Turning to me my uncle said,—
“Will you go, my dear child, and make bright the home of your aged uncle?”
I was about to give a joyful assent, when the thought of the kind uncle and aunt I must leave, caused me to hesitate. It seemed to me that they possessed a claim upon my affections superior to any other, and I was at a loss to decide as to what was my duty. I therefore remained silent, not knowing what reply to make. Observing my hesitation, my uncle Wayland said,—
“Lonely as we shall be without you, my dear Clara, I yet think it your duty to go with your uncle Charles, who is still more lonely than we. We must not be selfish; and I think we should feel willing to give you up.”
I was much relieved to know that my uncle and aunt Wayland were willing that I should go, although I well knew their willingness was caused by what they considered my duty to my aged relative.
Till I prepared to leave my uncle and aunt, I knew not how tenderly I had learned to love them. I resigned my school at Mill Town, with much sorrow, for I had become strongly attached to my pupils. As my uncle and aunt tenderly embraced me at parting, my uncle said, while the tears coursed down his furrowed cheeks,—
“Remember, dear Clara, there will ever be for you a daughter’s welcome, both in our hearts and home.”
LIGHTS AND SHADOWS.
I was agitated by many contending emotions as I alighted from the train which had borne me to Philadelphia; but, along with many sad thoughts, came the consoling one, that I had not returned to my native city the friendless being I had left it.
We stayed for a short time with my old friends, the Burnsides, while my uncle attended to the business of buying and furnishing a suitable residence. Before removing to our home, my uncle engaged Mrs. Burnside to find a person suitable to occupy the position of housekeeper in his dwelling. It immediately occurred to Mrs. Burnside that my old friend, Mrs. O’Flaherty, would be well qualified for that position. She had remained in the service of Mrs. Wallingford since the time when I first introduced her to the reader; but, fortunately for us, Mr. Wallingford was about removing his family to a distant State, and they would no longer require her services. Mrs. O’Flaherty was overjoyed when she learned that she was to reside with me. When I, in company with Mrs. Burnside, called to make the necessary arrangements for her removal to her new home, I could hardly believe that the tidy, well dressed matron I saw could be the same poor woman to whom I had given food when hungry and destitute.
“Indade,” exclaimed Mrs. O’Flaherty, “an’ I niver expected to see the happy day whin I would live wid you in a home av yer own.”
The matter was soon arranged, and an early day appointed for her to commence her duties as housekeeper in the dwelling of my uncle.