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slender allowance; she accordingly provided herself with as much as could possibly be spared to assist the poor family, and set out upon her journey. How her arrival rejoiced the hearts of her suffering friends! How much she was changed, how much she was improved, yet still as warmhearted and kind as the child they had loved! Her uncle had evidently but a short time to live; he awaited death with the resignation of a Christian, but his thoughts were troubled with the forlorn condition in which he must leave his family.

Evelyn was greatly shocked to perceive the changed appearance of her aunt, and the sad condition of the once happy children. Tears filled her eyes, but again her mother's words returned to her mind; yes, she must control herself for the sake of others. She resumed all her old employments, and by her industry and cheerfulness, soon restored comparative happiness to the little circle. The most experienced physician was summoned to attend the invalid. As he took his leave, Evelyn asked him privately his real opinion. His answer agreed with her own fears. "He has not long to live," he said. "All that is possible shall be done to soothe his last moments, but he cannot recover."

"Happily," said the weeping Evelyn, "he is prepared to die."

"Yet he has evidently some weight on his mind, that greatly increases his sufferings, and must hasten his end."

All her forebodings thus confirmed, Evelyn resolved how to act. That evening, when the children had retired, she approached her uncle's bed-side; his wife was seated by him, striving in vain to inspire comfort. Evelyn knelt by his ⚫ side, and taking his hand affectionately, she said, "I wish to speak to you seriously. Are you strong enough to listen now, dear uncle?"

"Yes, my darling," he replied, "I am always strong enough to hear you. It consoles me to think that when I am gone, my poor Mary will still have a friend; for I know," he added, looking at her anxiously, "I know you will sometimes leave your rich friends to visit your poor aunt in her affliction. Then indeed she will have no home to receive you in. And my poor darlings! God help them."

His wife wept aloud, and Evelyn's heart was full, but by a strong effort she restrained herself.

"Hush, hush, my dear uncle," she said, “you must listen to me. I told you I came to speak seriously. If it please God to hear our prayers, if you recover, all will be well, and we shall be happy. But it is wiser to be prepared for the

worst. I wish to speak of your business: will you let me know the truth?"

"Ah, Evy dear," cried her aunt, "do not distress him now. The business is all wrong, all ruined. But do not fear, I can work for my children; they shall not want, indeed they shall not. Oh, my dear husband! dismiss these thoughts, we shall do very well."

"Stay, dear aunt," said Evelyn, "I know my uncle's feelings. His business has failed-he has scarcely anything to leave you. Nay, let me speak, dear aunt ;-indeed I can console him. When you took me to your home, I was a poor, helpless orphan. I longed for death, for I thought the world all cold and heartless. But I came here, and ah! how all was changed! I found a father-a mother. I found a kind home, and loving hearts. Oh! believe me I felt it, though I could only pay you with my thanks. I had only love to offer. I did not then know how poor you were ;-how great a burthen I was to you! Nay, do not interrupt, dear friends. I never was so happy in my life, as I am now, when I feel that I am able slightly to repay the great debt I owe you. Dear uncle, you are aware I have a small sum of my own-nay, hear me out-it is insufficient, I know, for all I have to do, but all I have is yours. A new prospect

VOL. I.

D

of fortune has opened to me: I can gain as much money as I please. You do not know how rich I shall be! I have no one in the world to love but you; and what is the use of money, if not to help those whom we love? Dear uncle, hear me be under no fear for your children. Kneeling here, perhaps by your deathbed, I promise solemnly, by the memory of my own dear parents, that while I live, they shall never want. My aunt shall be, indeed, my mother, and your children shall be mine. Do you believe me, uncle?" she added, anxiously. It was some moments before he spoke.

"My darling child! I thank you from my heart; but do not promise what you cannot perform."

"No-no, dear uncle! rest assured I can do all I have said. You will not require me to give you all the details. Will you not believe me, when I tell you I can command money enough for all this? Will you not take my word ?"

"God forbid I should doubt you! This, indeed, takes a weight from my heart; but-" "Then let us say no more."

"You will want this yourself."

"No-no; indeed I shall be happy-most happy. But you are tired; I came to cheer, not to distress you. Let us talk of something

else. Shall I get you some tea? And then

you will go to sleep."

whispered: "We will

She bent over him, and

speak of this no more.

You believe what I have said ?"

"I do, indeed, my own child. May God bless you!"

The subject was never alluded to; but Evelyn read the efficacy of her words in the improved spirits of the dying man. He lingered for some time, and died in peace.

The widow's suffering was bitter and overwhelming; yet she strove to nerve herself for her children's sake. Evelyn's presence was now a great comfort to her, as she spared her all trouble: arranged every thing, settled accounts, saw strangers. She took care, however, that her aunt should not be left in idleness to prey on sorrow. To this end, she left the children entirely to her charge, knowing well that the mother's love could alone dispel the widow's grief; and her efforts were successful. Mrs. Seaton, being a sincere Christian, bent with humility to the decrees of Providence: she could not look on her affectionate children, and her sympathizing friend, without a feeling of gratitude; and though she mourned, she mourned in secret.

The funeral was over, the creditors paid, and a very small sum left for the family; and now

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