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Adela Cathcart, Volume 2 by George MacDonald

After asking the curate when I might call upon him


My child, thou hast immortal eyes, That see by their own light; They see the innocent blood--it lies Red-glowing through the night. Through wind and storm unto thine ear Cry after cry doth run; And yet thou seemest not to hear, And only smilest on.

When first thou earnest to the earth, All sounds of strife were still; A silence lay around thy birth, And thou didst sleep thy fill. Why sleep'st thou--nay, why weep'st thou not? Thy earth is woe-begone; Babies and mothers wail their lot, And still thou smilest on.

I read thine eyes like holy book; No strife is pictured there; Upon thy face I see the look Of one who answers prayer. Ah, yes!--Thine eyes, beyond this wild, Behold God's will well done; Men's songs thine ears are hearing, child; And so thou smilest on.

The prodigals arise and go, And God goes forth to meet; Thou seest them gather, weeping low, About the Father's feet. And for their brothers men must bear, Till all are homeward gone. O Eyes, ye see my answered prayer! Smile, Son of God, smile on.

As soon as the vibrations of this song, I do not mean on the chords of the instrument, but in the echo-caves of our bosoms, had ceased, I turned to the doctor and said:

"Are you ready with your story yet, Mr. Henry?"

style="text-align: justify;">"Oh, dear no!" he answered--"not for days. I am not an idle man like you, Mr. Smith. I belong to the labouring class."

I knew that he could not have it ready.

"Well," I said, "if our friends have no objection, I will give you another myself next time."

"Oh! thank you, uncle," said Adela.--"Another fairy tale, please."

"I can't promise you another fairy-tale just yet, but I can promise you something equally absurd, if that will do."

"Oh yes! Anything you like, uncle. _I_, for one, am sure to like what you like."

"Thank you, my dear. Now I will go; for I see the doctor waiting to have a word with you."

The company took their leave, and the doctor was not two minutes behind them; for as I went up to my room, after asking the curate when I might call upon him, I saw him come out of the drawing-room and go down stairs.

"Monday evening, then," I had heard the colonel say, as he followed his guests to the hall.

CHAPTER II.

THE CURATE AND HIS WIFE.

As I approached the door of the little house in which the curate had so lately taken up his abode, he saw me from the window, and before I had had time to knock, he had opened the door.

"Come in," he said. "I saw you coming. Come to my den, and we will have a pipe together."

"I have brought some of my favourite cigars," I said, "and I want you to try them."


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