494 SHE WAS GOOD FOR NOTHING
and she looked up indignantly. ' I knew it many a year ago, and more than all since last night. I tell you she was worth much, and the Lord in heaven knows it is true, let the world say, as much as it chooses, " She was good for nothing." '
THE LAST PEARL
It was a rich, a happy house ; all were cheerful and full of joy, master, servants, and friends of the family ; for on this day an heir, a son, had been born, and mother and child were doing exceedingly well.
The lamp in the bed-chamber had been partly shaded, and the windows were guarded by heavy curtains of some costly silken fabric. The carpet was thick and soft as a mossy lawn, and everything invited to slumber—was charmingly suggestive of repose ; and the nurse found that, for she slept; and here she might sleep, for everything was good and blessed. The guardian spirit of the house leaned against the head of the bed ; over the child at the mother's breast there spread as it were a net of shining stars in endless number, and each star was a pearl of happiness. All the good fairies of life had brought their gifts to the new-born one ; here sparkled health, wealth, fortune, and love— in short, everything that man can wish for on earth.
' Everything has been presented here,' said the guardian spirit.
c No, not everything,' said a voice near him, the voice of the child's good angel. ' One fairy has not yet brought her gift; but she will do so some day ; even if years should elapse first, she will bring her gift. The last pearl is yet wanting.'
* Wanting ! here nothing should be wanting; but if it should be the case, let me go and seek the powerful fairy ; let us betake ourselves to her ! '
1 She comes ! she will come some day unsought! Her pearl must be there, so that the complete crown may be won.'
' Where is she to be found ? Where does she dwell ? Tell it me, and I will procure the pearl.'