The cousins embraced; and in a few minutes the Fairy had disappeared in the distance. Madeline lingered awhile at the casement, thinking tenderly of the gentle-hearted Fairy, and watching the horizon. At last the outline of the Fairy’s home appeared clear and bright against the dark blue heaven, and then subsided gently by degrees. And Madeline closed the window, grateful and happy, and went after her boy. But she had not far to go; for he was coming along the passages with all his brothers and sisters, wild with delight. And oh, how Roderick chattered and talked about all their faces, and how he loved to see the fat cheeks of one near his own age, and how some had grown, and their noses improved, and what beautiful curls another had! In short, if he had gone on long they would all have got quite conceited and fancy, and fancied themselves a set of downright beauties. But you see it was love that made poor Roderick admire them all so much; and, above all, he was charmed when they smiled. Ah, how little do brothers and sisters know how tender their recollections of each others’ faces would become, were a separation to take place among them! Then all the sweet smiles and pretty looks would be recalled, that in every day life are seen with such indifference. “Little children, love one another,” during the happy days when you live together in health and comfort.
Can you guess, dear readers, what a joyous evening it was, that day at the Sea Castle Home? How the poor Father rejoiced, and how the old Hall was lighted up for the Servants, to share in the joy by a merry dance; and how all the children danced too; and how a barrel of good ale was tapped, for every one to drink to the health and happiness of Master Roderick, and all the family. But you never can guess how Roderick teased all his brothers and sisters that evening, by constantly kissing them. In the midst of a country dance he would run right across to the ladies, when he ought to be standing still and polite, and kiss two or three of his sisters as they were waiting to dance in their turn, and tell them how nice they looked! Or he would actually run right away from his place, to his Papa and Mamma;—jump on their knees, and hug them very hard, and then run back again, perhaps, into the middle of the dance, and put every thing into confusion. But the happiest scene of all was, when the Father and Mother thanked God that night for the blessing that had returned to their little boy.
And do not ask me, I beg, if he ever was afraid of being in the dark again. No, dear Readers, his temporary misfortune had taught him the best of all lessons;—A LIVING FAITH AND TRUST IN THE PROTECTING OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD.
PREAMBLE (FROM LIFE.)
Van Artevelde. These are but words. Elena.
My lord, they’re full of meaning!