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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly


'No

want to them, hey?' repeated Miss Fairbairn. 'That sounds very much like happiness, I confess. What do you say, Miss Lawton?--Miss Disbrow? People that have no want unsatisfied must be happy, I should say.'

Silence. Then one young lady was heard to suggest that there were no such people in the world.

'The Bible says so, Miss Baines. What can you do against that?'

'Miss Fairbairn, there is an old woman that lives near us in the country--very poor; she is an old Christian,--at least so they say,--and she is _very_ poor. She has lost all her children and grandchildren; she cannot work any more, and she lives upon charity. That is, if you call it living. I know she often has very little indeed to live upon, and that very poor, and she is quite alone; nobody to take the least care for her, or of her.'

'So you think she _does_ want some things. Miss Gainsborough, what have you to say to that?'

'What does _she_ think about it?' Esther asked.

She looked as she spoke at the young lady who had given the instance, but the latter took no notice, until Miss Fairbairn said,

'Miss Baines, a question was put to you.'

'I am sure I don't know,' Miss Baines replied. 'They _say_ she is a very happy old woman.'

justify;">'You doubt it?'

'I should not be happy in her place, ma'am. I don't see, for my part, how it is possible. And it seems to me certainly she wants a great many things.'

'What do you think, Miss Gainsborough.'

'I think the Bible must be true, ma'am.'

'That is Faith's answer.'

'And then, the word is, "Blessed is every one that _feareth the Lord;_" it is true of nobody else, I suppose.'

'My dear, is that the answer of Experience?'

'I do not know, ma'am.' But Esther's smile gave a very convincing affirmative. 'But the promise is, "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly."'

'There you have it. "No good thing;" and, "from them that walk uprightly." Miss Disbrow, when you were getting well of that fever, did your mother let you eat everything?'

'Oh no, ma'am; not at all.'

'What did she keep from you?'

'Nearly everything I liked, ma'am.'

'Was it cruelty, or kindness?'

'Kindness, of course. What I liked would have killed me.'

'Then she withheld from you "no good thing," hey? while she kept from you nearly everything you liked.'

There was silence all round the table. Then Miss Baines spoke again.

'But, ma'am, that old woman has not a fever, and she don't get any nice things to eat.'


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