Could any Beatrice seeBut in the mean time a reciprocal feeling was gaining strength in the heart of Margaret. To her grateful appreciation of the condescension of a great and good man—grave, learned, and renowned—to her youth and weakness, and to her enthusiastic admiration of his intellectual powers, devoted to the highest and holiest objects, succeeded naturally enough the tenderly suggestive pity of her woman's heart, as she thought of his lonely home, his unshared sorrows, his lack of those sympathies and kindnesses which make tolerable the hard journey of life. Did she not owe to him, under God, the salvation of body and mind? Was he not her truest and most faithful friend, entering with lively interest into all her joys and sorrows? Had she not seen the cloud of his habitual sadness broken by gleam of sunny warmth and cheerfulness, as they conversed together? Could she do better than devote herself to the pleasing task of making his life happier, of comforting him in seasons of pain and weariness, encouraging him in his vast labors, and throwing over the cold and hard austerities of his nature the warmth and light of domestic affection? Pity, reverence, gratitude, and womanly tenderness, her fervid imagination and the sympathies of a deeply religious nature, combined to influence her decision. Disparity of age and condition rendered it improbable that Baxter would ever venture to address her in any other capacity than that of a friend and teacher; and it was left to herself to
A lover in such anchorite!