The Heir of Redclyffe
Thus souls by nature pitched too high,
By sufferings plunged too low,
Meet in the church's middle sky,
Halfway 'twixt joy and woe;
To practise there the soothing lay,
That sorrow best relieves,
Thankful for all God takes away,
Humbled by all He gives.--CHRISTIAN YEAR
One Afternoon, late in April, Charles opened the dressing-room door, and paused a
moment, smiling. There sat Amabel on the floor before the fire, her hand stretched out,
playfully holding back the little one, who, with scanty, flossy, silken curls, hazel eyes and
jet-black lashes, plump, mottled arms, and tiny tottering feet, stood crowing and shouting
in exulting laughter, having just made a triumphant clutch at her mamma's hair, and
pulled down all the light, shining locks, while under their shade the reddening, smiling
face recalled the Amy of days long gone by.
'That's right! cried Charles, delighted, 'pull it all down. Out with mamma's own curls
'No, I can never wear my curls again,' said Amy, so mournfully, that he was sorry he had
referred to them; and perceiving this, she smiled sweetly, and pulling a tress to its full
length, showed how much too short it was for anything but being put plainly under the
cap, to which she restored it.
'Is Mrs. Henley come?' she asked.
'As large as life, and that is saying a good deal. She would make two of Philip. As tall
and twice as broad. I thought Juno herself was advancing on me from the station.'
'How did you get on with her?'
'Famously; I told her all about everything, and how the affair is to be really quiet, which
she had never believed. She could hardly believe my word, when I told her there was to
be absolutely no one but ourselves and Mary Ross. She supposed it was for your sake,
and I did not tell her it was for their own. It really was providential that the Kilcoran folk
disgusted my father with grand weddings, for Philip never could endure one.'
'Oh, Miss Mischief, there goes my hair again! You know Philip is exceedingly worried
about Mr. Fielder. Lord Kilcoran has been writing to ask him to find him a situation.'