Topsy, who had stood sullenly, holding down her head, now came up and offered her flowers. She did it with a look of hesitation and bashfulness, quite unlike the eldrich boldness and brightness which was usual with her.
Its a beautiful bouquet! said Eva, looking at it.
It was rather a singular one,a brilliant scarlet geranium, and one single white japonica, with its glossy leaves. It was tied up with an evident eye to the contrast of color, and the arrangement of every leaf had carefully been studied.
Topsy looked pleased, as Eva said,Topsy, you arrange flowers very prettily. Here, she said, is this vase I havent any flowers for. I wish youd arrange something every day for it.
Well, thats odd! said Marie. What in the world do you want that for?
Never mind, mamma; youd as lief as not Topsy should do it,had you not?
Of course, anything you please, dear! Topsy, you hear your young mistress;see that you mind.
Topsy made a short courtesy, and looked down; and, as she turned away, Eva saw a tear roll down her dark cheek.
You see, mamma, I knew poor Topsy wanted to do something for me, said Eva to her mother.
O, nonsense! its only because she likes to do mischief. She knows she mustnt pick flowers,so she does it; thats all there is to it. But, if you fancy to have her pluck them, so be it.
Mamma, I think Topsy is different from what she used to be; shes trying to be a good girl.
Shell have to try a good while before she gets to be good, said Marie, with a careless laugh.
Well, you know, mamma, poor Topsy! everything has always been against her.
Not since shes been here, Im sure. If she hasnt been talked to, and preached to, and every earthly thing done that anybody could do;and shes just so ugly, and always will be; you cant make anything of the creature!
But, mamma, its so different to be brought up as Ive been, with so many friends, so many things to make me good and happy; and to be brought up as shes been, all the time, till she came here!
Most likely, said Marie, yawning,dear me, how hot it is!
Mamma, you believe, dont you, that Topsy could become an angel, as well as any of us, if she were a Christian?
Topsy! what a ridiculous idea! Nobody but you would ever think of it. I suppose she could, though.
But, mamma, isnt God her father, as much as ours? Isnt Jesus her Saviour?
Well, that may be. I suppose God made everybody, said Marie. Where is my smelling-bottle?
Its such a pity,oh! such a pity! said Eva, looking out on the distant lake, and speaking half to herself.
Whats a pity? said Marie.
Why, that any one, who could be a bright angel, and live with angels, should go all down, down down, and nobody help them!oh dear!
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|