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which others cannot guess, and advancing, I hope, on our course through many battles, to a triumph even here. Do you suppose I have no trials, no temptations, no dark errors of my own ?
Mrs. Sackville came in again, smiling.
• What is to be done, Miss Desborough? The horses are at the door; shall they be ordered back again for half an hour, or will you content yourself with only my society, and let Eve go?
Most certainly,' Jane answered; and so they went down, and she held the whip while Eve mounted, and lent a skilful hand to the adjustment of her habit.
She is a good friend to you,' remarked Mr. Sackville, warmly.
It was a pleasant ride. The horse went well, and Mr. Sackville was in his most agreeable mood. Then the country was so fresh and beautiful; the scorching summer sun had not yet told upon the foliage, although the very latest leaf was unfurled and shaken to the wind. Eyes, blue, golden, and white, glanced up at them from every bank; and once or twice their course lay through woods, carpeted by wild flowers.
"I think there are no woods like the Kentish woods for the multitude of flowers, said Eve, enthusiastically, all the pride of her native county kindling in her cheek.
Mr. Sackville smiled.
you must allow that your experience has not been
.' No, I have travelled so little. Oh! Mr. Sackville, how much I should like to see more of the world ; to go abroad, to leave all that behind me'—and she pointed backward in the direction of her home. "To change the scene, to hear new tongues, and see new people. What happiness it would be !'
Pleasure, perhaps, but by no means happiness. Don't desecrate my favourite term by such an application. It may be amusing, it may be instructive to travel ; it is healthfulbut happiness is of home growth. True happiness can exist in a very contracted arena, and is independent of wet days and bad roads.'
It was easy to talk thus, Eve thought, but did not venture to remark more than
Oh! then, you don't admit that outward circumstances have anything to do with happiness. Miss Desborough is of that opinion;
but as I have not a superior mind, I cannot help being depressed by poverty, monotony, and the hundred and one trivial occupations, and stinging vexations of life-of such a life as ours, for instance.'
My dear Eve, if I were to lecture you till midnight upon the impropriety of such feelings, I fear I should make no impression upon you. Experience must teach that lesson, and will do it only too surely. I wish it may not prove that you will yet look back upon this period as your happiest.'
Oh! Mr. Sackville, do you think I shall never be happier than I am ? Then is life worth having ?'
'Do you suppose, then, that we live only in order to be happy ?'
Eve considered, blushed, and shook her head.
'It was very wrong of me; but then, you know, besides improving and all that sort of thing, I should like to be a little happy as well.'
'I see you think growing good quite the reverse of growing happy. Don't you allow that the one may often depend upon the other?'
* Now, Mr. Sackville, a case in point. Miss
Desborough is very good. I never heard any one find fault with her, except mamma, who says she is fanatical; but at all events, you do not agree with mamma, and I am sure you call her very good. Now, is she happy ?'
Mr. Sackville adjusted his stirrup, paused, and then asked
What is your own opinion on the subject ?
'I am not quite certain.'
'She is very cheerful,' suggested Mr. Sackville.
'Ah! yes; but then I am cheerful too, and yet
'No, Eve, you are not cheerful, you are gay.'
After all,' said Eve, meditatively, 'I incline to believe that she is not happy.'
'She met in early life with a heavy affliction, which has prevented her from forming those ties which have so much to do with happiness. That loss must be ever present with her. And she has, in her care of Mr. Carisbroke, no ordinary task-one which is never-ceasing—a constant, wearing call upon her tenderness, attention, patience, and forbearance; and I think it is harder to have those last qualities severely taxed than anything else in the world. Many could be generous, and enrich their friends with the gift of their whole fortune ; many could be heroic, and sacrifice life for those they love ; but how few can well offer up the daily, hourly sacrifices of self implied in vigilance, in gentle answers to querulous demands, smiles to fretful complaints, and cheerful submission to unjust exactions.'
• Then she is not happy?'
Perhaps not. But then she is happier than others would be in her place. There is more than forced gaiety in her manner. Go when you will, there is a calm, placid, sweet serenity about her; I will tell you, Eve, what it often reminds me of the peace of God which passes all understanding. Oh! Eve, could we in her place share that peace? Would it not be better to have that peace than all the joys of those who call themselves 'happy?"
Eve was awed by his manner, and rather impressed by his words, but not permanently, for her mind went off upon another track, and thought of Miss Desborough's wealth, and whether that was no consolation. Also whether it was such a great merit in Jane to be so charitable and liberal, seeing that she had so