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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

And did not distress Esther with any sympathy


'I

know nothing of the kind. You are talking folly.'

'No, papa, if you please. Just remember,--look here, papa,--here are the words. Listen: "The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; _no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly_."'

'Do you mean to tell me,' said the colonel angrily, 'that--well, that all the things that you have not just now, and ought to have, are not good things?'

'Not good for me, or at least not the _best_, or I should have them.'

This answer was with a smile so absolutely shadowless, that the colonel found nothing to answer but a groan, which was made up of pain and pride and pleasure in inscrutable proportions.

The next step was to speak to Miss Fairbairn. That wise woman showed no surprise, and did not distress Esther with any sympathy; she took it as the most natural thing in the world that her favourite pupil should wish to become a teacher; and promised her utmost help. In her own school there was now no longer any opening; that chance was gone; but she gave Esther a recommendation in person to the principal of another establishment, where in consequence Miss Gainsborough found ready acceptance.

And now indeed she felt herself a stranger, and found herself alone. This was a different thing from her first

entering school as a pupil. And Esther began also presently to perceive that her father had not been entirely wrong in his estimate of a teacher's position and experiences. It is not a path of roses that such a one has to tread; and even the love she may bear to those she teaches, and even the genuine love of teaching them, do not avail to make it so. Woe to the teacher who has not those two alleviations and helps to fall back upon! Esther soon found both; and yet she gave her father credit for having known more about the matter than she did. She was truly alone now; the children loved her, but scattered away from her as soon as their tasks were done; her fellow-teachers she scarcely saw--they were busy and jaded; and with the world outside of school she had nothing to do. She had never had much to do with it; yet at Miss Fairbairn's she had sometimes a little taste of society that was of high order, and all in the house had been at least well known to her and she to them, even if no particular congeniality had drawn them together. She had lost all that now. And it sometimes came over Esther in those days the thought of her English aunts and cousins, as a vision of strange pleasantness. To have plenty of friends and relations, of one's own blood, and therefore inalienable; well-bred and refined and cultivated (whereby I am afraid Esther's fancy made them a multiplication of Pitt Dallas),--it looked very alluring! She went bravely about her work, and did it beautifully, and was very contented in it, and relieved


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