LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 329
read to please her humble friend ; but soon her own earnest nature threw out its tendrils, and wound itself around the majestic book ; and Eva loved it, because it woke in her strange yearnings, and strong, dim, emotions, such as impassioned, imaginative children love to feel.
The parts that pleased her most were the Revelation and the Prophecies, — parts whose dim and wondrous imagery, and fervent language, impressed her the more, that she questioned vainly of their meaning; and she and her simple friend, the old child and the young one, felt just alike about it. All that they knew was, that they spoke of a glory to be revealed, — a wondrous something yet to come, wherein their soul rejoiced, yet knew not why ; and though it be not so in the physical, yet in moral science that which cannot be understood is not always profitless. For the soul awakes, a trembling stranger, between two dim eternities, — the eternal past, the eternal future. The light shines only on a small space around her ; therefore, she needs must yearn towards the unknown ; and the voices and shadowy movings which come to her from out the cloudy pillar of inspiration have each one echoes and answers in her own expecting nature. Its mystic imageries are so many talismans and gems inscribed with unknown hieroglyphics ; she folds them in her bosom, and expects to read them when she passes beyond the veil.
At this time in our story, the whole St. Clare establishment is, for the time being, removed to their villa on Lake Pontchartrain. The heats of summer had driven all who were able to leave the sultry and unhealthy city to seek the shores of the lake, and its cool sea-breezes.
St. Clare's villa was an East-Indian cottage, surrounded by light verandas of bamboo-work, and opening on all sides into gardens and pleasure-grounds. The common sitting-room opened on to a large garden, fragrant with every picturesque plant and flower of the tropics, where winding paths ran down to the very shores of the lake, whose silvery sheet of water lay there, rising and falling