She talked with a new fervour to the children of the birds and flowers, and all the fair things they loved, as the gifts of their Father in Heaven; and when she gathered them round the large pictured Bible, it was to the Gospel that she turned as she strove to draw their souls to the appreciation of the Redeeming Love there shown. She saw in Fay’s deep eyes and thoughtful brow that the child was taking it in, though differently from Amy, who wanted to kiss the picture, while Letty asked those babyish material questions about Heaven that puzzle wiser heads than Aurelia’s to answer.
So full was she of the thought, that she forgot her sense of something strange and unaccountable in Mr. Belamour’s manner before the evening, nor was there anything to remind her of it afresh, for he was as calmly grave and kindly courteous as ever; and he soon led her to pour forth all her impressions of the day. Indeed she repeated to him great part of the sermon, with a voice quivering with earnestness and emotion. He was not stirred in the same way as she had been, saying in his pensive meditative way, “The preacher is right. Love is life. The misfortune is when we stake our all on one love alone, and that melts from us. Then indeed there is death—living death!”
“But there is never-failing love, and new life that never dies!” cried Aurelia, almost transported out of herself.
“May you ever keep hold of both unobscured, my sweet child,” he returned, with a sadness that repressed and drove her back into herself again, feeling far too childish and unworthy to help him to that new life and love; though her young heart yearned over him in his desolation, and her soul was full of supplication for him.
CHAPTER XIV. THE CANON OF WINDSOR.
Turn, gentle hermit of the dale.—GOLDSMITH.
“My child, will you do me a favour?” said Mr. Belamour the next evening, in a tone no longer formal, but paternal. “Take this packet” (he put one into the girl’s hand) “to the light and inform me what is the superscription.”
It was a thick letter, with a large red wax seal, bearing the well known arms of Belamour and Delavie, and the address was
To AMYAS BELAMOUR, ESQ., K.C.,
OF THE INNER TEMPLE, LONDON.
To be opened after my death.]
Dec. 14th, 1727.