Those to whom “Lettice Eden” is an old friend will meet with many acquaintances in these pages. The lesson is partly of the same type—the difference between that which seems, and that which is; between the gold which will stand the fire, and the imitation which the flame will dissolve in a moment; between the true diamond, small though it be, which is worth a fortune, and the glittering paste which is worth little more than nothing.But here there is a further lesson beyond this. It is one which God takes great pains to teach us, and which we, alas! are very slow to learn. “Tarry thou the Lord’s leisure.” In the dim eyes of frail children of earth, God’s steps are often very slow. We are too apt to forget that they are very sure. But He will not be hurried: He has eternity to work in, “If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.” How many of us, who fancied their prayers unheard because they could not see the answer, may find that answer, rich, abundant, eternal, in that Land where they shall know as they are known! Let us wait for God. We shall find some day that it was worth while.
man; and the boy, Adam o' Bill's o' old Mall's.
And here I should note that once were two of us more, Aubrey and Julian: of whom Aubrey died a babe, three years afore I was born, and Julian a little maid of eleven years, between Milly's birth and Edith's. I mind her well, for she was two years elder than I, so that I was nine years old when she departed; but Milly, that was only three, cannot remember her.
Our eldest of all, Anstace, is wife unto Master Henry Banaster, and dwelleth (as Milly saith) next door, he having the estate joining Father's own. She hath two children, Aubrey, that is of seven years, and Cicely, that is four; beside her eldest, Lettice, which did decease in the cradle.
I reckon I have told all now, without I name the cows, which be Daisy, and Molly, and Buttercup, and Rose, and Ladybird, an