LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 229
highest form of the peculiarly Christian life, and, perhaps, as God chasteneth whom He loveth, He hath chosen poor Africa in the furnace of affliction, to make her the highest and noblest in that kingdom which He will set up, when every other kingdom has been tried, and failed; for the first shall be last, and the last first.
Was this what Marie St. Clare was thinking of, as she stood, gorgeously dressed, on the veranda, on Sunday morning, clasping a diamond bracelet on her slender wrist ? Most likely it was. Or, if it was n't that, it was something else ; for Marie patronized good things, and she was going now, in full force, — diamonds, silk, and lace, and jewels, and all, — to a fashionable church, to be very religious. Marie always made a point to be very pious on Sundays. There she stood, so slender, so elegant, so airy and undulating in all her motions, her lace scarf enveloping her like a mist. She looked a graceful creature, and she felt very good and very elegant indeed. Miss Ophelia stood at her side, a perfect contrast. It was not that she had not as handsome a silk dress and shawl, and as fine a pocket-handkerchief; but stiffness and squareness and bolt-uprightness enveloped her with as indefinite yet appreciable a presence as did grace her elegant neighbor ; not the grace of God, however, — that is quite another thing !
k- Where 's Eva ? " said Marie.
11 The child stopped on the stairs, to say something to Mammy."
And what was Eva saying to Mammy on the stairs ? Listen, reader, and you will hear, though Marie does not.
" Dear Mammy, I know your head is aching dreadfully."
" Lord bless you, Miss Eva! my head allers aches lately. You don't need to worry."
" Well, I 'm glad you 're going out; and here," — and the little girl threw her arms around her, — "Mammy, you shall take my vinaigrette."