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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about The Last of the Foresters.

CHAPTER XXXII.

AN OLD BIBLE.

On the morning of the day upon which the events we have just related occurred, little Redbud was sitting at her window, reading by the red light of sunrise.

If anything is beautiful in this world, assuredly it is the fresh, innocent face of a child, flooded with the deep gold of sunrise, and with cheeks still bathed in the delicate rose-bloom of slumber.

Morning and childhood go together, as all things pure, and fresh, and tender do; and in the face of the child, sitting there in the quiet morning, an imaginative mind might have discerned, without difficulty, more than one point of resemblance.  The dews sparkling like diamonds on the emerald grasses, were not brighter or fresher than her eyes;—­the merry breeze might have been gayer, but had not half as much thoughtful joy and tenderness as her gentle laugh;—­the rosy flush of morning, with all its golden splendor, as of fair Aurora rising to her throne, was not more fair than the delicate cheek.

In a single word, Miss Redbud—­about whom we always grow extravagant—­was a worthy portion of the bright, fresh morning; and the hardest-hearted individual who ever laughed at childhood, and innocence and joy, (and there are some, God help them,) would have thought the place and time more cheerful and inspiring for her presence.

Redbud had been reading from a book which lay upon the window-sill.  The idle breeze turned over the leaves carelessly as though, like a child, it were looking for pictures; and the words, “From dear Mamma,” were seen upon the fly-leaf—­in the rough uncouth characters of childhood.

This was Redbud’s Bible—­and she had been reading it; and had raised her happy eyes from the black heavy letters, to the waving variegated trees and the bright sunrise, overwhelming them with its flush of gold.  Redbud was clad, as usual, very simply—­her hair brushed back, and secured, after the fashion of the time, with a bow of ribbon—­her arms bare to the elbow, with heavy falling sleeves—­her neck surrounded with a simple line of lace.  Around her neck she wore the coral necklace we have seen her purchase.

The girl gazed for some moments at the crimson and yellow trees, on which a murmurous laughter of mocking winds arose, at times, and rustled on, and died away into the psithurisma of Theocritus; and the songs of the oriole and mocking-bird fluttering among the ripe fruit, or waving up into the sky, brought a pleasant smile to her lips.  The lark, too, was pouring from the clouds, where he circled and flickered like a ball of light, the glory of his song; and from an old, dead oak, which raised its straight trunk just without the garden, came the quick rattle of the woodpecker’s bill, or the scream of that red-winged drummer, as he darted off, playing and screaming, with his fellows.

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