« ÎnapoiContinuați »
but think the propriety of such a course questionable. It seems like a distrust of the wisdom of our Heavenly Father, to resort to stratagem, in order that the events of his ever kind Providence should be concealed from the subjects of his government, lest they should sink beneath their afflictions. In this case, at least, it would have been decidedly better to have acted openly in the affair, and to have entrusted the event to God.
Mrs. Dalby was aware of the cause of the recent illness of Abby, but supposed her infant dead, as no one informed her to the contrary; and her feelings were deeply interested in behalf of the unfortunate girl. There was an air of simplicity in her manners, which appeared entirely free from affectation, and won the confidence of this lady, upon a a very short acquaintance.
Mrs. Dalby suggested to her companion the idea of her remaining in their family. She had heard from the lips of the poor girl, the touching story of her life ; and had had this statement confirmed by the testimony of those who had known her from a child, and had resided near her relatives, who lived about three miles distant from the place of Mrs. Dalby's residence.
The husband of this lady was as much disposed to benefit this forlorn one, as she was; yet he was fearful that if she remained long with them, she might betray the truth in regard to the infant, and he felt every day more desirous of having it concealed. His feelings were an illustration of the truth, that wrong actions, no matter how good the motive may be, always involve fear. It is never safe to do evil that good may come. If Mrs. Dalby had been permitted to know that her
child had been removed by death, and that another had been providentially thrown upon the protection of herself and husband near the time of the departure of their own little one, she would, doubtless, have felt a lively interest, under such peculiar circumstances, in the welfare of the little dependent stranger, and, probably, would have adopted it at once as her own. Had she done so, it would have been much better, as the sequel of this story will show.
Mr. Dalby thought it would be best to befriend poor Abby, in procuring her a pleasant home, a few miles distant from them, where they could continue to watch over her and she might feel assured of their friendship.
• But why not employ her here at home, in doing such light work as her health will admit of her performing ?' asked Mrs. Dalby; 'I shall need her services very much, and am sure we could do her a great deal more good by letting her become a member of our own family, for a while at least, than by sending her among strangers. I feel,' said Mrs. Dalby, 'that she is entitled to our confidence; and I am really attached to the poor unfortunate girl. Let her go and stop a short time among our relatives. Our sister Crosby needs her, and will be a mother to her, you know.'
That is true,' replied his companion ; "and Abby may be happier with her than she could be remaining with us; and these considerations will help me to give her up somewhat cheerfully, though I would like to have her remain with me.'
Abby, with a child-like confidence that endeared her
increasingly to these kind friends, asked counsel relative to the course it would be best to pursue, in regard to the future.
Said she ; 'I am so deeply indebted to your generosity, that I feel really burdened, and long to be enabled to make you some return. As to paying you, proceeded
' the grateful girl," that would be impossible ; there could not be an equivalent found below the skies for such kindness as I have received at your hands.
• We do not want pay, Abby,' said Mr. Dalby, 'for any service we have rendered you ; it will be reward enough for us to know, as I trust we shall, that you henceforth walk carefully along that safe and pleasant path that leads to life.
'I am determined, responded Abby, while tears ran down her cheeks, ' ever to strive earnestly to do right; still, I am aware that I must depend upon Infinite strength to help me. I have learned, from sad experience, that I am a most dependent being.'
• We all ought to feel this truth constantly,' replied Mrs. Dalby,' as our only security from the power of any temptation, is in looking constantly above this world for assistance, in our struggles with sin. The poet says,
“ Lean not on earth, 't will pierce thee to the heart;"
and all have felt this true, that have leaned at all upon themselves.'
Mrs. Dalby acquainted Abby with the intentions of her husband concerning her. On receiving the intelligence, she was almost overjoyed.
Now,' said the poor girl, • I shall no longer feel myself
an outcast – 0, I can never be half thankful enough to you for your great kindness to me!'
* Receive it as a blessing from your Father in Heaven, ' said her benefactress; we are only his stewards.'
Not long after this conversation took place, Abby left the hospitable friends who had comforted her in the season of her greatest extremity. She quitted their dwelling with a full heart, accompanied by the lady with whom she was to reside, in an adjacent village.
Mrs. Crosby, who was to be the future protector of Abby, had been informed of the situation and prospects of the lonely orphan, and felt herself called upon to befriend her; consequently, she had, as early as possible, after hearing of this interesting stranger, repaired to the home of her relatives, in order to convey the grateful girl to her own house.'
The writer has promised to give the reader more of the history of poor Abby, and will endeavor to fulfil that promise in the next chapter.
Forsaken Orphan — Col. Chambers Cruel Desertion.
Abby For. saken by relatives — Mrs. Dalby — Mrs. Dalby deceived in regard to the death of her child-Death of Abby.
THE parents of Abby were in humble circumstances; but they were respectable, and endeavored to educate their children as well as they were able. Indeed, they made great efforts to give them the advantages which many people in straitened circumstances, would have thought it impossible to give them.
These parents placed a proper value upon mental culture, and therefore felt that they would be unjust to their offspring to withhold from them any means of improvement that were possibly attainable by them.
It is not certainly known to the writer whether Abby was the eldest daughter, but it is believed that she was ; and she was the almost constant companion of her mother, as long as that parent lived. But it was the misfortune of the poor girl to lose her mother at a tender age, just as she had begun to realize her worth ; and also to part with her father, ere she arrived at the age of fourteen.
After the death of their parents, these children were indeed left alone in this unfeeling world ; for, though they had relatives, they were persons who regarded the orphans