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and a goodly heritage of the host of nations? And I said, Thou shalt call me, My Father, and shalt not turn away from me.' I may then hope, that God will vouchsafe me the spirit of adoption, hrough the merits of my Redeemer, and that He will keep me in is fear and love. Oh! Miss Mortimer, this sweet hope is like fe from the dead!"
Emily's joy was too great for utterance, but she mingled her fears of gratitude and transport with those of the penitent and estored Louisa; and the rest of the evening was spent in unreerved conversation, till the supper-bell summoned Emily away, and reminded her that she had not observed Madame d'Elfort's injunctions, to keep Louisa in the most perfect state of tranquillity. She was, however, evidently better, though the excitement of her feelings had certainly produced some degree of fever.
"The entrance of thy words giveth light," and they are indeed "spirit and life," thought Emily, as she kissed her Bible with transport, on returning through her own room to the salon. An insupportable weight of anxiety had fallen from her heart; and in the happy
feeling of the moment, she forgot every other cause of uneasiness. Caroline was gone to spend a few days in the country, with a French family, with which she had become acquainted; and Emily's attention was, therefore, principally engrossed by Louisa. On entering her room the next morning she found her in tears, and Lydia and Helen, who were sitting by her bedside, appeared little less affected. Emily expressed a hope that nothing painful had occurred, and Louisa replied, that they had been conversing on the mercy of God to sinners. "Oh! Miss Mortimer!" exclaimed she, with animation, "when I think of my ingratitude to my God and Saviour, and of his wonderful love and kindness to such a vile and rebellious creature as myself, I feel quite overwhelmed by the contemplation, Only think of that pathetic invitation, 'Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings; and that blessed 19th verse,Thou shalt call me, My Father, and shalt not turn away from me.' Oh! it is too, too much!" and she wept with uncontrolled emotion.
The little party could not restrain their tears, but Emily, fearing the effect of too much excitement on the weak frame of Louisa, attempted to turn the conversation, by taking up a hymnbook, that lay upon the table. As she turned over the leaves, her eyes fell on a verse, which was so peculiarly appropriate, that she read it aloud to her young friends.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.-EXODUS XX. 8.
A CALL to breakfast now separated the young friends, and each repaired to her appointed place, round the large table in the salle à manger. Emily's seat was near Madame d'Elfort's, and that lady often addressed her conversation to her. It was Sunday, and those of the boarders who had a regular weekly allowance of pocket-money, were generally called to receive it on that morning. This allowance was often forfeited to the use of the poor, as a punishment for certain acts of disobedience, idleness, or misbehavior. The baneful effects of this practice, in nullifying the sacredness of the Sabbath, were entirely overlooked; and it was frequently followed by another almost equally reprehensible. Those young ladies who, during the week, had been guilty of any gross violations of the rules of the establishment, were sentenced to be debarred the use of their Sunday clothes and ornaments, and to wear their every-day costume, both at church and during the afternoon walk.
It is not surprising that, with such a system, the children should think of little else than money and dress. Emily's heart sickened at the thought of the Sunday morning occupations, and she was, therefore, glad when the first cathedral bell put an end to the scene and the conversation, as every one then retired to her own room to dress. As she passed through several of these rooms, to reach her own, she heard scarcely anything but questions and answers about dress, accompanied by observations and criticisms on every new article that appeared in the wardrobe of every individual. Dress, indeed, was the principal object of attention, and more especially so among the French girls. They might generally be distinguished, any other day, by the comparative meanness of their attire, and an almost universal want of neat. ness in their appearance; but on the Sunday, they were invariably tight-laced, to a distressing extreme, and their gaudy finery strikingly contrasted with the elegant simplicity of their English companions. At the sound of the second bell, they all assembled in the front garden, where each girl busied herself in displaying her own dress, and making remarks on that of her school-fellows, till they were joined by Madame d'Elfort, and one of the teachers, who conducted them to the cathedral.
The departure was a subject of great delight to the English boarders, for, as soon as their own toilet was completed, they loved to retire into the garden, and enjoy a quiet chat among them
selves, unmolested by French observation, till the clock, striking ten, gave the signal for their departure. A long and somewhat fatiguing walk awaited them, ere they reached the English place of worship, which was a small chapel, in the outskirts of the town. A respectable English woman, in indigent circumstances, was paid by Madame d'Elfort to escort them, as Miss Parker, the English teacher, did not attend. The gospel was faithfully preached. by a young clergyman, and the more serious little party found this means of grace a source of delightful refreshment. It was the only public one they were allowed during the week, for Madame d'Elfort would not hear of their going more than once on the Sunday; and they were often deprived even of this solitary privilege; for the least unpleasantness in the weather, or the slightest indication of rain, was a sufficient reason for excluding them from its enjoyment. Many an ardent wish was, therefore, breathed by all, for fine weather on the Sunday morning; though the levity and inattention of too many plainly showed that it was not spiritual improvement they sought, in this visit to the house of God.
The chapel was so small as to be incapable of containing above one-fifth part of the English residents in S. Yet it was never crowded, and only well attended on the Sunday morning; a melancholy proof of those irreligious habits, in which a great majority of them were living.
On returning home after divine service, the English pupils always dined by themselves, as the French returned from high mass about eleven, and, after an early dinner, were again taken to the cathedral, where they received catechetical instruction from the curé, or other priests of the town. The regularity of their attendance on every rite of the church was truly exemplary; and this was accounted for by Madame d'Elfort, who one day told Emily, that it was a deadly sin to be absent from mass, on any account but that of sickness-"I would, therefore," she added, "take my Catholic pupils to church, even if it were to rain stones from heaven." "Alas!" thought Emily, "how does this consci. entious discharge of every religious duty, put to shame many of those inconsistent professors, who enjoy the advantages of a purer faith!"
A quiet walk in the garden succeeded the English dinner; and they were then allowed to retire for about an hour, in order to read the evening prayers together. They, however, frequently substituted the reading of a chapter, followed by a familiar conversation on the subjects it contained. This was often a trying time to Emily, for she was then obliged to take the lead, and, while she felt her own want of instruction, was always applied to for the solution of every difficulty. However, she did not allow herself to shrink from what was evidently a duty; she implored
help and direction from above, and was enabled to state clearly her own simple views of divine truth. Too many of her companions listened with a scornful smile, or turned away with contemptuous indifference, and manifested, by their restlessness, how little pleasure they found in this unwonted occupation; but Lydia, Helen, and Louisa, showed by their incessant questions how much the subject interested their hearts; and a few others maintained an attentive silence, and seemed to search the Scriptures with pleasure, though diffidence prevented their taking a more active part. Emily felt encouraged by these symptoms, to hope that the seed might not be sown in vain. The morning sermon was generally referred to, on these occasions, and the reading of a tract, or missionary paper, occasionally served to keep up the interest of the little meeting.
But, alas! the serious impressions, which this opportunity of spiritual improvement was so well calculated to cherish, were soon most furiously assaulted, and in too many instances destroyed, by the temptations which surrounded them, on again descending to the salon. Every allurement was thrown in their way, and their principles painfully put to the test. The fruitwoman was waiting, with her tempting supplies, and a quantity of milk, cream, and other refreshments, was pressed upon them. It required no small degree of resolution, in girls of their age, to withstand all these united snares; but, if they escaped unhurt through the trial, there were others at hand which it was impossible to fly from. The sacred tranquillity of the Sabbath was exchanged for noisy and unhallowed amusements; the frivolous song, the giddy dance, the thoughtless game, the ungodly conversation, assailed them in every quarter; and the youthful heart either turned with sickening horror from the scene, or yielded to the fatal influence of levity and indifference.
The hour of six was the signal for this profane mirth to cease; but, alas! it was not succeeded by a holier employment. The young ladies were then summoned to the school-room, and required to study their lessons for the ensuing week, till the hour of eight called them down to supper. Caroline and Emily, as grandes pensionnaires, were privileged to remain in their own room; and, at their parents' particular request, Lydia and the Misses Selwyn were exempted from the necessity of study, but compelled to sit in the school-room with the others. They, therefore, employed those two hours in reading, and were always anxious for a supply of tracts, or any serious books they could procure. Miss Kennedy's beautiful little works, "The Decision," "Father Clement," and "Profession is not Principle," were very great favorites with them all, and the first, especially, seemed to make no slight impression on their minds. As Miss Douglas's health had been delicate from her infancy, her parents had, in answer to her
earnest entreaties, requested of Madame d'Elfort that she might spend her evenings in Miss Mortimer's room, as the comfort of sitting near a fire was very desirable for her weak constitution. This was a privilege which she highly appreciated, especially on the Sunday evening; and the pleasure of the little party was sometimes increased by the presence of Louisa and Lydia; for, as Emily stood high in favor with the governess and one of the teachers, she occasionally obtained the indulgence of her young friends' society.
On these delightful evenings, the joy of their hearts was indescribable; and the hours flew rapidly away, amidst the charms of familiar conversation, in which the most blessed and important truths were sweetly blended with the cheerful anticipations of youthful hope, and the endearing expressions of mutual affection.
The natural vivacity of Caroline's disposition seemed once more to have triumphed over the unaccountable gloom which had for some time obscured it. On these occasions, she was frequently the life and soul of the little circle; yet Emily painfully felt that, though cheerful in company, she was pensive and re served in private; and earnestly did she pray for grace, to wait patiently the arrival of happier days.
Thus passed the months of October and November, and the weather was now assuming a gloomier and drearier aspect. The cold was already intense, and the English girls felt it much more than the French; for, being accustomed to the warmth and comfort of well-finished houses, neat carpeted rooms, and cheerful English fire-sides, they could not but suffer much inconvenience from the almost total want of those accommodations. They shivered with cold in the midst of large, dreary rooms, the doors. and windows of which admitted constant draughts of chilling air; there was generally a large wood-fire on the hearth, but it was impossible for many to sit near it; and while the cold almost froze the vital current in their veins, they looked round on the bare boards, and desolate appearance of their apartments; listened, with shuddering sensations, to the dismal howling of the wind, along the wide, echoing passages, and through the half-decayed casement; and breathed many a sigh of regret, for the absence of those domestic comforts, which make the home of an English girl so peculiarly attractive.
The conversation of the little party in Emily's room, it may easily be supposed, frequently turned on this subject; but, though it was one on which every one spoke with peculiar feeling, none was so eloquent in her effusions as the ardent and romantic Lydia. She poured forth the overflowings of her heart, in the most im passioned language, and described, in glowing colors, the superiority and happiness of her native country, till every ear hung on her words with ecstacy, and every heart kindled with some por