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great aversion to all doctors, and said they did people more harm than good, and she never could be persuaded to consult one: they had failed once to save the life of a favourite child, and ever since then she had doubted and distrusted them; but the good Doctor seemed to have overcome her dislike, and she even allowed him to ask her after her ailments, and told him all about her attacks, and he said he thought he could do her good. It seemed as if the entrance of Fanny under her roof had quite softened her character, and roused her again to take an interest in those around her.
As soon as breakfast was over, Fanny set off to walk to the Doctor's, for her grateful feelings would not allow her to rest a minute till she had poured forth all her thanks for his most welcome and useful present. He was sitting in his favourite seat near the stream when she approached; he seemed pleased to see her, and listened to her artlessly expressed thanks, and to all her expressions of delight and gratitude, with great interest; at last he stopped her, and said,
"Well, Fanny, I have done my best to turn you into a washerwoman, and we shall see how you get on; I can't take my things away from my present laundress-it wouldn't be fair, but Benson tells me she has procured you the washing of two families as a beginning, and perhaps till you see your way
a little, it is better not to attempt too much."
Fanny felt this was good sound advice, and as she had not ventured to expect such good luck so soon, she felt more than satisfied with the work she had obtained; and so, the doctor having to start on his rounds, she just went in to have a chat with Mrs. Benson, and thank her for the trouble she had taken about her, and then away she went home again.
It was a very busy week to Fanny, for she had as much to do as she could well manage, but the more work she had the better she was pleased; she was up with the lark, went to bed late, and generally so tired that she was asleep in a few moments: it was well it was so, for as each day passed away, and the first bustle of settling in their new home was over, the loss of her mother became more and more deeply felt; she missed her ready sympathy in all her concerns, and her advice in any difficulty very much indeed; but she never complained, or gave way to sad feelings. On the contrary, she only worked the harder to keep them out of her mind.
Willie was still behaving very well, and a great comfort to her; and Mrs. Oldfield was, in her odd way, very kind to her, and seemed to take the greatest interest in all that concerned her; and so with a mixture of cheerfulness and sadness the week passed
away, and the Sabbath came round. She was up earlier than usual that she might have time to put away things belonging to week-day work tidily, and arrange everything nicely, both in their own rooms and in Mrs. Oldfield's, before it was church time. The old dame proposed that on Sunday they should take their meals together, as it would give less work, and Fanny, pleased at the kindly feeling the proposal showed, gladly consented.
The Sunday was always a blessed day to her; she had been brought up to consider it as a day so entirely set apart to God, that she could without much effort banish all her worldly fears and troubles, and keep it for the purpose for which it was so mercifully designed. It is a day peculiarly blessed in its effects on the poor, worn down as they often are with labour, poverty, and other ills: it is indeed to them a holy day of rest and peace. Each Sabbath comes upon the earth with the unbroken holiness of all that have preceded it; and the influence of its sacred calm is most merciful to those who regard it with the reverence which is most justly due to it: it is, indeed, to all such a day of refuge. The cares, anxieties, griefs, and troubles of life, are not felt in the same way when the mind and heart are occupied in the service of their Maker; and at the beginning of another week, those who are living
in the midst of trouble rise with their minds calmed and strengthened by the cessation of worldly cares on the preceding day: and so it was with Fanny; she deeply felt the peace and rest of God's holy day, and was most thankful for the comfort it gave.
When everything was neatly put away, she asked Mrs. Oldfield if she would like her to read a chapter in the Bible to her; she said there was plenty of time before
church. The old dame seemed much pleased at the offer, for her eyes were very weak, and it was no easy matter to her to read at all. Fanny had latterly been much in the habit
of reading to her mother, and when she had finished the chapter, to which Mrs. Oldfield had listened with the devoutest attention, she said,
Well, Fanny, I never heard the Scriptures so well read before: I have read that chapter many a score times, but I never seemed to feel it so well as I have done now; it will be a great comfort to me, Fanny, if you can sometimes spare time to read a bit to me, for my eyes are none of the best now."
"I am sure, dame, I will most gladly read for you whenever you like; my poor mother dearly loved to the very last to hear me read to her but now I must be off to church, for it is quite time."
Her things were soon on, and she and Willie set off to walk to church. They proceeded almost silently (for they were both thinking of their walks to church with their mother), till they soon reached the ancient and picturesque place of worship. The congregation were already collected in the church-yard, some standing in little groups, others sitting down in the sunshine upon the grave-stones, or on the old mossy wall. The bell tinkled clear in the dry atmosphere, and its sound brought together people appearing from the different lanes and paths leading to the church, and Fanny, with a glad feeling, met again all the kind neighbours and friends amongst whom her child