The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations
It is the generous spirit, who, when brought
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
Upon the plan that pleased his childish thought,
Whose high endeavours are an inward light,
Making the path before him always bright.
The holidays had commenced about a week when Harry, now duly appointed
to H. M. S. Alcestis, was to come home on leave, as he proudly expressed it.
A glad troop of brothers and sisters, with the doctor himself, walked up to the
station to meet him, and who was happiest when, from the window, was
thrust out the rosy face, with the gold band? Mary gave such a shriek and
leap, that two passengers and one guard turned round to look at her, to the
extreme discomfiture of Flora and Norman, evidenced by one by a grave
"Mary! Mary!" by the other, by walking off to the extreme end of the
platform, and trying to look as if he did not belong to them, in which he was
imitated by his shadow, Tom.
Sailor already, rather than schoolboy, Harry cared not for spectators; his
bound from the carriage, and the hug between him, and Mary would have
been worthy of the return from the voyage. The next greeting was for his
father, and the sisters had had their share by the time the two brothers
thought fit to return from their calm walk on the platform.
Grand was it to see that party return to the town--the naval cadet, with his
arm linked in Mary's, and Aubrey clinging to his hand, and the others walking
behind, admiring him as he turned his bright face every moment with some
glad question or answer, "How was Margaret?" Oh, so much better; she had
been able to walk across the room, with Norman's arm round her--they hoped
she would soon use crutches--and she sat up more. "And the baby?" More
charming than ever--four teeth--would soon walk--such a darling! Then came
"my dirk, the ship, our berth." "Papa, do ask Mr. Ernescliffe to come here. I
know he could get leave."
"Mr. Ernescliffe! You used to call him Alan!" said Mary.
"Yes, but that is all over now. You forget what we do on board. Captain
Gordon himself calls me Mr. May!"
Some laughed, others were extremely impressed.
"Ha! There's Ned Anderson coming," cried Mary. "Now! Let him see you,