walk to
Johnny Groat's house, and take care of fifty children, if need were.'