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Angel was almost at the threshold, and the calm and trustful spirit was ready to say, • Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.'
“You will take care of my children, she had said, “ and Frank will want you.' And with those few words every earthly care seemed settled.
Nesta did not leave her sister all that night; she sat by her doing those thousand little acts of tenderness that love can prompt, and wondering sometimes, as she watched the look of placid peace, if it be really in the power of death to still the feverish throbbing of our feelings, as well as of our pulses, and whether, if she were now in her sister's place, her hopes, and fears, and aspirations, and restless desires, and worldly schemes, would be hushed into the same repose.
The next morning, before the house was stirring again, Newton had set out for England.
Fill again before we part, brothers,
Fill the deepest draught of all,
Who reward and share our toil.
THERE was more stir than usual in Mässinger's mill. Not in the mill itself, for, strange to say, it had stopped work, and the huge wheel was no longer splashing through the water, making it full of froth and foam, and dripping with its bright burden. The fact was, that on that day there was no one to work the mill. The old miller himself was looking very rubicund and good-natured ; it was one of the festivals which he usually honoured by getting tipsy, and he was already not far from being so.
Frau Mässinger was killing the fatted calf and cooking it; not exactly in honour of a
returning son, but to celebrate what she feared was to be his exit from his father's home for many a long day. The time had come round for Heinrich's military service; a time more or less dreaded in most of the peasant families of the valley, where it stopped the wheels of wealth, and duty, and labour, and possibly at the expiration of the term had unfitted the youth for ever for the business of his former life.
Frau Mässinger had grumbled more than usual all the morning ; her harsh voice had rarely ceased to mutter whatever she was doing, and once or twice she had given vent to a fretful passionate burst of tears, as the thought of losing Heinrich came before her. She was not a woman to look on the bright side of anything ; little Marie and Johann gave it as their opinion that Heinrich was sure to draw the lot that would exempt him from service, but Frau Mässinger shook her head and said that this was perfectly impossible, and went on grumbling and muttering accordingly.
As to Rosa, she went about her work as usual. She had no hopes and no fears to express. In her heart, she fancied that Heinrich wished to go, and if he did, she wished it also ; and he had been very good to her of late, and had told her not to fret while he was away. Rosa did not mean to fret ; if Heinrich were good to her, that was all she cared for.
They are coming, mother,' at last shouted Marie and Johann from their watch-tower on the hill: “I can see the whole road full of them; and there's Heinrich too.
You can't see at that distance,' said Frau Mässinger.
“Yes, mother, I can; and I can see the colours too. The little voice dropped ; it was not the good news hoped for ; Heinrich had the wrong colours in his cap, and he must go. “Mother, Heinrich has lost! Oh dear! Heinrich will have to leave us.'
The child's wail was echoed in the courtyard. Frau Mässinger cried bitterly, wrung her hands with sorrow, and old Mässinger,
who was just on his way to open the cellar for his guests, wiped away a few quiet tears.
But there was no sorrow manifested in the approaching crowd. Noise, and shouting, and singing, waving of hands, and flags, and caps, wild cries of exultation, merry jokes, and joyous bursts of laughter resounded far and near. They stopped in front of the gate, and Heinrich entered. Mother and son fell into each other's arms.
“And thou hast to go, boy? I knew it: I was sure the lot would not fall to thee; and what shall we do? What will father do?'.
Her lament was broken by the vociferous shout out outside ; a few of the more obstreperous ones knocked, and threw stones at the high wooden gate ; some clamoured for entrance, and others started merry songs with deafening choruses.
The old man opened the gate, and the crowds poured in. He had unfastened his cellar ; he knew that they came to drink health and success to Heinrich, and he must not be niggardly. The little courtyard was