Work: A Story of Experience
Out trotted neighbor Miller, and that was the end of confidences in the porch; but David
played melodiously on his flute that night, and Christie fell asleep saying happily to
"Now we are all right, friends for ever, and every thing will go beautifully."
XIII. Waking Up
EVERY thing did "go beautifully" for a time; so much so, that Christie began to think she
really had "got religion." A delightful peace pervaded her soul, a new interest made the
dullest task agreeable, and life grew so inexpressibly sweet that she felt as if she could
forgive all her enemies, love her friends more than ever, and do any thing great, good, or
She had known such moods before, but they had never lasted long, and were not so
intense as this; therefore, she was sure some blessed power had come to uphold and cheer
her. She sang like a lark as she swept and dusted; thought high and happy thoughts
among the pots and kettles, and, when she sat sewing, smiled unconsciously as if some
deep satisfaction made sunshine from within. Heart and soul seemed to wake up and
rejoice as naturally and beautifully as flowers in the spring. A soft brightness shone in her
eyes, a fuller tone sounded in her voice, and her face grew young and blooming with the
happiness that transfigures all it touches.
"Christie 's growing handsome," David would say to his mother, as if she was a flower in
which he took pride.
"Thee is a good gardener, Davy," the old lady would reply, and when he was busy would
watch him with a tender sort of anxiety, as if to discover a like change in him.
But no alteration appeared, except more cheerfulness and less silence; for now there was
no need to hide his real self, and all the social virtues in him came out delightfully after
their long solitude.
In her present uplifted state, Christie could no more help regarding David as a martyr and
admiring him for it, than she could help mixing sentiment with her sympathy. By the
light of the late confessions, his life and character looked very different to her now. His
apparent contentment was resignation; his cheerfulness, a manly contempt for complaint;
his reserve, the modest reticence of one who, having done a hard duty well, desires no
praise for it. Like all enthusiastic persons, Christie had a hearty admiration for self-
sacrifice and self-control; and, while she learned to see David's virtues, she also
exaggerated them, and could not do enough to show the daily increasing esteem and
respect she felt for him, and to atone for the injustice she once did him.
She grubbed in the garden and green-house, and learned hard botanical names that she
might be able to talk intelligently upon subjects that interested her comrade. Then, as