LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 353
" Dear papa," said the child, laying her burning cheek against his, l< how I wish we could go together! "
"Where, dearest?" said St. Clare.
" To our Saviour's home; it 's so sweet and peaceful there, —it is all so loving there ! " The child spoke unconsciously, as of a place where she had often been. " Don't you want to go, papa ? " she said.
St. Clare drew her closer to him, but was silent.
" You will come to me," said the child, speaking in a voice of calm certainty which she often used unconsciously.
" I shall come after you. I shall not forget you."
The shadows of the solemn evening closed around them deeper and deeper, as St. Clare sat silently holding the little frail form to his bosom. He saw no more the deep eyes, but the voice came over him as a spirit voice, and, as in a sort of judgment vision, his whole past life rose in a moment before his eyes : his mother's prayers and hymns; his own early yearnings and aspirings for good; and, between them and this hour, years of worldli-ness and skepticism, and what man calls respectable living. We can think much, very much, in a moment. St. Clare saw and felt many things, but spoke nothing; and, as it grew darker, he took his child to her bedroom; and when she was prepared for rest, he sent away the attendants, and rocked her in his arms, and sung to her till she was asleep.