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best matches in the valley. But he's not so blind either,” she added, as a thought of her own part in the scheme occurred to her, he knows that a pretty face isn't bread and meat, and that love and poverty don't thrive well together.'
An audible snore was all the answer to this harangue. Old Mässinger's schoppen had proved overpowering, and his sleepy, nodding head could no longer make the effort to keep awake. It was a great fault in him, this love of drink, but he was a kind, amiable old man, and I am inclined to pity him rather than to blame him.
When Fräulein Nesta appeared with the fugitive on the following day, the annoyance and irritation had subsided, and Frau Mässinger's tone was even more amiable than usual. It is a curious fact, that those who are most querulous and noisy on small occasions, are generally those who are most placable and gentle when circumstances occur which might really call for their just wrath. Nesta herself had had some doubts
as to the aspect in which the delinquency would be regarded, and it was a relief to her when Frau Mässinger heartily agreed with her proposition, that Rosa, after due apologies for her behaviour, should exchange her service at the Mill for that at the Villa.
And so Rosa was installed in her new office.
It was like a haven of peace to the poor girl, after all she had endured; no more harsh words to make her revengeful and bitter against all the world, no more drudgery to weary her out both in body and mind, no more scoldings and grumblings to make her shrink within herself. There are some natures constituted to do battle for themselves, and to fight for their own rights, natures self-sustained and powerful, needing no prop and no help from others. But Rosa's sensitive little heart beat at every word of kindness. It was ready to open and to cling to those about her, just as it had opened and clung to Heinrich in those first few months. Her affections having once
coiled themselves round another were tenacious in their hold, and the object round which they had twined seemed inalienable from them. . Colder and stronger minds may perhaps scarcely conceive this. When she thought of Heinrich, it was with no feeling of rancour; her own heart was so true to him that she believed his true also. And though he never wrote to her, and days and weeks and months passed without bringing any tidings of him, she still sacredly preserved the amulet he had given her—that bright lock of auburn hair, and still felt satisfied that the fault, if fault there was, did not rest with him. :
Meanwhile she responded to the improvement of her present life. Babette’s dismissal obtained for her the coveted position of children's maid, and the young ones soon grew very fond of her and liked to be with her. Dick's warfare with Babette had ceased when he went to school. And now that knickerbockers had been exchanged for trousers, and Dick felt himself promoted accordingly to a position of greater importance, the love of mischief which had distinguished him before was completely kept under control. When he was at home for the holidays, he assumed the post of Gerty's champion, and this was in itself a safeguard to him, and did more towards the development of noble feelings than all Babette's orations had done.
Nesta had no reason to repent her act of mercy. Rosa was not, it is true, very expert in her new calling, but she was apt to learn, and she had recommendations more valuable than correct hair dressing and finished mantua making. Before long, she had grown to look so happy and so improved in her new position, that Nesta was inclined to think that all remembrance of the old love had gone; she never spoke of Heinrich, and there were no visible traces that she thought of him. But far back in her heart, the little fountain of love was welling up as brightly as ever, helping to give gladness to her life, and happiness to all she did. Mingling with
every thought, whether grave or gay, was the one idea of Heinrich. He would come back again ; she had an undefined idea of meeting him, of loving and being loved-a certainty in his affection for her, a trust in his fidelity. The little well of love within kept her heart fresh and almost gay; it gushed forth to all around her, but its spring was Heinrich.