`But won't that mar the charming effect of my consistent shabbiness?' said Maggie, seating herself submissively, while Lucy knelt again and unfastened the contemptible butterfly. `I wish my mother were of your opinion, for she was fretting last night because this is my best frock. I've been saving my money to pay for some lessons: I shall never get a better situation without more accomplishments.'

Maggie gave a little sigh.

`Now, don't put on that sad look again,' said Lucy, pinning the large brooch below Maggie's fine throat. `You're forgetting that you've left that dreary schoolroom behind you, and have no little girls' clothes to mend.'

`Yes,' said Maggie. `It is with me as I used to think it would be with the poor uneasy white bear I saw at the show. I thought he must have got so stupid with the habit of turning backwards and forwards in that narrow space that he would keep doing it if they set him free. One gets a bad habit of being unhappy.'

`But I shall put you under a discipline of pleasure that will make you lose that bad habit,' said Lucy, sticking the black butterfly absently in her own collar, while her eyes met Maggie's affectionately.

`You dear tiny thing,' said Maggie, in one of her bursts of loving admiration, `you enjoy other people's happiness so much, I believe you would do without any of your own. I wish I were like you.'

`I've never been tried in that way,' said Lucy. `I've always been so happy. I don't know whether I could bear much trouble - I never had any but poor mamma's death. You have been tried, Maggie; and I'm sure you feel for other people quite as much as I do.'

`No, Lucy,' said Maggie, shaking her head slowly, `I don't enjoy their happiness as you do - else I should be more contented. I do feel for them when they are in trouble - I don't think I could ever bear to make any one unhappy - and yet, I often hate myself, because I get angry sometimes at the sight of happy people. I think I get worse as I get older - more selfish. That seems very dreadful.'

`Now, Maggie!' said Lucy, in a tone of remonstrance, `I don't believe a word of that. It is all a gloomy fancy - just because you are depressed by a dull, wearisome life.'

`Well, perhaps it is,' said Maggie, resolutely clearing away the clouds from her face with a bright smile, and throwing herself backward in her chair. `Perhaps it comes from the school diet - watery rice-pudding spiced with Pinnock. Let us hope it will give way before my mother's custards and this charming Geoffrey Crayon.'

Maggie took up the `Sketch Book,' which lay by her on the table.

`Do I look fit to be seen with this little brooch?' said Lucy, going to survey the effect in the chimney glass.

`O no, Mr Guest will be obliged to go out of the room again if he sees you in it. Pray make haste and put another on.'

Lucy hurried out of the room, but Maggie did not take the opportunity of opening her book: she let it fall on her knees, while her eyes wandered to the window where she could see the sunshine falling on the rich clumps of spring flowers and on the long hedge of laurels - and beyond, the silvery breadth of the dear old Floss that at this distance seemed to be sleeping in a morning holiday. The sweet fresh garden scent came through the open window, and the birds were busy flitting and alighting, gurgling and singing. Yet Maggie's eyes began to fill with tears. The sight of the old scenes had made the rush of memories so painful that even yesterday she had only been able to rejoice in her mother's restored comfort and Tom's brotherly friendliness as we rejoice in good news of friends at a distance rather than in the presence of a happiness which we share. Memory and imagination urged upon her a sense of privation too keen to let her taste what was offered in the transient present: her future, she thought, was

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