LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 371
Every servant in the establishment showed the same feeling, and in their way did what they could.
Poor Mammy's heart yearned towards her darling; hut she found no opportunity, night or day, as Marie declared that the state of her mind was such, it was impossible for her to rest; and, of course, it was against her principles to let any one else rest. Twenty times in a night, Mammy would be roused to rub her feet, to bathe her head, to find her pocket-handkerchief, to see what the noise was in Eva's room, to let down a curtain because it was too light, or to put it up because it was too dark ; and, in the daytime, when she longed to have some share in the nursing of her pet, Marie seemed unusually ingenious in keeping her busy anywhere and everywhere all over the house, or about her own person; so that stolen interviews and momentary glimpses were all she could obtain.
" I feel it my duty to be particularly careful of myself, now," she would say, " feeble as I am, and with the whole care and nursing of that dear child upon me."
"Indeed, my dear," said St. Clare, "I thought our cousin relieved you of that."
" You talk like a man, St. Clare, — just as if a mother could be relieved of the care of a child in that state ; but, then, it's all alike, — no one ever knows what I feel! I can't throw things off, as you do."
St. Clare smiled. You must excuse him, he could n't help it, — for St. Clare could smile yet. For so bright and placid was the farewell voyage of the little spirit, — by such sweet and fragrant breezes was the small bark borne towards the heavenly shores, — that it was impossible to realize that it was death that was approaching. The child felt no pain, — only a tranquil, soft weakness, daily and almost insensibly increasing; and she was so beautiful, so loving, so trustful, so happy, that one could not resist the soothing influence of that air of innocence and peace which seemed to breathe around her. St. Clare found a strange calm coming over him. It was not hope,