"The heavy blow," said the old lady almost inarticulately, "of losing the dear girl who has so long been my comfort and happiness."
"Oh! God forbid!" exclaimed Oliver hastily.
"Amen to that, my child!" said the old lady, wringing her hands.
"Surely there is no danger of any thing so dreadful!" said Oliver. "Two hours ago she was quite well."
"She is very ill now," rejoined Mrs. Maylie, "and will be worse, I am sure. My dear, dear Rose! Oh, what should I do without her!"
The lady sank beneath her desponding thoughts, and gave way to such great grief that Oliver, suppressing his own emotion, ventured to remonstrate with her, and to beg earnestly that, for the sake of the dear young lady herself, she would be more calm.
"And consider, ma'am," said Oliver, as the tears forced themselves into his eyes despite his efforts to the contrary, "oh! consider how young and good she is, and what pleasure and comfort she gives to all about her. I am sure