The story of `Eric' was written with but one single object--the vivid inculcation of inward purity and moral purpose, by the history of a boy who, in spite of the inherent nobleness of his disposition, falls into all folly and wickedness, until he has learnt to seek help from above. I am deeply thankful to know--from testimony public and private, anonymous and acknowledged--that this object has, by God's blessing, been fulfilled.
Trevors that Mr and Mrs Williams would arrive at Southampton on 5th July, and would probably reach Ayrton the evening after. They particularly requested that no one should come to meet them on their landing. "We shall reach Southampton," wrote Mrs Williams, "tired, pale, and travel-stained, and had much rather see you first at Fairholm, where we shall be spared the painful constraint of a meeting in public. So please expect our arrival at about seven in the evening."
Poor Eric! although he had been longing for the time ever since the news came, yet now he was too agitated for enjoyment. Exertion and expectation made him restless, and he could settle down to nothing all day, every hour of which hung most heavily on his hands.
At last the afternoon wore away, and a soft summer evening filled the sky with its gorgeous calm. Far-off they caught the sound of wheels; a carriage dashed up to the door, and the next moment Eric sprang into his mother's arms.
"O mother! mother!"
"My own dar