LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 349
In that book which she and her simple old friend had read so much together, she had seen and taken to her young heart the image of One who loved the little child; and, as she gazed and mused, He had ceased to be an image and a picture of the distant past, and come to be a living, all-surrounding reality. His love enfolded her childish heart with more than mortal tenderness; and it was to Him, she said, she was going, and to his home.
But her heart yearned with sad tenderness for all that she was to leave behind. Her father most, — for Eva, though she never distinctly thought so, had an instinctive perception that she was more in his heart than any other. She loved her mother because she was so loving a creature, and all the selfishness that she had seen in her only saddened and perplexed her; for she had a child's implicit trust that her mother could not do wrong. There was something about her that Eva never could make out; and she always smoothed it over with thinking that, after all, it was mamma, and she loved her very dearly indeed.
She felt, too, for those fond, faithful servants, to whom she was as daylight and sunshine. Children do not usually generalize; but Eva was an uncommonly mature diild, and the things that she had witnessed of the evils of the system under which they were living had fallen, one by one, into the depths of her thoughtful, pondering heart. She had vague longings to do something for them, — to bless and save not only them, but all in their condition, — longings that contrasted sadly with the feebleness of her little frame.
" Uncle Tom," she said, one day, when she was reading to her friend, " I can understand why Jesus wanted to die for us."
" Why, Miss Eva ? "
" Because I 've felt so, too."
" What is it, Miss Eva ? — I don't understand."
" I can't tell you; but when I saw diose poor creatures on the boat, you know, when you came up and I, — some