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CHAPTER V.,

- Loraine in

Dr. Walton - Mrs. Johnson - Husband absconded

the army - His return Eliza.

We ought to have informed the reader, that only a few months previous to the death of Mr. Savage, he had removed his family to a place upwards of fifty miles distant from Brookfield. Consequently, at the time when his disconsolate and greatly afflicted widow stood most in need of the society and sympathy of those whom she had ever been accustomed to regard as friends, she found herself in the midst of a circle composed almost entirely of strangers. Yet there were rays of light beaming through the dark cloud which overshadowed her earthly prospects, which faintly illumined her lonely dwelling.

She was not destitute of means to procure whatever was necessary for the comforts of herself and children, and there were some dear friends whose kindness and occasional presence in her sick room, were among the mercydrops commingled by indulgent Heaven with the bitter draught He at this time saw best to cause her to partake of.

Slowly did Mrs. Savage recover from this sickness, and glad would she have been, as she sometimes said, to have been at that time removed from earth, had it not been

true that she was the mother of six fatherless children, the eldest of whom was only fourteen years of age.

Her physician was a truly good man, and did as much to benefit the afflicted lady by the manifestation of kind feelings, united with friendly counsel, as by administering physical restoratives to her frail and care-worn body.

Mrs. Savage was greatly attached to Dr. Walton, grateful for the interest he showed in her family, by his faithful attention not only to herself, but to her suffering little ones, who were deprived, in the hour of greatest need, of that untiring care which is prompted only by a mother's love.

Well would it be were all medical men, like Dr. Walton, governed by the loftier feelings of their souls, as they would thus be the means of exerting a most salutary influence wherever, in the providence of their Heavenly Father, they might be called.

Doctor Walton saw, with heartfelt pleasure, that the strength of Mrs. Savage was gradually returning, so as to enable her again to take care of her fatherless children ; and he advised her to mingle, as much as her health would permit, in cheerful society; saying, at the same time, that duty called loudly upon her to do so, not only for her own sake, but for the sake of those dependent beings her Father in heaven had entrusted to her care.

Great was the conflict in the mind of Mrs. Savage, ere she could cease to dwell upon her afflictions, for she felt that she was hardly dealt with — that the chastising rod which it had pleased her Father, God, to lay upon her, had been too heavily inflicted. Recently arisen from a bed of sickness, surrounded by children who were but partially recovered from dangerous illness, knowing too well that their recent misfortunes had greatly abridged her means of support, she sat one morning thinking she must endeavor to pursue some course which would have a tendency to divert her thoughts from her own feelings, when her babe was brought home to her, in consequence of the sudden and alarming sickness of the woman who had nursed him for several months.

This was an unexpected trial to the mother. She knew not what to do with him, as he had thus far been nursed by this person, and was unaccustomed to taking his food from a spoon. She tried immediately to procure another nurse, but was unable to hear of any living near her. She was told of a woman who would probably be glad to take the little creature, if he was carried to her.

This person resided in the place where Mrs. Savage had spent the greater part of her life ; she was acquainted with her, and felt that her darling child would be better provided for, if entrusted to the care of this individual, than if he remained with her; yet there were obstacles in the way of getting the babe to her; the weather was cold, for it was December, and Mrs. Savage could not endure the idea of having him carried by any one with whom the child was unacquainted, as he was at an age, and of a disposition to be afraid of strangers. To go herself, appeared an arduous undertaking; still she determined to do so, and see her sweet babe placed in the arms of one to whom she could safely entrust him.

She travelled in a carriage, and was obliged to spend one night upon the road, at a public house, on account of her weakness, and the fatigue she endured in holding the

timid little one in her lap most of the way. A kind friend accompanied her upon this journey, and another engaged to take charge of the lonely little flock at home during her absence.

Mrs. Savage reached the place of her destination in safety, at an early hour on the second day after leaving her home. Seeing many faces which she had not beheld since the death of her husband, revived many painful recollections; still she received much consolation from those who wept with her over the sad blight of her brightest earthly hopes. It was a source of pleasure to see her babe

very soon become familiar with the lady, who cheerfully received and enfolded him in the arms of her affection, having recently lost a sweet little one herself.

As soon as Mrs. Savage had recovered from the fatigue of her journey to Brookfield, she returned to her children. With an aching heart she parted from her dear infant; yet could she but have had even a faint presentiment of what in after life she was to suffer on account of this very child, she would have scarcely deemed it a cross, parison, to leave him, under existing circumstances.

Mrs. Savage, on returning to her home, endeavored to wear an air of cheerfulness, although it was often foreign to her heart, that her children might be spared those pangs which she was aware would be inflicted

upon

their sympathizing feelings, if she indulged in sorrow.

to educate her children, and introduce them to society such as she had been wont to mingle in, by dint of great personal exertion, to which was added a

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wise forecast of thought upon the subject of domestic prudence.

Not many months after the death of her husband, Mrs. Savage opened a respectable boarding-house, the avails of which, notwithstanding the increase of her expenses, by the increasing age of her children, afforded her more than a genteel support.

Years passed on, and there was little change in the prospects of this lady. Her older children were placed at a boarding school, of the first character; her younger ones at schools, near home, while Simon, the youngest, at the earnest solicitation of the lady who assumed the care of him in infancy, was allowed to remain with her. Mrs. Savage often visited the child, and oftener was informed by letter of his welfare.

It would be natural to suppose that, situated in the favorable circumstances in which this widowed mother then was, she might have passed her days in contentment and comparative peace, yet such was by no means the fact. She had yet to wade through still deeper waters than had ever before flowed over her pathway of life.

We sometimes wonder at the short-sightedness of those whose judgment we have heretofore regarded as excellent, and thus are forcibly reminded, that “ To err is human.' It was a source of the greatest astonishment to the friends of Mrs. Savage, after she had quietly spent several years in widowhood, and had managed her affairs with so much discretion, to hear that she intended to change her situation, by entering again into wedlock.

The gentleman whom she expected to marry was better known to some of the acquaintance of Mrs. Savage than

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