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go. A boy that's seven, and big enough to manage a strong billy-goat, don't care for presents—I mean other presents.”
“Yes, dear; but a goat costs a great deal more to keep in the city than your precious earnings will amount to."
“Well, then, dear mother, there's my money in the savings bank-my thirty dollars. Father says it's to stay there till I'm a big fellow and go to college. I mightn't live to be a big fellow. Don't you think I'm a very little chap for seven, mother? And don't you think I am sick a great deal ? And, oh! I get tired so easy! When I try to learn my eight table or do my best to get my sums into my head, it aches so they don't get in at all. For I'm not clever like other boys. Maybe the reason why the Blessed Lord don't help me with my lessons is because I'm not to grow up to need them.” And then, after a long pause, in which his wistful eyes seem to be searching the future: “After I'm gone you and father will take out my bank-book and look through it, and say,' What shall we do with Paul's money, there's such a lot of it? The little chap didn't live to use it, after all, did he? And then, my mother, I want you to take it every bit, and spend it all in goats and wagons and harnesses for poor boys whose fathers can't afford to buy 'em, and who long for 'em as much as I do, and who would be good to a goat, and—and patient with it, and would make a dear friend of it, just like me. You see, mother, a goat is alive. He would be like a splendid, big, trusty dog. We'd be chums. He'd understand every word I said to him. And when I'm too tired to study, and can't eat my dinner, he would pull me away out-of-town to the Park ; and there I'd make a big bundle of all my bad feelings and throw them into the lake, and come back home to you so gay and so fine that maybe, after-all, I might get big and strong like other boys, and the Blessed Lord might change His mind, and not take me away from you, after all !”.
Our little supper is ended, and with it almost the last shred of my resolution. But I make one more rally, and with what feeble courage and fainting purpose are left to me, I lead him over the old battle-ground yet again.
He follows me, meekly and submissively, step by step, and at last falls silent, his frail little body relaxed in a hopeless attitude, in his arm-chair, his slender legs over the fender—a figure so touching in the desolateness of its sorrowing as to render him too nearly the image of little Paul Dombey for the peaceful comfort of his mother.
“My son, look up; look into your mother's eyes. What do you find there? What have you ever found there but loving-kindness? This long desire of your heart we do not give you, because we know that in such a great city as this it will hurt you. And it is just because you are such a little chap that you cannot see the reason why."
“O dear mother! stop right there. I do see the reason why. But it's not as you think : it's because I haven't 'ways;' they have been left out entirely. If sister wants something very much that she oughtn't to have, and she begs and begs father for it, she gets it. It is because she has 'ways'-pretty, coaxing ways. I haven't' ways,' even with the Blessed Lord.
“And now this billy-gnát. I've been praying hard all winter long that you and father might be willing for me to have a goat. If I wake up in the night I can't go to + sleep again, begging the Lord for Billy. Lately I am trying another way. I am asking Him to take away the wish for Billy altogether, and let me forget all about it. It's no use. He doesn't pay the least attention to me; and, mother, I don't believe He ever will.”
In the excitement of this last appeal, Paul had risen, his eyes are shining, but not through tears, his whole frame throbbing, his clear young voice thrilling with the intensity of his protest.
I know at this moment I am conquered, that I had better lay down my weapons and surrender unconditionally. I give no sign, but I gather the little fellow into my arms and hold him close for a long time, caressing his soft hair and his brow, and kissing his innocent face. The clock strikes nine. Paul lifts his head and looks at me. He straightens himself, tightens the quivering lines about his mouth, and with a brave resolve in his face, kisses me.
“I haven't taken very good care of you to-night, sweet mother. I have been selfish and silly, and no better than a great cry-baby. I am ashamed of myself, and I'm going to bed. Good-night, my loving mother.”
"Good-night, Paul; good-night, my blessing.” But to my own heart: “You've won, my little lad. You think you haven't 'ways,' but they are too much for your mother. You've won your goat, my boy.” I had nearly shouted it to him in the glow of reaction.
When Paul's father and sister come home, brimming over with fun and merry nonsense, they find a dull and silent listener. Alice goes off to bed in dudgeon, but her father reads my face better. “Something has happened, little woman. What is it ?”
going it eat cry.been selfie, care of
He rakes the coals, throws on a fresh log, and I tell him this story. When I come to that touch of Paul's having no “ways,” even with the Blessed Lord, his father starts up, out of the room, up the stairs, and as he rushes into Paul's room overhead, I hear him call out:
"Paul! Paul, my boy! are you awake? We are going for your goat to-morrow, you and I. We'll take a holiday, and go right after breakfast, and it will go hard with us if we don't find a perfect beauty before sundown.”
"THE tide runs strong, and the sea grows dark,
1 Hark ye, Pilot! (Cling, clang, cling!) The night wind freshens and drives the bark;
“Quiet, lad, 'tis the bell-buoy tolls
* A black rock in Boston harbor has this legend.
“But the isle is black, without shoals or sands,
Hark ye! hark ye! (Cling, clang, cling!)
“ That island, boy, was once fresh and green, The fairest isle in the harbor seen, 'Tis the ghost of an isle that you yonder see, Now the bell strikes one, now the bell strikes three, And the night shade falls, and the wind blows free.
“The trees are gone, the fields, the shore,
“Do you know the rocks of the reft sea-wall ?
Hark ye, Pilot!” (Cling, clang, cling!) “I know where there are no rocks at all.”
(Cling!) “Then, Pilot, we're safe, so tell to me The tale of this isle on the haunted sea, While the bell strikes one, and the bell strikes three; Hark ye, hark ye!”