JASMINE BEGINS TO SOAR.
When Primrose went home and told her sisters and Miss Egerton what she had done, Jasmine’s eyes had grown first bright, and then misty.
“To be continual reader to Mrs. Mortlock!” she exclaimed. “Oh, Primrose, it is an act of self-denial to you—it is, isn’t it? Own at once that you were very brave to do it, darling.”
“I don’t think so,” said Primrose; “there may be a certain little amount of drudgery in it, and perhaps I would rather have orders to paint beautiful roses and lilies on china plates, but you see, Jasmine, this work has been sent to me—I think God sent it, and I must not refuse it because perhaps I would like something else better.”
“That’s bravely spoken, Primrose,” said Miss Egerton who was sitting by, for she often spent odd half-hours with the girls. “Look at everything in the same spirit, my love; try to see God’s hand in all the little events, and you will have a brave life and a happy one.”
“And a successful, I hope,” added Jasmine. “Miss Egerton, how awful it would be if we girls were to fail!”
“My Prince says,” here interrupted Daisy, “that whenever we do a good thing and a right thing, we bring something fresh and lovely into our Palace Beautiful. Isn’t it nice to think that dear old Primrose has done this?”
“The money, too, will be of great help,” added Primrose. “Why, Jasmine, we may even be able to save a little.”
Thus encouraged, Primrose commenced her duties, and though her throat ached—and she certainly found the continual reading of politics, interspersed with very sharp discussions on the part of Mrs. Mortlock, anything but agreeable—she did not give way.
Miss Egerton was pleased to see Primrose so bright, and was glad to know she was really earning something; and Jasmine and Daisy prepared the cheeriest welcomes possible for her evening after evening on her return.
Jasmine, however, by no means intended Primrose to be the only one who was to bring assistance to the household purse.
Jasmine knew that they had all come up to London on purpose to be educated, or to educate themselves, sufficiently to earn their livings. She considered that six months’ experience of the ups and downs of London life might bear fruit in her case as well as in her sister’s.
Jasmine was supposed to be having her style formed by Miss Egerton’s daily tuitions, but Miss Egerton’s words of encouragement over her pupil’s productions were decidedly meagre; and Jasmine, though she loved her, had long ago confided to Daisy that she considered Miss Egerton’s manner had a damping effect on enthusiasm.
One bitterly cold March day Jasmine had been sitting for hours scribbling away at her novel. Daisy petted the cat, looked over some well-known picture-books, and finally sank back into the recesses of one of the most comfortable chairs in the room and began to think about the Prince.