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[1051] fixed vacantly upon the whited wall. To the proffers and entreaties of her nurse, she made no reply.

The lady burst into tears, but Mariana did not seem even to observe it.

The lady then said, ‘O, my child, do not despair; do not think that one great fault can mar a whole life! Let me trust you; let me tell you the griefs of my sad life. I will tell you, Mariana, what I never expected to impart to any one.’

And so she told her tale. It was one of pain, of shame, borne not for herself, but for one near and dear as herself. Mariana knew the dignity and reserve of this lady's nature. She had often admired to see how the cheek, lovely, but no longer young, mantled with the deepest blush of youth, and the blue eyes were cast down at any little emotion. She had understood the proud sensibility of her character. She fixed her eyes on those now raised to hers, bright with fastfall-ing tears. She heard the story to the end, and then, without saying a word, stretched out her hand for the cup.

She returned to life, but it was as one who had passed through the valley of death. The heart of stone was quite broken in her,—the fiery will fallen from flame to coal. When her strength was a little restored, she had all her companions summoned, and said to them,—‘I deserved to die, but a generous trust has called me back to life. I will be worthy of it, nor ever betray the trust, or resent injury more. Can you forgive the past?’

And they not only forgave, but, with love and earnest tears, clasped in their arms the returning sister. They vied with one another in offices of humble love

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