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had shielded her from this premature development, understood instinctively, and grieved for Cornelia, showing it in the way most grateful to the child's feelings, by sedulously and unobtrusively guarding her from all remarks or direct condolence.
Little Helen devoted herself to Milly, whose more mercurial temperament exhibited itself in passionate bursts of grief; and when all Helen's caresses and consolations failed, she would come to her mother, sobbing in her excess of sympathy, and beg her to take Milly on her lap, and tell her of the beautiful home her mamma had been taken to, and how she should go to her s me day.
Thus out of this grief a fervent love grew up between the children, fostered by Mrs. Sumner's watchful care.
Cornelia and Milly had already learned to love their new guardians, and in regard to their adoption they felt but one anxiety, caused, like most of the cares of children, by the thoughtless speech of an older person.
“ Poor little dears !" said Biddy's neighbor; “ but they'll soon get over it, when they've a new papa and mamma.”
“Nela,” said Milly, softly, “they won't want us to call them father and mother, will they? I can't ever, ever do it,”—and a burst of tears concluded the sentence.
Nela felt like crying, too, for she had heard about adopted children, and her mother had told them of their duties to their new friends
; yet she, like Milly, felt that she could never give these dear names to others.
But although so quiet, she was very resolute and straightforward; so, after a few days, she determined to tell Mrs. Sumner what she feared, and to ask her wishes.
She came and stood by the work-table for a while in silence, with a sort of vague apprehension, and a doubt as to whether she were right or not.
“Please, ma'am,” she began, and stopped.
“What is it, dear?” said Mrs. Sumner, looking up: but she saw by the pale gravity of the
little face, and the firm lips, that something was the matter, and she drew the child to her with a kiss, and a close, loving pressure, that stilled the troubled heart at once.
“Please, ma'am, what do you wish Milly and me to call you ?"
The tremulous tone and anxious glance revealed her fears to Mrs. Sumner's quick penetration, and lifting Nela on her lap, she said cheerfully, to hide her own feeling
“ Would you like to call me aunt Amy, dear, as my little nieces do ?”
Cornelia drew a deep sigh of relief, and threw her arms around Mrs. Sumner's neck, saying:
“ Very much, indeed, dear aunt Amy;" and a fervent kiss showed that she knew she was understood, and was grateful; and ere long it was hard to say which of her four girls loved Mrs. Sumner most dearly.
As may be imagined, the Sumners and Mrs. Lyndsay educated their children on diametrically opposite principles. We say Mrs. Lyndsay, for, as she assured her sister-in-law, her husband had too many queer notions to be fit to have any voice in the training of a fashionable woman, and she would not suffer him to place any of his whims in the way of her girls' future prospects.
One day the two ladies were at work in Mrs. Sumner's parlor, when Marion entered hastily on some message from her father. Her dress was entirely covered by a sort of large, loose pinafore, with long sleeves, closed at the wrist, giving her such a droll appearance as to cause her aunt to exclaim,“ Why, Marion! what are you about, to make yourself such a figure ?"
“I beg your pardon, aunty," said she, gayly, “for coming before you such a figure, but I am. helping father in the laboratory, and this is my working apron."
“Helping, child ?-hindering, you mean. I fancy you will blow yourself up, there."
Marion laughed, and having obtained what she came for, went away, while Mrs. Lyndsay said :
“That child does not really go into the laboratory, does she ?"
“Yes,” said her mother," and she is really useful to her father; she has an extraordinary talent for chemistry, and he takes great delight in teaching her.”
“How absurd ! what good can it do her?”
“Much, I think. It expands her mind, and gives her a rational source of amusement, instead of the means of wasting time, that most girls seem to seek.”
“ And in the meantime, what becomes of her education ? I never hear her play or sing."
“Because she does not learn music; she has no voice, and no talent for music. She likes to hear it, but that is all.”
“And so you only let them learn what they like?"
“Not exactly that,” said Mrs. Sumner, smiling. “We are giving them a thorough education in the English branches—history, geography, arithmetic, etc. They must learn