332 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN j OR
sojourn for a season here, and endear to them the wayward human heart, that they might bear it upward with them in their homeward flight. When you see that deep, spiritual light in the eye, — when the little soul reveals itself in words sweeter and wiser than the ordinary words of children, — hope not to retain that child; for the seal of heaven is on it, and the light of immortality looks out from its eyes.
Even so, beloved Eva! fair star of thy dwelling! Thou art passing away ; but they that love thee dearest know it not.
The colloquy between Tom and Eva was interrupted by a hasty call from Miss Ophelia.
" Eva — Eva ! — why, child, the dew is falling ; you must n't be out there ! "
Eva and Tom hastened in.
Miss Ophelia was old, and skilled in the tactics of nursing. She was from New England, and knew well the first guileful footsteps of that soft, insidious disease, which sweeps away so many of the fairest and loveliest, and, before one fibre of life seems broken, seals them irrevocably for death.
She had noted the slight, dry cough, the daily brightening cheek; nor could the lustre of the eye, and the airy buoyancy born of fever, deceive her.
She tried to communicate her fears to St. Clare ; but he threw back her suggestions with a restless petulance, unlike his usual careless good-humor.
" Don't be croaking, cousin, — I hate it! ' he would say ; " don't you see that the child is only growing ? Children always lose strength when they grow fast."
" But she has that cough ! "
" Oh, nonsense of that cough ! — it is not anything. She has taken a little cold, perhaps."
" Well, that was just the way Eliza Jane was taken, and Ellen and Maria Sanders."
" Oh, stop these hobgoblin nurse - legends. You old