Madelaine arranged the little room with the greatest care and neatness. She then washed and dressed herself. Gladly would she have done the same for her brother, but the doctor had forbidden anything which would cause him the least excitement. Nine o’clock was the hour fixed for the operation: at six Madelaine was ready. She then joined with her mother (for Raphael still slept) in earnest prayer, for God’s blessing on the work about to be done. After these fervent supplications, Madelaine asked her mother’s permission to go to the fields to gather a bouquet of wild flowers. She returned some time before the doctor arrived. He entered the room as the clock struck nine, accompanied by an assistant, their appearance produced some agitation in the family; but the doctor entered into conversation on indifferent subjects for a while, before he spoke of the object of his visit.
He then said, “My dear friends, I do not know whether I can entirely fulfil my promise of operating on this little boy’s eyes to-day. I must first try whether he will remain still when the instrument touches his eyes. Come then, my little fellow, be firm.” He led Raphael to the window, and desiring him to open his eyes wide, asked, “Does that hurt you?” as he passed the instrument across his eye.
“Not at all,” replied Raphael.
“That is well,” rejoined the doctor. Then calling his assistant to him, they commenced the operation; after a considerable time, during which Madame Tube and Madelaine suffered intense anxiety, Raphael suddenly cried out. “Why did you cry out?” asked the doctor calmly, as he covered the eye, “it is impossible that could hurt you.”
“It did not exactly hurt me,” answered Raphael, in a trembling voice, “but it felt in my eye as if—” He stopped and tried in vain to express what he felt. “I understand,” said the doctor, “and I am satisfied by this that the operation will succeed. We will now leave you to rest until to-morrow.” Then giving strict orders to Madame Tube that the covering should not be removed from the eye, the doctor took his leave, expressing at the same time every hope of the happy termination of the operation.
At the appointed hour next day the doctor arrived, and completed the operation; then having the room very much darkened, he permitted the covering to be removed, when Raphael exclaimed in delight, “Oh! I see many things, many things.”
The impression which these words produced on his mother and sister, was inexpressible. With cries of joy they rushed towards him, saying, “God be praised! God be praised!”
“My son, my son, thou art doubly given to me,” ejaculated his mother, sobbing.
“Are you my dearest mother?” asked Raphael, as she folded him in her arms. “Now at last I shall learn to know your dear features.”
“Raphael, Raphael,” said Madelaine, sadly, “have you quite forgotten me? let me at least see your eyes that are no longer dead.” He turned quickly towards her, and both wept for joy in each other’s arms.