It was a disappointment to Miss Benson's kind and hospitable expectation when Jemima, as hungry as a hound, confined herself to one piece of the cake which her hostess had had such pleasure in making. And Jemima wished she had not a prophetic feeling all tea-time of the manner in which her father would inquire into the particulars of the meal, elevating his eyebrows at every viand named beyond plain bread-and-butter, and winding up with some such sentence as this: "Well, I marvel how, with Benson's salary, he can afford to keep such a table." Sally could have told of self-denial when no one was by, when the left hand did not know what the right hand did, on the part of both her master and mistress, practised without thinking even to themselves that it was either a sacrifice or a virtue, in order to enable them to help those who were in need, or even to gratify Miss Benson's kind, old-fashioned feelings on such occasions as the present, when a stranger came to the house. Her homely, affectionate pleasure in making others comfortable, might have shown that such little occasional extravagances were not waste, but a good work; and were not to be gauged by the standard of money-spending. This evening her spirits were damped by Jemima's refusal to eat! Poor Jemima! the cakes were so good, and she was so hungry; but still she refused. cock toys
While Sally was clearing away the tea-things, Miss Benson and Jemima accompanied Ruth upstairs, when she went to put little Leonard to bed.
"A christening is a very solemn service," said Miss Bradshaw; "I had no idea it was so solemn. Mr. Benson seemed to speak as if he had a weight of care on his heart that God alone could relieve or lighten."
"My brother feels these things very much," said Miss Benson, rather wishing to cut short the conversation, for she had been aware of several parts in the prayer which she knew were suggested by the peculiarity and sadness of the case before him. sex stools
"I could not quite follow him all through," continued Jemima. "What did he mean by saying, 'This child, rebuked by the world and bidden to stand apart, Thou wilt not rebuke, but wilt suffer it to come to Thee and be blessed with Thine almighty blessing'? Why is this little darling to be rebuked? I do not think I remember the exact words, but he said something like that."
"My dear! your gown is dripping wet! it must have dipped into the tub; let me wring it out."
"Oh, thank you! Never mind my gown!" said Jemima hastily, and wanting to return to her question; but just then she caught the sight of tears falling fast down the cheeks of the silent Ruth as she bent over her child, crowing and splashing away in his tub. With a sudden consciousness that unwittingly she had touched on some painful chord, Jemima rushed into another subject, and was eagerly seconded by Miss Benson. The circumstance seemed to die away, and leave no trace; but in after years it rose, vivid and significant, before Jemima's memory. At present it was enough for her, if Mrs. Denbigh would let her serve her in every possible way. Her admiration for beauty was keen, and little indulged at home; and Ruth was very beautiful in her quiet mournfulness; her mean and homely dress left herself only the more open to admiration, for she gave it a charm by her unconscious wearing of it that made it seem like the drapery of an old Greek statue--subordinate to the figure it covered, yet imbued by it with an unspeakable grace. Then the pretended circumstances of her life were such as to catch the imagination of a young romantic girl. Altogether, Jemima could have kissed her hand and professed herself Ruth's slave. She moved away all the articles used at this little coucher; she folded up Leonard's day-clothes; she felt only too much honoured when Ruth trusted him to her for a few minutes--only too amply rewarded when Ruth thanked her with a grave, sweet smile, and a grateful look of her loving eyes.