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CHAPTER X. THE HAPPY SUNDAY EVENING.
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 Sunday afternoon passed away very rapidly to Lucy. She spent the time while her brother and sister were at church in reading a little book which Rosa had lent her.
 
As the children sat together in the twilight1, after tea, Rosa said to Lucy, "We used to call you baby and pet at first: do you know when we began to call you Lucy?"
 
"Not till I was two months old, I've heard father say."
 
"Yes; I well remember the morning that you took your new name," continued Rosa. "It was a bright day in June. Dear mamma was so kind and cheerful then. I can see her now as she came in to breakfast, so slender and pale, and yet with such a calm, happy look on her face.
 
"'You must call the baby Lucy after to-day,' she said to me, as I kissed her that morning.
 
"'And why, dear mother?' I asked.
 
"'Because she is to be baptized to-day, and take Lucy for her Christian2 name,' answered our mother.
 
"'But why is the baby to be baptized?' I childishly asked. She took no notice of my question then; but after breakfast was over, she called me to her side, and said, 'Shall I tell my little girl a story?'
 
"'Oh, do!' I answered, and she began.
 
"'There was once a little child who lived in a very small cottage, with a scanty3 grass plat before it. This child had a pet lamb, of which she was very fond. She loved it so dearly that she often sat on the door-step and anxiously thought how she should ever be able to keep it from harm as it grew older, and would be tempted4 to run away from the cottage, around which there was not even a light paling. Then winter must come, and how would the poor little lamb be protected from the storm?
 
"'These thoughts were one day in the child's mind, when an old traveller came to the cottage door, and said to her, "I have a message to you, dear child, from the shepherd who feeds his flock on yonder green hill. He has noticed you and your little lamb, and he wants to be a friend to you. He knows that you will never be able to keep your pet from harm, although you love it so tenderly; and he bade me say to you, that he is willing to take your lamb to be one of his flock, to feed in that green pasture and drink from the clear stream that is ever flowing there. It shall be safely gathered to his fold when the storms of winter beat, and shall be guarded from all cruel beasts. You can see it every day, and caress5 it, though you must never try to lead it away from him. Shall we go together and lead the little lamb to the kind shepherd?"
 
"'"Yes!" shouted the child, joyfully6; and she took the old traveller's hand, and gently led the lamb away by the blue ribbon that was about its neck.
 
"'It was but a short distance they had to go, yet the traveller found time to tell the child, as they walked together, that if her lamb learned to know the shepherd's voice, and follow him, he would take it some day to a beautiful land, where it could hunger and thirst no more; where there would be no more storms, nor cruel beasts, and where she might meet it and dwell for ever with the kind shepherd and his blessed flock.
 
"'The child did not see the kind shepherd; but the peaceful sheep, feeding on the delicate food, or lying beside the clear water, were there, and she did not fear to leave her pet among them. Day by day she saw her lamb grow stronger and happier, and more pure and gentle, and she rejoiced that she had placed it among the favoured flock.
 
"'One day the little child grew dizzy and faint: all things around her seemed fading from her sight, and her dim eyes could only see a strange figure which seemed beckoning7 her away.
 
"'Then at her side she heard the voice of the old traveller who had visited her before: "Fear not," said he; "you are going to the beautiful land where the kind shepherd dwells." Then a pang8 shot through the heart of the child, for she thought of the lamb that she must leave behind her. The traveller guessed her thoughts, and answered, "Your little lamb is in the care of the kind shepherd!" Then the eyes of the child were bright, and she said, "I don't fear for my little lamb: I am happy that I placed him where he will be so tenderly cared for, when I did not know that I so soon must leave him. May he learn to know the kind shepherd's voice, and follow him, that we may meet again in the beautiful land."
 
"'The cottage was soon all silence: the child no longer went singing from room to room, but she was happy, far away in the blessed land which the kind shepherd prepared for his faithful flock.'"
 
"'Did the little lamb go to meet her there?' I asked, as dear mamma stopped as if she had finished the story.
 
"'I cannot tell you, Rosa,' she answered, and fast the tears fell from her eyes. 'By the lamb I mean your little sister, and the kind shepherd is the Saviour9, to whom I am to give her to-day. God only knows whether our little Lucy will reach the blessed land.'
 
"'But you are not going away, mamma, as the child did,' I said, my eyes, too, filling with tears, for I too well understood her meaning.
 
"'Perhaps not very soon,' she answered, and smiled away her tears."
 
Lucy was still silent, and Rosa went on, for both Harty and Lucy were earnestly listening.
 
"When you were carried up the aisle10, dear Lucy, all in your white clothing, you seemed to me like the little lamb of which mother had spoken, and I felt that you were being received into the flock of the kind shepherd. You smiled when the water was sprinkled on your forehead, and I was so glad, for that made you seem willing to be placed in His care."
 
Lucy listened to the story of the child and the lamb; and when she heard its explanation her heart was full, and she inwardly resolved that she would try so to follow the Saviour here, that she might join her mother at last in His blessed land. As Rosa recalled the circumstances of her Baptism, she for the first time realized that it had really happened, that her name had been really given by her "sponsors in Baptism."
 
"Was I there too?" asked Harty, beginning to be restless, as there was a short pause.
 
"Yes, indeed! and so eager to see the ceremony that you climbed on to the seat, and leaned forward to look until you fell with a loud noise, just as the baby was being carried out of church. You always were a noisy fellow," said Rosa, as she laid her hand affectionately on her brother's clustered curls.
 
"Did I cry?" asked Harty.
 
"No; you thought yourself too much of a man for that, even then; and how fondly, proudly, mamma looked at you, as you closed your little lips and stood up without a sound, though there was a bright red mark on your forehead where you had struck it."
 
It seemed strange to Harty that he was willing to sit still and listen to a girl; yet he found a pleasure in being with Rosa different from any he had ever felt. He had always been quite indifferent as to what Lucy thought of him, but that Rosa should not be pleased with him was a very unpleasant idea. As a child he had tenderly loved his mother; and when she was taken from him, a blank had been left in his heart which had never been filled. Now half the charm of Rosa's society consisted in her being able to speak of that mother, and revive his now fading remembrance of her.
 
"Come," said Rosa, "let us say our Catechism together: I will ask the questions, and we will all repeat the answers."
 
Lucy was delighted at the idea, and readily joined her voice with Rosa's. She found it difficult to keep with her sister in reciting, as Rosa repeated her answers slowly, as if she really meant what she was saying. As she pronounced the words, "a member of Christ, a child of God," she looked meaningly at Lucy; and then it flashed through the little girl's mind, that she was indeed the child of God, as her sister had said; His child, not only because He had made her, but because she had been made His by Baptism; and again she resolved to be His "loving, obedient child."
 
At first Harty did not join in saying the Catechism; he had for some time given up the practice as a thing only for such children as Lucy; but when he saw that Rosa did not think it beneath her, as they came to the Apostles' Creed11 his voice mingled12 with the others. Rosa took no notice of it save that she placed her hand in his, and they went on. In some of the long answers Lucy faltered13, and Harty halted entirely14; but Rosa smoothly15 continued until they could again join her. As Harty repeated the once familiar words, he recalled the time when he had learned them from that mother who was now a saint in Paradise. With those familiar words returned the precious lessons of love and holiness which she had spoken, but which he had forgotten amid the sport and recklessness of boyhood.
 
When they had finished, he was quite softened16, and his voice was very gentle as he replied to Rosa's proposal to sing, "Yes, if I know anything you do."
 
Lucy was fond of music, but she could not sing: she laid her head on her sister's lap, and listened to the simple hymns18 with a feeling of peace and happiness. Another and another hymn17 was sung, until, at last, the clock struck nine.
 
"Nine o'clock," said Harty, "and Lucy not in bed! what would Mrs. Maxwell say to that?"
 
Lucy had been fast asleep, and was not a little frightened when she heard it was so late. She took a candle immediately, kissed her sister and wished her good night. Oh! what pleasure it gave her when Harty said, "Me, too, if you please," and really looked fondly in her face.
 
That night she forgot to look for robbers; she was too happy to think of them; but she did not forget the many blessings19 of the day when she repeated her usual thanksgiving. The same prayers she had often said she used that evening; but they went up from her heart, and were received in heaven for the Redeemer's sake.
 

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 twilight gKizf     
n.暮光,黄昏;暮年,晚期,衰落时期
参考例句:
  • Twilight merged into darkness.夕阳的光辉融于黑暗中。
  • Twilight was sweet with the smell of lilac and freshly turned earth.薄暮充满紫丁香和新翻耕的泥土的香味。
2 Christian KVByl     
adj.基督教徒的;n.基督教徒
参考例句:
  • They always addressed each other by their Christian name.他们总是以教名互相称呼。
  • His mother is a sincere Christian.他母亲是个虔诚的基督教徒。
3 scanty ZDPzx     
adj.缺乏的,仅有的,节省的,狭小的,不够的
参考例句:
  • There is scanty evidence to support their accusations.他们的指控证据不足。
  • The rainfall was rather scanty this month.这个月的雨量不足。
4 tempted b0182e969d369add1b9ce2353d3c6ad6     
v.怂恿(某人)干不正当的事;冒…的险(tempt的过去分词)
参考例句:
  • I was sorely tempted to complain, but I didn't. 我极想发牢骚,但还是没开口。
  • I was tempted by the dessert menu. 甜食菜单馋得我垂涎欲滴。
5 caress crczs     
vt./n.爱抚,抚摸
参考例句:
  • She gave the child a loving caress.她疼爱地抚摸着孩子。
  • She feasted on the caress of the hot spring.她尽情享受着温泉的抚爱。
6 joyfully joyfully     
adv. 喜悦地, 高兴地
参考例句:
  • She tripped along joyfully as if treading on air. 她高兴地走着,脚底下轻飘飘的。
  • During these first weeks she slaved joyfully. 在最初的几周里,她干得很高兴。
7 beckoning fcbc3f0e8d09c5f29e4c5759847d03d6     
adj.引诱人的,令人心动的v.(用头或手的动作)示意,召唤( beckon的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • An even more beautiful future is beckoning us on. 一个更加美好的未来在召唤我们继续前进。 来自辞典例句
  • He saw a youth of great radiance beckoning to him. 他看见一个丰神飘逸的少年向他招手。 来自辞典例句
8 pang OKixL     
n.剧痛,悲痛,苦闷
参考例句:
  • She experienced a sharp pang of disappointment.她经历了失望的巨大痛苦。
  • She was beginning to know the pang of disappointed love.她开始尝到了失恋的痛苦。
9 saviour pjszHK     
n.拯救者,救星
参考例句:
  • I saw myself as the saviour of my country.我幻想自己为国家的救星。
  • The people clearly saw her as their saviour.人们显然把她看成了救星。
10 aisle qxPz3     
n.(教堂、教室、戏院等里的)过道,通道
参考例句:
  • The aisle was crammed with people.过道上挤满了人。
  • The girl ushered me along the aisle to my seat.引座小姐带领我沿着通道到我的座位上去。
11 creed uoxzL     
n.信条;信念,纲领
参考例句:
  • They offended against every article of his creed.他们触犯了他的每一条戒律。
  • Our creed has always been that business is business.我们的信条一直是公私分明。
12 mingled fdf34efd22095ed7e00f43ccc823abdf     
混合,混入( mingle的过去式和过去分词 ); 混进,与…交往[联系]
参考例句:
  • The sounds of laughter and singing mingled in the evening air. 笑声和歌声交织在夜空中。
  • The man and the woman mingled as everyone started to relax. 当大家开始放松的时候,这一男一女就开始交往了。
13 faltered d034d50ce5a8004ff403ab402f79ec8d     
(嗓音)颤抖( falter的过去式和过去分词 ); 支吾其词; 蹒跚; 摇晃
参考例句:
  • He faltered out a few words. 他支吾地说出了几句。
  • "Er - but he has such a longhead!" the man faltered. 他不好意思似的嚅嗫着:“这孩子脑袋真长。”
14 entirely entirely     
ad.全部地,完整地;完全地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
15 smoothly iiUzLG     
adv.平滑地,顺利地,流利地,流畅地
参考例句:
  • The workmen are very cooperative,so the work goes on smoothly.工人们十分合作,所以工作进展顺利。
  • Just change one or two words and the sentence will read smoothly.这句话只要动一两个字就顺了。
16 softened 19151c4e3297eb1618bed6a05d92b4fe     
(使)变软( soften的过去式和过去分词 ); 缓解打击; 缓和; 安慰
参考例句:
  • His smile softened slightly. 他的微笑稍柔和了些。
  • The ice cream softened and began to melt. 冰淇淋开始变软并开始融化。
17 hymn m4Wyw     
n.赞美诗,圣歌,颂歌
参考例句:
  • They sang a hymn of praise to God.他们唱着圣歌,赞美上帝。
  • The choir has sung only two verses of the last hymn.合唱团只唱了最后一首赞美诗的两个段落。
18 hymns b7dc017139f285ccbcf6a69b748a6f93     
n.赞美诗,圣歌,颂歌( hymn的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • At first, they played the hymns and marches familiar to them. 起初他们只吹奏自己熟悉的赞美诗和进行曲。 来自英汉非文学 - 百科语料821
  • I like singing hymns. 我喜欢唱圣歌。 来自辞典例句
19 blessings 52a399b218b9208cade790a26255db6b     
n.(上帝的)祝福( blessing的名词复数 );好事;福分;因祸得福
参考例句:
  • Afflictions are sometimes blessings in disguise. 塞翁失马,焉知非福。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • We don't rely on blessings from Heaven. 我们不靠老天保佑。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》


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