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doctor; but no one could mistake them; he looks like a boy. Mr. Ware has a fine brow and head. I am sure you could not fail to notice him. He will call tomorrow for an interview; and now, dear Charlotte, I want you to go to your room, and take all this into prayerful consideration. Remember that all your life has been spent in preparing for this work, and that this chance is just what your friends wish. You would probably never have so good a one again. Think of all this, dear Charlotte, and God bless you."
In her room that night, after Hattie had sobbed herself to sleep, Lota sat alone fighting her battle. All that Miss Usher said was true; this was the very chance for which she had been educating herself. Here was a good man asking her help; all her friends would expect it of her; and yet a voice within cried out importunately, how could she, how could she do it?
Pale and spent after her sleepless night, she entered the parlor for the dreaded interview. The tête-à-tête had been so formidable in idea that it was a relief to see that Mr. Ware was not alone; his cousin accompanied him. Something in the trepidation of the young missionary's manner suggested that he too had experienced his qualms of apprehension, and had resorted to this means of lessening the embarrassment.
White and drooping, Lota sat on the sofa while Mr. Ware detailed his plans: the scheme of his teaching, the date of his sailing, his need of a helpmate, and, with great awkwardness, his desire that the young lady before him should assume that position. Something he said of respect and attachment; but it sounded formal, and did not reassure Lota's chilled and frightened heart. Formal, too, was her answer, faltered forth with great difficulty. She thanked him for his proposal; it was her wish to be useful; she requested time for reflection. A fortnight was named; a day fixed on which Mr. Ware should return for his answer. Her cold hand was shakentwo shakes, very different in character; they were gone, and all this time Mr.
Ware's cousin had not uttered one word; and yet it seemed to Lota as if he had talked continually; so full had his eyes been of warning, regret, concern, and something else; something indefinable, the recollection of which made her cheeks tingle and heart throb; and yet what was it? Was it this at all?
The two weeks were full of trial. Mrs. Sawyer and Uncle Hardman wrote and were written to. Miss Usher calmly took things for granted. All the girls in school knew that Lota Page was going to be married, and accept the Chinese mission. One and all treated the matter as fixed and unalterable.
Conscience, traditional ideas, all the tendencies of her life fought against her; and neither help nor hope appeared to strengthen the instinct that struggled within, and which she feared was sin. Poor Hattie, the only ally of this meekness, was so worn out with lamentations and objurgations, that she was an hourly inconvenience. Exhausted by the struggle, she at last gave way; and when the day came on which Mr. Ware was to learn her decision, she had resolved to accept the verdict of others, and to go.
The stage was due at ten in the morning. Excused from school-duties, Lota wandered into the garden, now full of the dewy fragrance and freshness of June. The air blew on her hot cheeks in soft puffs, bringing sweet smells of hayfields and flowers. Seated in the shade on a garden-bench, she heard the coach roll up the street, heard the gate click, the bell ring, then, escorted by the maid, a gentleman issued from the side-door and approached her. With a great effort she raised her eyes as he drew near; it was not Mr. Ware, but his cousin!
"I am come on a singular and embarrassing errand," he said, after pausing a little. "It is best to be frank, Miss Page. My cousin is prevented from being here to-day by some hindrances in the way of business; and he has asked me to receive from you the answer to his proposal of a fortnight ago. I feel the impropriety of this-and your an
noyance. Nothing would have induced me to accept this commission, except—” he paused again in greater embarrassment than ever.
He looked more distressed and troubled by a good deal than Lota felt. So completely business-like was their relation to her mind, that it did not occur to her to be mortified. It certainly was a cool proceeding for a man in love to depute his first cousin to get the answer upon which all his hopes hung; but in this case the situation certainly had its advantages! It is not impossible that Mr. Ware might have devolved many of the duties of a lover upon another without risking any great ire on Lota's part. Set at ease herself by her companion's evident discomfiture, she pointed to the seat beside her and said gently, "Please sit down, Dr. Ware. It is rather strange, no doubt-"
"It is a great deal more than strange, it is outrageous; or rather," softening his tone, "it would be; but my cousin, poor fellow is not so much to blame after all. He is dreadfully pressed just now; and somehow his training has taken all the life out of him; he doesn't seem able to take or feel things as other men do. He is an admirable fellow for all that," he went on eagerly; "full of his work. Nothing else seems to appeal to him in the least just now; and that's all right, isn't it, Miss Page? for if it's a heavy load for a man to carry, and takes all his strength, what must it be for a young girl like you?"
"Yes, indeed," sighed Lota, her eyes filling with tears; "it is very, very heavy."
"But you have decided?"
"Yes; that is, I have let others decide for me."
"But," the blue-gray eyes looking troubled, "Miss Page, can you let any body else decide such a thing as this for you?"
"What can I do?" raising the long lashes on which the tears yet hung. "All my life has been spent in getting ready for a mission. My father and mother both were missionaries; it was always intended I should be one. And,
indeed," softly and timidly, "it is such a very hard choice to make for one's self that perhaps it is better to have it made for you.",
"And feeling so, you will marry my cousin Ned, and go to China for your lifetime?"
Something in the tone smote Lota as with a shock. Blushing and miserable, she faltered out the words:
They all say it is such an excellent chance; they all advise it."
"But what do you say? Dear Miss Page, may I speak plainly to you, as I would to my sister, if I had one?" Please, do."
"Don't mistake my meaning," he said reverently. "I would not for the world tempt a soul to withdraw from God's altar a gift laid there rightfully and consciously; but you are very young, and the influence of others may have been too strong for you. Unless you go into this work with your whole heart, it will be too much for you. Pray, pray be sure of yourself. Don't go to China or anywhere else, unless you are sure God sends you there. And, above all, never marry my cousin Ned, nor any man, unless you so love him with all your soul and strength that you are certain it is happiness to go with him and be with him in any country, and help him in any kind of work, or even stay at home," he added, with a smile.
This was new doctrine! he went on, "you can't have the least idea what it must be for a woman to leave her own country with a stranger. All the help which enthusiasm, natural bias, and strong affection can give would be needed to make the thing successful; without these it would be unendurable."
"Oh," said Lota, bursting into tears, "I thank you more than I can tell. I felt all this before, but nobody helped me; and I feared it was wrong to feel so."
"Wrong! it was your true womanly instinct, a better guide than fifty doctors of divinity.. And now," he added, rising, "I must say good-by. Here is my cousin's address; do not make your decision in a hurry; and whatever it is,
my dear Miss Page, may God bless you."
He was gone, but how changed every thing to Lota's eyes. The clear manly protest, like a sudden thunder-storm in August, had cleared away the vapors and mists which so long had concealed her inward convictions, and as hour after hour she sat absorbed in thought, it became more and more apparent that she could not marry Mr. Ware. This conclusion reached, she sought Miss Usher's room to announce it.
Dire was the consternation in that hallowed sanctum. That so plain a flying in the face of Providence was never known before, was the immediate verdict; and all that argument, entreaty, and affectionate remonstrance could do was done to change her determination. Mr. Hardman and Mrs. Sawyer were appealed to, stormy letters flew to and fro; but the delicate and tenacious thread of resolution which ran through Lota's character held firm. Let them say what they might, she could not and would not marry Mr. Ware. A missionary she was ready to be, but not the wife of a man she did not love.
So the vacation came. Edward Ware had found another and more pliable lady, and was on the point of sailing. He had experienced but little disappointment in Miss Page's decision; a helpmate was what he desired, and he had not set his heart especially on any individual. Uncle Hardman, full of righteous wrath, dictated a letter to his niece, in which Lota was informed that her weak and unworthy conduct had debarred her from the privilege of her usual visit to B-, and Miss Usher was requested to secure respectable lodgings for her elsewhere. And so the last red sunsets of July and the ripening harvests of August found her the inmate of a quiet farm-house among the pinewoods, walking over the spicy brown needles which carpeted them, or through the scented hay-fields; and finding in her banishment a contentment and repose which would have wrung Uncle Hardman's heart with despair had he been aware of it.
And these walks were not always lonely. By one of those singular coincidences which occur in life with young people, Dr. Allan Ware about this time found a frequent professional necessity for being in the neighborhood. Of course, it was but natural that he should call upon Miss Page in her retreat! And so it came to pass that evening after evening the wine-brown and the gray eyes rested upon the same objects. And to both it seemed those objects were beautiful as never before. Surely sunsets were never so bright, or fields so green; never did moon enfold the earth with such silver radiance, or winds pipe such melodies among the tree-boughs. A golden glamor rested on the world. So Lota thought. And one evening, as she sat with her sewing under a pine-tree, as fair a Dryad as ever graced a grove, Dr. Allan appeared, and sitting down beside her, he made a confession which brought the blood to her cheek in bright, frightened blushes, and then sent it back to her heart, leaving that fair cheek white and cold.
"I believe I loved you from the first moment, Lota; but I would not know it, for fear of wronging poor Ned. But now-”
"Oh, Dr. Ware, don't, please don't; you know I am to be a missionary."
"Yes, dear, so you shall be a missionary in the true sense of the word. God has plenty of work to do this side the water, and doctors and doctors' wives have about as good a chance to do it— to get near the poor and suffering and wicked and help them-as any men and women in the world. Say you will be a missionary, dear Lota, with me."
"They will all think me so wrong." "But how if you yourself know you are right?"
"Yes, but then-my Chinese which I've been studying so long. It wouldn't be the least use to any body."
"Yes it would, darling," declared Dr. Allan, possessing himself of both little hands; “all the use in the world. As it happens, the thing I most need and most covet on earth is just that-a wife who can speak Chinese!"
The laugh which broke from Lota's lips at this rang the knell of her foreign mission!
It was settled. Uncle Hardman raged, and would fain have made Mrs. Sawyer rage with him; but both she and Miss Usher, though they took the matter greatly to heart, could not long resist the sight of Lota's happiness. And besides, although like the poet they might sing,
"Of all sad words of tongue and pen,
The sadd'st are these, it might have been,'"
the correlative by the other poet could hardly fail in time to suggest itself, that
"A sadder thing we sometimes see,'
THERE is an opulence in that broad, bountiful word household which the human race cannot wholly appropriate. The true household spreads its generous skirts not only over father, mother and children, but also over various animals, that, having laid aside their native shyness, have attached themselves to the family, and been adopted into it. These creatures, at once the pets and minions of all, add a new and piquant flavor to domestic life. They impart to it a variety, humor, and vivacity that would be sadly missed were it limited to the dominant race only.
When the Egyptians sculptured their God Anubis-the ever-watching, guarding sentry of the supernals,-they gave him the head of a dog and the body of a
the grain and leave the bread-pans of the people empty. We have read a statement that a simple London terrier-a small, doughty creature named, or misnamed, Tiny, destroyed in three years an army of rats, which, left unmolested to natural increase during that time, would have made a census of sixteen hundred millions! After this the legend of Bishop Hatto seems reasonable, and might now be repeated were the race of Tinies to become extinct. We do not propose, however, to discourse of the dog economically, but socially and discursively; and if thou, O reader, be a moody, crabbed, or sour complected" person, we conscientiously forewarn thee to pass on, for thou wilt find nothing in this chapter of wecht, as Chalmers would say, to any but the lovers of animal nature.
"I think," says Dr. John Brown, of Edinburgh, who of all prose-writers has written with the most hearty and delightful appreciation of dogs, "I think every family should have a dog. It is like having a perpetual baby; it is the plaything and crony of the whole house; it keeps them all young; and then, he tells no tales, betrays no secrets, never sulks
asks no troublesome questions, never gets into debt, never comes down late to
breakfast, is always ready for a bit of fun, lies in wait for it, and you may, if choleric, to your relief, kick him instead of some one else, who would not take it so meekly, and, moreover, would certainly not, as he does, ask your pardon for being kicked."
Naturalists may give as many reasons as they please, osteological and otherwise, for believing that the dog is only a domesticated and educated wolf. We eschew their theories, and mean to maintain against all Turks, Infidels, and Scholars, that the dog, in propriâ, was a native of paradise, and Adam his first master. We are not going to believe that-on that wonderful morning when the Maker looked so complacently on his fresh planet. and gave it, magnificently stocked and furnished, into the keeping of its first lord--the only creature fitted by intelligence, sympathy, and almost human affectionateness to mitigate the appalling loneliness of that hour, looked out on his liege from the sinister and ferocious eyes of a wolf!
But, without caring to look too nicely into the pedigree of our modern dog, and assuming his high lineage from "the eternal fitness of things," we will admit that he has some rather underbred relatives. The fox, wolf, and jackal are his first cousins. Yet, so far from consorting with them, he fights them tooth and claw, bent, apparently, on scratching their dishonored names from the family escutcheon.
The fox is the very Metternich of animals. There is fraud, cunning, and statecraft in every twinkle of his keen linear eyes, diplomacy in the slightest tremor of his sensitive ears, attention and suspicion in every poise of his finely organized head.
The fox and the wolf, between them, seem to have appropriated all the ferocity, craft, and obliquity of character belonging to the canine family, leaving probity, faith, generosity, and such like uncommercial traits to the Chevalier Bayard of the race.
Domestication enervates most animals. Remove the necessity of foraging for daily rations and " their occupation's
Having once consented to a parasitic life, they lose much of the nerve and tact of the wild state.
The cat in its untamed condition is a creature of great courage and prowess, and displays many traits of the chat sauvage, or catamount; but, after a few generations of boudoir existence, she becomes a silken sybarite, a very Cream Cheese of petted selfishness and sleepy inanition.
But with our dog the case is different. His mind being easy on the bone-andtrencher question, he is both able and willing to improve his education, and fit himself for the high companionship to which he has been admitted. His quickness of apprehension, docility, and sympathy adapt him beyond all animals for training purposes. It is astonishing how much intelligence the higher breeds, like the spaniel, setter, and terrier, are capable of attaining under proper schooling. How quickly they interpret every gesture and every expression of the master's face! Look at the eye when you talk to them, and see it fill and glow! You will be startled to find that they understand not only set phrases directly addressed to them, but much of the family conversation. In proof of this, Menoult relates that a lady once tested a favorite spaniel by pretending to negotiate for his sale, speaking in her ordinary tones, and abstaining from any word that should arouse his attention. He immediately became agitated and began to whine, roll at her feet, and to beseech her not to sell him, with true dog-eloquence.
Wesley makes a very curious statement about a dog, in his time, who, every Sunday, went, alone, a long distance to attend a Methodist meeting. This meeting was held at a private house, just after the church service closed. So regular and punctual was his attendance, that he came to be known through the whole community as the "Methodist dog." The boys of the "establishment" looked with no small disgust on the dissenting beast, abusing him and pelting him without mercy. But our doggie maintained his integrity, turning neither to the right nor the left,