LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 351
" It 's all no use, papa, to keep it to myself any longer. The time is coming that I am going to leave you. I am going, and never to come back ! " and Eva sobbed.
" Oh, now, my dear little Eva! " said St. Clare, trembling as he spoke, but speaking cheerfully, " you Ve got nervous and low-spirited ; you must n't indulge such gloomy thoughts. See here, I 've bought a statuette for you!"
" No, papa," said Eva, putting it gently away, " don't deceive yourself ! — I am not any better, I know it perfectly well, — and I am going, before long. I am not nervous, — I am not low-spirited. If it were not for you, papa, and my friends, I should be perfectly happy. I want to go, — I long to go ! "
" Why, dear child, what has made your poor little heart so sad ? You have had everything, to make you happy, that could be given you."
" I had rather be in heaven; though, only for my friends' sake, I would be willing to live. There are a great many things here that make me sad, that seem dreadful to me ; I had rather be there ; but I don't want to leave you, — it almost breaks my heart! "
" What makes you sad, and seems dreadful, Eva ? "
" Oh, things that are done, and done all the time. I feel sad for our poor people; they love me dearly, and they are all good and kind to me. I wish, papa, they were all/ree."
" Why, Eva, child, don't you think they are well enough off now ? "
" Oh, but, papa, if anything should happen to you, what would become of them ? There are very few men like you, papa. Uncle Alfred is n't like you, and mamma is n't; and then, think of poor old Prue's owners ! What horrid things people do, and can do ! " and Eva shuddered.
" My dear child, you are too sensitive. I 'm sorry I ever let you hear such stories."
" Oh, that 's what troubles me, papa. You want me to