The Daisy Chain or Aspirations
Would rouse adventurous courage in a boy,
And make him long to be a mariner,
That he might rove the main.--SOUTHEY.
Etheldred had the satisfaction of seeing the Taylors at school on Sunday, but
no Halls made their appearance, and, on inquiry, she was told, "Please
ma'am, they said they would not come;" so Ethel condemned Granny Hall as
"a horrid, vile, false, hypocritical old creature! It was no use having anything
more to do with her."
"Very well," said Richard; "then I need not speak to my father."
"Ritchie now! you know I meant no such thing!"
"You know, it is just what will happen continually."
"Of course there will be failures, but this is so abominable, when they had
those nice frocks, and those two beautiful eighteen-penny shawls! There are
three shillings out of my pound thrown away!"
"Perhaps there was some reason to prevent them. We will go and see."
"We shall only hear some more palavering. I want to have no more to say to-
-" but here Ethel caught herself up, and began to perceive what a happiness
it was that she had not the power of acting on her own impulses.
The twins and their little brother of two years old were christened in the
afternoon, and Flora invited the parents to drink tea in the kitchen, and visit
Lucy, while Ethel and Mary each carried a baby upstairs to exhibit to
Richard, in the meantime, had a conversation with John Taylor, and learned a
good deal about the district, and the number of the people. At tea, he began
to rehearse his information, and the doctor listened with interest, which put
Ethel in happy agitation, believing that the moment was come, and Richard
seemed to be only waiting for the conclusion of a long tirade against those
who ought to do something for the place, when behold! Blanche was climbing
on her father's knee, begging for one of his Sunday stories.
Etheldred was cruelly disappointed, and could not at first rejoice to see her
father able again to occupy himself with his little girl. The narration, in his low
tones, roused her from her mood of vexation. It was the story of David, which
he told in language scriptural and poetical, so pretty and tender in its
simplicity, that she could not choose but attend. Ever and anon there was a