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The old gentleman continued in the same even course: he was quiet and happy, for gossip had nothing whereon to feed; and, that annoyance ended, the world had not a sorrow for him. Every evening, after his labors in the school, or on his little farm, he sat under the patriarchal elm, or by the blazing fire in his library, and his bright-eyed daughter was never away from his side.
OUR P A T IS DIV ID E.'
All things are changing, even thou!
I fondly hoped we might elude
In this our last vicissitude,
A tide which thou couldst ne'er control
And sweep my image from thy soul:
And, ever waking in my breast,
Which mournfully I hushed to rest;
With any grief, and came to thee,
The burden which was laid on me,
Beyond the reach of words, thy face
And gave the shadow life and grace:
E'en now thy spirit seems to grieve,
The change itself can scarce believe:
Whose brightness we should else forget,
Of Indian Summer, round us yet:
Mother,' said Lottie May, my head aches, and feels very, very warm. What can be the matter ?'
• You are feverish, love, and require rest.'
So Mrs. May gave her child soine herb-tea, and placed her in her little bed.
In the night, the mother was awakened by a little groan, and lay and listened half unconsciously for a few moments; then she heard the groan again.
* It's Lottie,' she said to herself; and springing softly from her bed, for fear of disturbing the child, she stepped to the side of its bed and whispered :
‘My head hurts me a little, mother;' and she groaned again as she clasped her hot hands over her soft, brown hair. · Will you give me some water, mother?'
Mrs. May's hand trembled so that she could hardly pour out the water.;
but Lottie could not lift herself up to drink it, and the mother held her ; then she lit the gas.
• My God!' she exclaimed to herself, as she saw the red and purple cheeks, the large dark eyes, now larger than ever, and bloodshot; the vacant, wild look, and the little hands clasped tightly on the top of her head.
* Lottie ! Lottie! Charlotte !' said Mrs. May; but Lottie did not answer for some moments; then she opened her eyes suddenly, more widely than ever, and said :
'Oh, mother, I've seen an angel, and its face was like there were two great wings, and glory all round it, mother; and it called, Lottie, Lottie, Lottie.'
Mrs. May trembled again, but she did not show it, or change her countenance before her child.
Then she rang the bell for her maid, and told her to call John, and send him for Dr. Mason immediately; then she bathed the little sufferer in cold water, and laid her on the bed again until the Doctor came.
• When was she taken, Mrs. May ?' said Dr. Mason.
“She went to bed feverish ; I was awakened an hour ago by the child's groans, and found her so.' • What have
done?' * Bathed her in cold water; that is all.'
‘All wrong,' said the Doctor; and he felt her pulse, gave her some calomel, told Mrs. May to keep her very warm, and the windows closed, and went home again, wondering why people would get sick at night, he did so hate night-practice; or if they must be sick, why could they not wait until morning to be treated.
Lottie lay in an unquiet doze, and Mrs. May sat by her side all the long night." Oh, how her heart yearned for her child! and she prayed silently that the flower might not be gathered from her; indeed, she never knew how much she loved her little idol until now, when the shadow of Death loomed up like a black cloud on the horizon of her imagination, at which she looked with sickening anxiety. Would it bring thunder, and lightning, and destruction, or pass on with but a genial shower, leaving fresh greenness and life in its path? Was it the shadow of Death, or did the all-devouring tyrant himself hover near ? And she grasped the child's hand, as she thought of the angel's calling, *Lottie, Lottie, Lottie,' as if she would so keep Heaven from taking away her treasure; and in the long night-watches it recurred again and again; and each time her heart ceased to beat, a feeling of dread and awe overpowered her, and a tremor passed over her frame like the feeling from sudden fright in the darkness; yet apart from her child there was no fear in that mother's heart: she felt that she could part with life itself to save her little one. At last the long, weary, desolate night had gone,
and the sun shone into the room fitfully as the clouds passed over it.
Lottie opened her eyes, and looked up at her mother, and at the sunshine, and put her arms round her mother's neck, and said, in a low, weak, gentle voice :
• What's the matter, mother! You look so sick! I'm not ill now, mother; my headache's gone.' Then she looked up at the sun again and said : Mother, I'll get up now. The mother's heart beat wildly with hope as she spoke, but the child could not move.
* But, mother, I'm better, a great deal better ; I'm only a little sick. Kiss me, mother. I saw you by my bed last night, but could n't speak then.
She breathed harder from the effort she had made, and lay perfectly still
, except her large eyes, which followed every movement of her mother about the room.
Then Dr. Jones came, and shrugged his shoulders at what had been done, though he declined interfering, but Mrs. May insisted, and called in old Dr. Armour, the friend of her father's youth also; and the three doctors met and consulted’ about the poor girl.
And Lottie was sometimes worse, and at others better; and at times she knew no one, not even her poor mother. It almost broke her heart to see the child stare at her so vacantly, and say such strange things. Then her eyes would change, and she would look up in her mother's face and smile, and be again her own dear Lottie.
In this manner two solemn, sad, and weary days of hope deferred passed away, and Lottie grew weaker and weaker.
Mrs. May sat by the side of her sleeping child hour after hour, and gazed at the shrunken hands, and rough crimson cheeks, and listened to her deep breathing, every breath of which seemed like a groan. Oh, how freely would she have given her life to bring back the hue of health to those fevered cheeks! She took up her embroidery, to try and wile away an hour of this torturing uncertainty, but the needle trembled in her hand, for the work itself was a seat for Lottie's little chair; she could not make a stitch. Then she took up her favorite author, but the letters seemed blurred; she could not distinguish a word; her pen to write, but the tears fell and mixed with the ink — emblem of her fast-coming black despair. Then she knelt by the couch of her child to pray, but she could not; her prayers were the 'groanings which cannot be uttered;' and she arose and went to the window, and looked up towards the sun, but there were clouds over the sky; it seemed as if there were clouds over the sunshine always now. In the street she saw Dr. Jones' and Dr. Mason's gigs approaching; but she left the room, for she began to lose faith in them, and went into the garden, where there was more air to breathe; she sometimes thought she would choke in the rooms, they seemed so small now.
When she came back, Dr. Armour was there also.
• Dr. Armour,' said Mrs. May, with an appealing yet firm look,' will my child die?' ** Heaven grant she may not!'
'Doctor, I have steeled my heart to bear even her death. child die?' And her look became more firm and grave, but she held her hand tightly over her heart.
'I am not omniscient, Madam ; your own feelings probably tell you as much as all my science can. I fear the worst.?