As the daughter parted from the strange young girl, she bent down and kissed her hand; then looking up into her face, with tearful eyes, she whispered for her ears alone,—
“I am punished, and you are vindicated. O, let your heart forgive me!”
“It was God whom you offended,” was whispered back. “Get his forgiveness, and all will be right. You have mine, and also the prayer of my heart that you may be good and wise, for only such are happy.”
The humbled girl grasped her hand tightly, and murmured, “I shall never forget you—never!”
Nor did she. If the direct offer of her father was declined, indirect benefits reached, through her means, the lonely log cottage, where everything in time put on a new and pleasant aspect, wind the surroundings of the gentle spirit that presides there were more in agreement with her true internal quality. To the thoughtless young couple the incidents of that day were a life-lesson that never passed entirely from their remembrance. They obtained a glance below the surface of things that surprised them, learning that, even in the humblest, there may be hearts in the right places—warm with pure feelings, and inspired by the noblest sentiments of humanity; and that highly as they esteem themselves on account of their position, there was one, at least, standing below them so far as external advantages were concerned, who was their superior in all the higher qualities that go to make up the real lady and gentleman.
Other people’s eyes.
“Our parlor carpet is beginning to look real shabby,” said Mrs. Cartwright. “I declare! if I don’t feel right down ashamed of it, every time a visitor, who is anybody, calls in to see me.”
“A new one will cost—”
The husband of Mrs. Cartwright, a good-natured, compliant man, who was never better pleased than when he could please his wife, paused to let her finish the sentence, which she did promptly, by saying,—
“Only forty dollars. I’ve counted it all up. It will take thirty-six yards. I saw a beautiful piece at Martin’s—just the thing—at one dollar a yard. Binding, and other little matters, won’t go beyond three or four dollars, and I can make it myself, you know.”
“Only forty dollars! Mr. Cartwright glanced down at the carpet which had decorated the floor of their little parlor for nearly five years. It had a pleasant look in his eyes, for it was associated with many pleasant memories. Only forty dollars for a new one! If the cost were only five, instead of forty, the inclination to banish this old friend to an out-of-the-way chamber would have been no stronger in the mind of Mr. Cartwright. But forty dollars was an item in the calculation, and to Mr. Cartwright a serious one. Every year he was finding it harder to meet the gradually increasing demand upon his purse; for there was a steadily progressive enlargement of his family, and year after year the cost of living advanced. He was thinking of this when his wife said,—