“Tell me a story,” said Benny, resting his arms on my lap, “a story about when you were a little girl.”
“Oh, Benny, that wouldn’t make a pretty story.”
“Oh, yes, it would: all about your mamma and the house you used to live in, and the children you used to go to see.”
“Dear Benny! I never lived in but one old, dismal house. I never went to play with any children. I could not make a story out of that.”
“But your mamma. O yes, I’m sure you could if you tried very hard.”
“Ah, Benny! that’s the worst of all. For my mamma has been with God and the good angels in the sky, ever since I was a little baby, and I have had a dreary time without her here alone.”
“Then I think you might tell me about God and the good angels,” whispered Benny, getting closer to me.
I wrapped my arms around him, and leaning my face down upon his yellow curls, told him a story of God and the good angels in the sky.
Dear little Benny! I always loved him from that night. He cried over my story: that I suppose wins everybody’s heart: and we went together, looking at the placid river and the pale blue firmament, very far into the paradise of faith. My tears dropped upon his upturned face; and when the stars came out, and we were told it was time to go back to the house, we went back hand in hand, firm friends for all life from that Sunday night.
“There is Mr. Langenau,” said Benny; “waiting for you, I should think.”
Mr. Langenau was waiting for me at the piazza steps. He fixed his eyes on mine as if waiting for my permission to speak again. But I fastened my eyes upon the ground, and holding Benny tightly by the hand, went on into the house.
It is impossible to love and to be wise.
Niente piu tosto se secca che lagrime.
“This is what we must do about it,” said Kilian, as we sat around the breakfast-table. “If you are still in a humor for the dance to-night, I will order Tom and Jerry to be brought up at once, and Miss Pauline and I will go out and deliver all the invitations.”
“Of which there are about five,” said Charlotte Benson. “You can spare Tom and Jerry and send a small boy.”
“But what if I had rather go myself?” he said, “and Miss Pauline needs the air. Now there are—let me see,” and he began to count up the dancing inhabitants of the neighborhood.
“Will you write notes or shall we leave a verbal message at each door?”
“Oh leave a verbal message by all means,” said Charlotte Benson, a little sharply. “It won’t be quite en regle, as Miss d’Estree doesn’t know the people, but so unconventional and fresh.”
“I do know them,” I retorted, much annoyed, “conventionally at least: for they have all called upon me, though I didn’t see them all. But I shall be very glad if you will take my place.”