’But Louis has promised to come at Easter, and he will teach me a little more charity, I hope; and, what is better (no, I don’t mean that), will tell me about the dear, dear, trebly dear Terrace and all the doings. I hope you will begin your Sunday scheme; but granny fears the bad set will not care, and the good will prefer having their families together. It is worse than I expected even of Mr. Purvis to refuse the afternoon service, when you offered to take all the trouble off hishands; granny hopes you will take care what you are about with him. Tell Louis we have a famous letter from Mary to show him if he will bring us all news of every one, and especially of his godchild. Contrary to custom, you tell us more about her than her mamma does.
Before Easter, Charlotte’s poor rival was lying at rest in Cheveleigh churchyard, and Jane’s task of love was at an end.
AUNT CATHARINE’S HOME.
The lady sleeps—O may her sleep,
As it is lasting, so be deep!
Heaven have her in its sacred keep!
This bed being changed for one more holy,
This room for one more melancholy,
Some tomb, that oft hath flung its black
And wing-like panels fluttering back,
Triumphant o’er the fluttering palls
Of her grand family funerals.
E. A. Poe.
The summer was nearly over, when, one morning at breakfast, Louis surprised his father by a sound, half consternation, half amusement, and handed him a note, containing these words:—
’Dear F.,—There were three of
us last night; there are five this morning.
Isabel and the twins are doing well. Heaven knows
what is to become of us!
‘Yours, J. F.’
‘What would you have?’ said Lord Ormersfield, calmly. ’The poorer people are, the more children they have!’
He went on with his own letters, while Louis laughed at the enunciation of this inverse ratio; and then took up the note again, to wonder at the tone of anxiety and distress, so unlike James. He went to call on Lady Conway, and was better satisfied to find that James had written in a lively strain to her, as if proud of his little daughters, and resolved not to be pitied. Of this he was in no danger from his sisters-in-law, who looked upon twin-girls as the only blessing needed to complete Isabel’s felicity, had devised three dozen names for them, and longed to be invited to Northwold to see them.